Category Archives: On The Road

Traveling in our Coach

SBS: ~American Coot~

American Coot (4)
American Coot ~they are Beautiful~

 

Sheila’s Bird Shots: ~American Coot~

In early spring, of this year, we were returning home from our winter trip and we stopped at Balmorhea State Park for a couple of days. This state park is located in Balmorhea, Texas.

This little pond, in the state park, provided the perfect feeding area for these American Coots. The sun was setting, turning the pond’s surface to a beautiful “fire” color.

 

American Coot (3)
Swimming among the Reeds
American Coot (5)
Fiery Surface
American Coot (1)
Taking a Bite
American Coot (2)
American Coot
American Coot (6)
Beautiful Sunset Colors on the Pond

Click on the image for a clearer image.

SBS: ~Cedar Waxwing~

Sheila’s Bird Shots: ~Cedar Waxwing~

~ Onyx Eyes ~
~ Onyx Eyes ~

gazing down at me 

onyx eyes tell a story

leave me be, resting

            By Sheila: August 23, 2013

I photographed these Cedar Waxwings in March, 2013 at South Llano State Park. Waxwings are gregarious and true to this description I saw many of them. 

Red, waxy tips on secondary wing feathers are often indistinct and sometimes absent altogether. All waxwings have sleek crests, silky plumage and yellow-tipped tails. Where berries are ripening, waxwings come to feast in amiable, noisy flocks. [description taken from one of my favorite birding books “National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America.]

The “Smithsonian Handbook: Birds of North America, Western Region” states the description of the red, waxy tips differently.  It states – the purpose of the “red wax” is long-debated, but younger birds do not have it and the older birds that do often choose each other as mates and produce more young that the younger pairs.

Waxwings eats fruit, flower petals and insects; and drinks sap. One way to distinguish between males and females is the color of the throat. Females have a brownish throat, the males a blackish throat.

March, still looks like winter.
Still Looks Wintery
Berries and a shy Cedar Waxwing
Berries and a shy Cedar Waxwing
Cedar Waxwing [Hmm, taking a break]
Lovely Cedar Waxwing

I might have mentioned before, South Llano State Park in Junction, Texas is one of my all time favorites.

Sunset Colors ~On the South Llano River~ [this photo taken in November, 2011
Sunset Colors ~On the South Llano River~
[this photo taken in November, 2011
An Old Picket Fence (taken at South Llano State Park)
An Old Picket Fence (photo taken at South Llano State Park in November, 2011)

Berries in South Llano State Park.

SBS:~Mockingbird~

Sheila’s Bird Shots: ~ Northern Mockingbird ~

~ I'am sure you can't see me ~
~ I’am sure you can’t see me ~

     Growing up in the South the Northern Mockingbird was a common sight. As a kid I enjoyed its repertoire of notes and mimicking vocals. It is a beautiful songbird with a huge personality.

     The Mockingbird will defend a large territory, up to two acres, and often will chase just about anything that happens to cluelessly meander into its home base.  An area this large it must keep darn busy. 

     I have been dive-bombed many times. Birds, dogs and cats watch out it will peck you on the head, on the butt, and everywhere in between if you get anywhere near its nest.

     Sitting from a high perch the Mockingbird likes to sing when other birds are peacefully roosting. If you have ever laid awake at night with the window open and are lucky enough to live in the Northern Mockingbird’s range, you probably have been lulled to sleep by its pleasing, repetitive song.

     As an adult, I enjoy seeing and hearing this enchanting songbird. Its presence always brings back delightful memories for me of playing in the yard and climbing trees. 

     Don’t you wish we could climb trees again with nothing more to worry about than getting harassed by a Northern Mockingbird?

Northern Mockingbird had enough of me (taken in Jonathan Dickinson State Park)
Northern Mockingbird had enough of me (taken in Jonathan Dickinson State Park)

SBS:~ Scissor-tailed Flycatcher~

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

These graceful birds are fun to watch!

Some dear friends of ours are currently traveling toward home, in their motorhome. They spent several days at Lake Whitney, TX and while there, they were entertained by six, comical Scissor-tailed Flycatchers. How exciting to see six at once. 

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

Their funny story reminded me of some photos I took of a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, back in April of 2012 at Caprock Canyon State Park. (Hope ya’ll enjoy these.)

Caprock Canyon State Park is located in Briscoe County, Texas, south of Amarillo.

It is known for its deep, colorful ravines and the fact that it is home to the official Bison Herd in the state of Texas.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher