Sunday, February 24, 2013

Anahuac N.W.R., 2/24/13

Took the kids to Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge today.  Discovered that Lucy has very sharp eyes and an unusual talent for spotting alligators. Highlights included the lingering pair of Tundra Swans at Shoveler Pond, the brilliant male Vermilion Flycatcher that has been wintering near the refuge visitor center, and a Crested Caracara along FM 1985. This Red-tailed Hawk was photographed in the Wet Soil Unit.  It didn't fly when we rolled up beside it, and may have been ill or injured. Its plumage certainly didn't appear to be in the best condition.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Saturday Morning at Pleasure Island

This morning I took the kids to Pleasure Island to look for the Pacific Loon that Gerald Duhon discovered yesterday along the North Levee. One of the first birds seen from the levee was this very approachable Osprey. Check out those savage talons!
Didn't have to go much further to find the Pacific Loon, which was staying close to shore in the company of a Common Loon. Got this photo of them together for direct comparison:

Pacific Loon, giving its wings a little stretch:
This Common Loon was swimming right alongside the road.
Afterward we went back to check out the awesome playground near the bridge. Bryce and Lucy particularly enjoyed the tire swing.

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Birder's Playlist

For quite a while now I've been collecting songs about birds and birding to create a birder's playlist.  There are more good songs about birds than you might think - at present I have upwards of 150! Here's a current favorite of mine (and a hauntingly beautiful love song), "Stellar Jay's Wing" by Switchback: