AB and I were able to fly to Texas for a few days to spend the holiday with my family. I hate planes, but it was worth it to hang out with my family. The Christmas bird-related hawl included a t-shirt with a raven and the words "Raven Lunatic" on it (AB's mom and dad), the Sibley's birding year calendar (sister Mary and her man Jim), and some Texas birding with AB!
AB is a rare bird indeed, able to bird AND knit at the same time:Yes, folks, she was watching birds as I pointed them out AND working on a little cardigan for her niece. Talented!
We birded at Warbler Woods with my niece Lilia and sister Mary. We didn't see anything too exciting, but I got some decent photos:We got long looks at this Ladder-backed Woodpecker.
Despite seeing several Spotted Towhees, this was the best photo I got (and I use "best" reluctantly):
Well, at least you can see the spots.
This area is really amazing in terms of variety of habitats, though the drought has really taken a lot of the water out of the picture. I'm planning to go back there and spend more time (we only had time to see half of the area) in February with Baby G. I've been following the Texas listserv alerts from eBird, and they're seeing lots more stuff there than we saw.
When we first arrived, we saw a minivan with a woolly cap over its driver's side rear-view mirror; I figured someone had lost it in the parking lot and it was just hung there off the ground.
I was wrong:Attack cardinal! This guy pecked and pecked at my mirror until AB put her woolly hat over the mirror! He then flew off, confident he'd defeated his handsome opponent.
Look at this crazy caterpillar:
I haven't even had time to research what he might be.
And, because I'm always on the lookout for sport-related bird eggs, I was able to spot this little mystery egg:That one's for you, Susan.
We watched a little Hermit Thrush pick berries from a juniper; I missed the shot where he got a berry in his mouth and flew away, though:
And finally, a photo of a Carolina Chickadee stuffing his face!