Friday, February 27, 2009

More Alamo City lifers!

Confirmed once again: There's no basement in the Alamo!

Mary and I got up early again this morning and hit the trails at Eisenhower Park northwest of San Antonio by a little after 7 a.m. We were greeted by this sign at the trail head:Um... Daddy! Help! Several times, we were certain we heard grunts and movements in the brush; any second, we might've been charged by feral hog or pounced on by a mountain lion! However, we didn't actually encounter anything but a bunch of coyote poo: and a bunch of wrens, Carolinas and (drumroll please!) a lifer: Bewick's Wren!
Okay--WTF is with the bad focus, right? I accidentally had the camera on P mode, which is "exposure and flash compensation." Sadly, the morning was overcast so lighting was terrible. This was the best photo I got of the Bewick's, but we observed him for several minutes. We called him in with the fabulous birdJam on my Sony Ericsson Walkman phone. We had several of the wrens exhibiting territorial behavior (read: sounding pissed off), so we hurried with the pics and left them to their own testosterone-fueled displays.

The terrain was scrubby undergrowth with cedars everywhere, most of them over 200 years old (according to the brochure). Here's a pic of me in front of a rather harsh natural tableau: Here's more: After walking about a mile on the trails here and seeing/hearing only wrens, we went to Freidrich Natural Area. According to the write-up by the local Audubon Society, the best place to see the most birds here was around the parking lot because of all the diverse plantings and stuff. We saw more Black-Crested Titmouse:
bunches of cardinals singing their hormonal little hearts out: (this was disappointingly blurry, sorry)

and this strange pic, which I THINK might be another lifer! Look at these pics (sorry, but the clouds creating terrible backlighting)--

and this one of him coming right at me!
Is that an Orange-crowned Warbler?????? --no wingbars, yellowy underparts, a light eyebrow stripe. Philadelphia Vireo, which is a fairly common migrant here????? I haz teh dumb.... help?

This tree was obviously in close contact with an armadillo--it has leprosy!
And boy howdy, Black Vultures are everywhere! Here's one having a spot of lunch:

We're planning to go birding again this afternoon and evening with nieces Bronte and Lilia, so I hope to have more birds to come!


Patrick Belardo said...

Looks like an OC Warbler to me. The Philly Vireo would have a more stout bill. Congrats!

Any day with a Pee Wee's Big Adventure reference is a good day.

Lynne said...

Delia, you are such a funny, fabulous writer! You left me grinning.
I won't guess on the torpedo bird, (Orange-crowned sounds good to me)

I biggified the last Black Vulture picture and swooned....

dguzman said...


Lynne--Glad you enjoyed it! I knew you'd love the BLVU!

Bubs said...

I love those pictures. I love how that part of Texas looks.

When our kids were little, we got in the habit of always taking a picture of them near whatever scary warning sign there was, and then sending them to my mom.

Lisa said...

Those are great photos, D! It looks like you're having a blast. All this and dinner with Karen Z, too?

Bubs said...

By the way, I have a bird question for you. Something interesting we saw on vacation, so email me when you get a chance.

And we are loving these holiday photos of yours!

J. Kyron Hanson said...

Welcome to TX! Best birding in the country. You're just down the road from me... I'm an Austinite. Remember all expert birders were beginners once, so don't let their elitism get to you. And, most important of all - birds are where you find them. BTW: I saw that you had a dream about birds months back. My blog is all about bird dreams - mine so far. If you're willing I'd be honored to feature that post on my site. Bird on!

Mel said...

¡Hola Delia!
In that pic you look one-legged, lol, fun effect!
Congrats on the lifers!!

p.s. Lynne keeps getting vultures from all over!! lol

LauraHinNJ said...

Be careful of your shins amongst those cacti!!

Glad you're getting some lifers, Delia.

ehunter said...

Great shot of that warbler coming at you.

I enjoy your sense of humor.
I'm relieved that the only dangerous thing to accost you on the trail was coyote poo.
However, I do hope you reported that to the ranger.

dguzman said...

Bubs--great idea on the signs!

Lisa--jealous???? ;)

Bubs--first thing tomorrow. Thanks!

JKH--I always dream about birds, so I'd love to be on your blog! Email me!

Mel--now I keep looking at that pic and thinking I need a peg leg!

Laura--I did get poked in the knee by a Spanish dagger plant. Ouch!

Ehunter--thanks! Glad you enjoy my bloggy.

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