American Avocets and other news

It has been a busy past few days.  The annual Water Lily Fest was held at the Water Lily Collection in downtown San Angelo, per my post a day or two ago.  Through that, we met a real nice couple from Lake City, Florida.  Don Bryne is a hybrid breeder of water lilies.  In 1991 he bred a beautiful species and he named it for his wife, Shirley.  He donated it to the water lily collection here in San Angelo.  We met them at the Fest and they invited us to dinner, Texas style.  They were staying in their motorhome at San Angelo State Park, so we went out there for a nice outdoor fried chicken meal.  In the course of dining, we managed to polish off a nice bottle of St. Genevieve Light Zinfedel from a Texas winery near Ft. Stockton.

Shirley Bryne Water Lily

 In other news, many shore birds are starting to make there fall appearance.  Among them were several American Avocets (Recurvirostra americana).  Who thinks up these Latin names anyway?  I have to squint in my Sibley’s bird guide to read the danged things. 🙂  Anyway, they are beautiful slender-legged waders.  They feed in shallow water by walking along and sweeping their long-upturned bill from side to side.  Here are a couple of photos that I shot yesterday, or was it yesterday?  Click on all photos to see and enlargement.

American Avocet

American Avocets

 Ann has all the luck.  We were sitting in the bird blind a few mornings ago when I needed to go answer nature’s call.  I jumped in the van and while Ann stayed in the blind, I raced to the nearest facility.  When I returned Ann was all excited.  While I was absent, a Cooper’s Hawk flew in and lit in a tree at the viewing area.  Hawks are rarely seen at the bird blind so it was a thrill for her.  I, however, was disappointed that I missed a photo opportunity.

A day before that a Yellow-breasted Chat (Icteria virens).made an appearance.  (I should have studied Latin in school).  I did get a photo, but the bird was at an awkward distance and direction from the blind.  I was just barely able to get it in the view-vinder.  This bird, according to Sibley’s, “skulks” in dense and sunny brush.  This photo shows the spectacle eye markings, but the photo isn’t one of my best.  Aha!  And you guys thought I was perfect. 🙂

Yellow-breasted Chat

Happy Birding!

Bob Zeller  (boboronacea zellerictus)