Last Saturday (Jan. 28) Golden Triangle Audubon Society had a "mini field trip" to see winter hummingbirds at houses that are hosting them locally. We started at John and Jana Wittle's home in Nederland, where we saw Rufous, Broad-tailed, Ruby-throated, Black-chinned, and Buff-bellied Hummingbirds. From there we drove to Harlan Stewart's house, where we got to see another Buff-bellied and 3 more Rufous. Steve Kuritz's place in Beaumont produced 3-4 more Rufous. The final stop was at my home near Lumberton, where we had 2 more Rufous and an unidentified Archilchus sp. Total hummingbird tally for the day was 18-21 individuals of 5 species. Not bad!!! And along the way we also saw a few other goodies, such as Merlin, Red-headed Woodpecker, Red-breasted Nuthatch, and Pine Siskin. Here's a photo of one of our wintering Rufous Hummingbirds, taken yesterday from the kitchen window.
On January 21 I was off work, and visited the Roy E. Larsen Sandyland Sanctuary near Kountz. I was hoping for Henslow's Sparrow, but once again, no such luck. Thought I might also have a chance at Red Crossbill, but didn't get any of those either. Was surprised to find a Grasshopper Sparrow there - seemed a bit out-of-place in the pine savanna. Also scared up a few White-tailed Deer, including two bucks with magnificent racks of antlers. Brown-headed Nuthatches are common in the woods there, and a few came down from the treetops for a closer look at me, like this inquisitive little fellow.