Total ABA Species Recorded During 2010 - 731

Monday, January 18, 2010

Agony and Ecstasy

Last night after finishing the blog, I switched over to the Texas bird report only to discover that at Bentsen State Park, 3 Hook-billed Kites had flown over the exact spot where we had been standing five hours earlier.  And to further the agony, the Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl appeared and put on a show.  Obviously we had to go back to Bentsen.  That's the way things are done.  So this morning after a Cheerios breakfast and a visit to the feeders here at Falcon SP where there was a Green-tailed Towhee (web photo) and some Northern Bobwhites, we hit the road with only a stop for my requisite cup of coffee.  At Bentsen we checked in and walked the road to the area where the owl had been seen.  I don't know whether you, dear readers, know what looking for a small owl is like, but take it from me, it's tedious but necessary if the owl is to be found.  So when the second tram rolled up, we took a break from the owl, jumped aboard, and rode to the hawk platform.  We had been there only ten minutes when two hawks appeared to our west.  After a couple of circles, it was clear it was a pair of Hook-billed Kites (web photo).  We watched them until they disappeared to the north with several people nearby madly fumbling with their cell phones in attempts to alert friends in other parts of the park.  We took the next tram back to the owl area and spent some more time carefully searching.  Admitting defeat (again, but temporarily!), we accepted our consolation prize of a male Rose-breasted Grosbeak
I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch and we drove north to Zapata to look for the seedeaters.  We found the library and the nearby pond where they were supposed to be, but not for us.  We also went to San Ygnacio where they are also sometimes found, but it was very quiet.  So we stopped in Zapata for supper (fajitas, in case you're wondering), and returned to our campsite at Falcon State Park for another great night's sleep.  Tomorrow we'll try the seedeater spot in Laredo.  Species total now 246.


  1. Someone at work brought in the article from the Pilot knowing that I would be interested in something about birds. What a treat to read about your Big Year. So now we're caught up on the blog and looking forward to following your journey. Already it brings back great memories of birding those places with you.
    Safe travels, Cindy and Rich

  2. This brings back fabulous memories! I'm thinking about driving down this weekend!
    Nice to see Cindy and Rich remember those times as fondly as I do!

    Congrats on the Kite, can't wait to see what you find today!

    Jeff Byrd