Disclaimer: This post is best viewed on your computer where you can see all of the photographs, and click on them to see enlargements.
Life doesn’t get any better than this. Ann and I had the most wonderful time in a long time, mostly because we were joined by our dearest friends from Tennessee. We hadn’t seen them since 2008 but that seemed just like it was the day before yesterday. It was wonderful getting caught up and reminiscing. (gosh, I think I finally got that spelled right. ) We gave them a big Texas welcome and dragged them all over the place.
I had been invited to Fort Davis to be honored as a featured artist at the Art Gallery at the Drugstore. Bill and Nancy Davis, who by the way, are also the innkeepers at the Davis Mountains Inn where we all stayed, also own the art gallery and the drugstore restaurant. They, too, are wonderful people and we consider them among our best friends. They had a reception for me on Saturday, where I sold some of my work, and signed my book, “Birds, Beasts, and Buttes”. It was a huge success.
But it was small considering all that we did during the rest of the time, accompanied by our friends. We took the 75-mile scenic wildlife loop tour; Visited the McDonald’s Observatory; drove to Balmorhea State Park and Lake Balmorhea. All in the name of birding, where we wanted to top off our 2014 list of birds. We saw 54 different species during the trip. One of those pushed us pass our goal of 200. The Clark’s Grebe, mentioned later in this post gave us 201. Oh, we also got a bunch of photographs. I will show you them, in no particular order. Remember to click on them to see great enlargements.
Red-tailed Hawks and other raptors seem to be everywhere.
The Northern Harrier was the most difficult hawk to photograph. They are fast, flying close to the ground, and not stopping to perch.
I can’t forget the four-legged wildlife in the area.
Great scenic wonders abound, too, however I was more into the wildlife mode so I didn’t get too many landscapes.
Of course, there are many smaller birds in abundance.
On a quick trip to Balmorhea State Park, we spotted this Red-tailed Hawk on the way.
I told you the raptors were everywhere. After arriving at the state park, we saw numerous American Coots and this one pretty Lesser Scaup.
When I first spotted it I hoped that it would have been a Greater Scaup, but after a closer look at the wings, I could see the white bar on the trailing wing didn’t extend to the wing tip as it would have on the Greater. As you can see on the next photos that it indeed a Lesser Scaup.
Alas, on Sunday morning our dear friends had to return to their home in Tennessee. We will greatly miss them until the next time we meet, hopefully some time in 2015.
On Monday morning, Ann and I decided to visit Lake Balmorhea. We had never been to before, but we had heard about the great birding there. We were not disappointed as there were many wintering birds there. We only wish our friends could have spent another day as they would have loved this.
The Clark’s Grebe was number 201 on our 2014 Big Year Birding list. It was also a ‘lifer’, being number 288 on our Life List. It made for a fun, and very enjoyable five days in the Davis Mountains area. After returning home, I received word from the San Angelo Country Club that two of my golf course photographs had been sold. So now Ann and I can eat for another week. 🙂
I hope you enjoyed the rather lengthy post. Click on all of the photos to see some nice enlargements. That’s all for this time.