I have never published a post about mine and Ann’s daily trip to the State Park. Since there is no one presently at the park that really wants to take on the task, we have volunteered to go each day to feed the birds at the blind, and do moderate maintenance such as weeding, checking the water flow to the pond, etc. We also clean the windows and watch that the blind hasn’t been invaded by snakes or bees.
Since we live only three miles away, it is a snap to go there each morning to take care of those things. We usually go after breakfast, but we are authorized to go in the gate earlier if we so desire. It is fun to get there and see what might surprise us upon arrival. Usually it is just an assortment of hungry doves or finches, but occasionally we have sneaked in to see other wildlife. A few days ago there was a Wild Turkey, trailed by three chicks beating us there. On another occasion, I walked back around the fence and almost stepped upon an Opossum. He was a cutie. We’ve also seen Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes moving about on the path that leads back to the blind.
After taking care of our chores at the blind, instead of heading back to the house, we stay at the blind for a short time to see what comes in. Then we usually take a slow drive through the park to see the birds that don’t usually frequent the blind, such as hawks and water birds. We prepare ourselves for surprises and we are usually rewarded.
For example, the past few mornings, we have come across a Painted Bunting singing in the top of a tree, two fledgling Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, five Ash-throated Flycatchers, Lark Sparrows, Western Kingbirds, one Blue Grosbeak, one Common Nighthawk with two chicks, at least six Mississippi Kites, one Fox, one White-tailed Deer and two Javelinas. Plus the usual sparrows, grackles, etc.
At the lake shore, albeit a very small coastline now, you can see shorebirds, Blue Herons, Egrets. or American White Pelicans. A Snowy Plover recently laid two eggs on the parking lot at the Red Arroyo boat ramp. We have been keeping tabs on the eggs, but I fear that the eggs have been abandoned. We haven’t seen the parents in about two weeks. They probably realized, too late, that the surface that they decided to lay the eggs on can get very, very hot.
The bird blind itself, can also be very rewarding. You can sit in comfort and and watch through the windows. Open them for fresh air if you like. It was actuallly there at the blind, a couple of years ago, that I actually got hooked on birding and bird photography. I photographed my very first Painted Bunting and Canyon Wren there. At the time I didn’t know how unusual it was to see a Canyon Wren at that location.
So come to San Angelo State Park for a nice pleasant birding experience.
Happy Birding!! (click on any photograph for an enlargment)