Sunday, December 1, 2013

Texas Hill Country

Piggy-backing on a business trip, this past May Patty and I spent a weekend in Texas hill country. We saw bats and more bats. We also saw some birds.

There were two birds we specifically wanted to find, the black-capped vireo and the golden-cheeked warbler, lifers both, and we saw them at Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge.  And while we had some great looks I didn't get any good pictures. In fact I didn't get many good pictures of birds on this trip. But that won't stop me form showing you some ...

This is the best image of the bunch and winner of the close but no cigar award, a black-throated green warbler (and not a golden-cheeked).

We had hoped to see scissor-tailed flycatchers, and right on cue, just as we were asking some local birders where we might see them, this pair flew by, harassing a crow.

They never landed close enough for a good shot, always moving a bit further as we approached. I did manage this shot of the female (the bird with the shorter tail).

We had wonderful views of painted buntings ...

... loudly singing dickcissel ...

... a distant ladder-backed woodpecker ...

... and a very well camouflaged black-chinned hummingbird.

We knew exactly where this bird was, but when we tried to find it on our second visit we saw nothing until it flew off and back.

We enjoyed our time in Balcones, which is less than an hour from Austin, Texas, and well worth a visit.

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