HOORAY! Birding rained out!

Today was supposed to be our monthly birding tour at San Angelo State Park.  As you know up until yesterday, our rainfall for the year stood at 2.94 inches.  Then yesterday, as I mentioned in my previous post, we received .47 inch to bring the total to 3.41 for the year.

Okay, so this morning Ann and I headed for the park to do our thing.  There was just a slight sprinkling of rain on our windshield.  We thought nothing of it, although the clouds looked threatening.  From experience, that in itself, does not worry people in west Texas.  We receive these promises of rain quite frequently and usually nothing happens.

We met five other birders at the parking lot, and based on what we have seen the past few weeks, we thought the best place to see any birds would be at the bird blind itself, instead of taking our usual drive around.  We headed for the blind at about five minutes before 9:00AM.  We just got settled in when the thunder and lightning exploded around us and the rains hit.  A thunderous downpour that lasted until 9:45AM.  Forty-five minutes of a big gully-washing rain.  Water eventually was standing a couple of inches deep all around the blind.

Finallly it subsided enough that we could make it to our cars and head for home.  When we got to the house, I immediately checked the gauge (everyone around here keeps a rain gauge).  It read about 2 and 1/4 inch.  It was still raining, and it finally reached 2.85 before it stopped.  A really great rain that the town needed badly.

There was flash flooding all over town.  At one spot near our house there is a low-water crossing where an arroyo crossed the road.  A senseless person, who didn’t pay attention to warnings, tried to drive through.  The car got wash off the road and floated down the arroyo for several hundred yards before it ran into a culvert.  No injuries that I know of.

Now this rain was far from being a drought buster, but it sure raised the spirits of the people here.  But if there is any bad news to come out of it, may be that it was pretty much localized mainly in San Angelo.  Even though there were reports of some neighborhoods receiving up to five inches, the United States Weather Bureau, located at the airport about a mile south of town reported only one inch.  Actually .99 inch.  So our official total for the year is now 4.40 inches.  A very long way from normal.

So were happy to cancel the birding, to get the rain.  The bird count before the storm hit was, I think, about six doves and three house finches.

This Wilson’s Warbler was photographed several months ago.

Wilson's Warbler

  • Canon EOS 7D
  • Canon 100-400mm zoom lens
  • 1/400 sec. @ f6.3
  • ISO 640
  • Lens focal distance  400mm
  • Metering – partial
  • Aperture priority