Saturday, June 04, 2011

Hardin County Field Trip

This morning I went on the Golden Triangle Audubon Society's annual field trip to Hardin County. I happen to live in southern Hardin County, but the focus of this trip was the Firetower Road/Gore Store Road area north of Silsbee.

Firetower Road can become a muddy wallow after a rain, and when it's dry - as it is now due to the drought - you have to be careful driving the sandy stretches. The little creek near the south end of Firetower Road was completely dry, but that's where we had the most unexpected bird of the trip, a singing Kentucky Warbler!

Other highlights included stunning views of Prairie Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, and Indigo and Painted Buntings. Here's my best photo of the Painted Bunting:
...and my best shot of Yellow-breasted Chat:
When you are travelling in a caravan of vehicles the people in the front car will often see birds that are missed by those in the cars behind. On today's trip it was only those in the lead car who got to see a Greater Roadrunner. By the same token, sometimes it pays to be last; I was a passenger in the car bringing up the rear, and we were the only ones to see Swainson's Warbler(!). From the car window I heard it singing in a roadside thicket, and we got out to look for it while the rest of the caravan moved on. In response to playback of its song it flew across the road to a low perch and started singing in plain view. We were able to get a few pictures before it disappeared back into the thicket. This is the only photo of mine that came out in focus:


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