West Texas Travel Diary - p 2W-Scrub-Jay (81917 bytes)

As we drive to and from the blinds, Freida points out some of the true semi-desert species.  We enjoy good looks at Black-throated Sparrow, Horned Lark, Vermilion Flycatcher, and of course Roadrunner.  Verdins and Bushtits are also out there in the bush somewhere - Freida identifies their calls, but they're seldom spotted.  The local jay is the Western Scrub Jay, one of the commonest birds except for the ubiquitous Northern Mockingbird, whose calls are heard everywhere, all day long.











Lark-Sparrow (79153 bytes)The sparrow crowd is well represented by Chipping, Lincoln's, Vesper, White-crowned, but most of all Lark Sparrow.  Dozens show up at the stock pond feeders as well as Freida's backyard.
    LATER - Photography outings feature a tasty picnic lunch - the barbecue sandwiches are of course delicious.  Likewise welcome are Freida's scrumptious suppers - Duncan and I relish home-cooked meals after many days of road food.  The jello salad is especially recommended.









Summer-Tanager (72908 bytes)

Both Orchard and Scott's Orioles are seen & heard around the water tanks  An even more colorful bird that shows up for a portrait is Summer Tanager, recently arrived from its winter range in Central America.  It seems to occupy an ecological niche in the Americas similar to that of the bee-eaters of Africa & Asia.  There are many reports of the "summer redbird" feeding on honeybees, catching them on the wing and of course swiping off the stinger before enjoying its meal.  It also dines on wasps, especially the larvae.





Lazuli-Bunting (87608 bytes)It never fails.  Two birds that we wanted most to photograph at the ranch were Painted Bunting and especially Varied Bunting, the latter a not uncommon summer resident according to Freida .  She warned, however, that they usually didn't appear in numbers until late April, and she was right.  We saw neither.  But all was forgiven when a cooperative Lazuli Bunting, on its way to summer in the Rocky Mountains, showed up and posed smartly.




Travel Diary          <previous page