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!