Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The High Island Challenge...You Must Persevere

The reward is glory. This I will not deny. But the price? It is a steep one.

Yes, you can go to High Island in late April and see more birds than you know what to do with. Warblers, vireos, tanagers, thrushes. And that's not to mention the close proximity to the Anahuac, Rollover Pass, and Bolivar. Terns, shorebirds, bitterns. It's fucking sick. For real. But nothing can ever be that easy. In order to see these birds, you must navigate a sea of khaki and geri. You must hear ridiculous things said, such as, "Alright! That's a lifer! What was it called again?" You must often let the path of least resistance guide your ventures, as time and time again you will be confronted with a convergence of over eager nerds trying to get on a bird. But, and this is an important but, you must persevere.

You must persevere for Kentucky Warbler. 
And yes, you must persevere for Blackburnian.
Obviously, you must persevere for Blue-winged Warbler.
You must persevere, even as some of the best spots are blown up with nerds, and the birds are fleeing the overwhelming scent of Bengay.
This Wood Thrush knows about perseverance.
As does the blinding Scarlet Tanager.

This Summer Tanager is surviving the spectacle; surely you can as well.

Life is a constant fight, both for birds and for those of us who spend time enjoying them. We all have our battles. The struggle is real.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Kind Of Blue

There are a few warblers that are better than others. Aesthetics count for something, as unfortunate as that may be for Orange-crowned Warblers. Level of difficulty may also be a contributing factor to the level of "goodness", which is what propels Colima, Connecticut, and Kirtland's to the top of some lists. Conservation status may also play a part, as I can attest to from fielding several emails a week from people across the country wanting to find Golden-cheeked Warbler. Today, we have one bird, one warbler; one which touches on each of the aforementioned factors. I don't know how, when, or where I earned the karma that was recently bestowed open me, but I am grateful. Tucked in a little corner on the edge of Boy Scout Woods in High Island, I spent a little over an hour with this weary migrant, left undisturbed by the hordes of geris scouring the other parts of the trail system. This bird and I shared a connection. I know this bird, and it now knows me.

Cerulean Warbler - Objectively, a good warbler.

Black stripes on the back are an under appreciated plumage detail.
This bird was frenetically foraging, and on several occasions flew down and hung out within a couple feet of my face. 

Protein consumption.
I'm not foolish enough to think that I'll ever have an experience like this with a Cerulean Warbler again.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Well, It's Been A Long Time

And for that, I apologize. Shit's been crazy around here. I've seen a few birds, but I've had neither great crushing opportunities, nor the time to round things up and put them together into a post. People have expressed their concern about my well being, and I am appreciative. Things will get back on track shortly. I carry much shame. Until then, here's another random assortment of things.

This year, it took me about 13 minutes to get me White-eyed Vireo audio filter on.
Dapper American Wigeon
Not the best, but Golden-cheekeds are back.
This Hooded Warbler is the best bird I've seen over the last few weeks. Hopefully, that will change soon.
Northern Mockingbird is a bird I should pay more attention to. I've got a decent list of birds that I've heard Mockingbirds imitating. Yesterday, it was Western Kingbird. 
Another bird I rarely look at, Carolina Chickadee. You can tell I'm scraping this shit together.
And, another Osprey.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

These are things...

...things that I have seen lately. They are not all birds.

Juvenal's Duskywing - Life Lep 
Eared Grebes
Cliff Swallows
Pearl Crescent
Leafcutter Ants

I understand that American Robin is a common bird for most of you, but here, they're not all over the place. I will not apologize for my enthusiasm.