Once again, my medical problems intervened with our anniversary trip to the Davis Mountains. But not to worry, as I write this I am feeling fine again.
We arrived late in the afternoon on Sunday, and this is what greeted us just a few miles before we were to arrive in Fort Davis.
Gathering storm over the Davis Mountains of west Texas.
We were in luck as the rains held off until later that evening. As we were unloading, this Say’s Phoebe hopped along a concrete curb. That was a bird that we could add to our 2014 Texas Big Year list. A nice start to our weekend.
We were staying at the Davis Mountains Inn, a very nice bed-n-breakfast. Our room was huge with king-sized bed, flat-screen TV, jacuzzi, walk-in showers, and a walk-in closet that was big enough to use as a spare bedroom.
We were early enough so after checking in and putting our stuff away, we decided to make a quick run to the bird viewing area at Davis Mountains State Park. Immediately, we were able to see and photograph a White-breasted Nuthatch.
A Rufous Hummingbird lit on a nearby feeder. I had only a few seconds to get a shot. I rattled off a few, but unfortunately all of the images caught him as he was dipping his head to get that nectar.
Adult Rufous Hummingbird at the feed trough.
We left after that to get some dinner then head back to our room to get some sleep, looking forward to a full next day of birding and getting some photographs.
The next morning, Monday, Annette Huffaker cooked us a very excellent breakfast of scrambled eggs, tasty sausage and a creation of hers, french toast casserole. Breakfast was served at 8:00, but as Ann and I rise much earlier, we were there drinking coffee and sitting on the porch, watching the sunrise, and a few butterflies.
After eating, we headed back to the state park. Going straight to the bird viewing area, we were then quickly rewarded with a female Black-headed Grosbeak,
female Black-headed Grosbeak
a male Black-headed Grosbeak,
male Black-headed Grosbeak
then a male Summer Tanager.
We saw several other species there, but the above photos were some of the highlights. Traveling between the park and our inn, I was able to photograph a Cassin’s Kingbird. It wasn’t a new bird for me, but it was the first time I was able to get a good photograph of one. The Cassin’s is a rare kingbird around our home in San Angelo, but here in the Davis Mountains, they are seen quite regularly.
It was about then that I experienced some medical problems, and I ended up spending the rest of the day resting in our room. But we were happy with what we saw for the three or four hours that we were able to spend. We saw 32 species and we added four new one to our 2014 Texas Big Year list. We are now at 178, with our goal of 200 well in sight.
We hope to come back to the Davis Mountains soon, but we also want to visit Bob Shackleford down in Uvalde, Texas so see some great birds, and also make another trip to the Big Bend National Park area. So if my health holds out we still have an exciting fall and winter coming up.
I hope you enjoyed this post and and the photographs. Click on any of them to see enlargements.