~South Llano River State Park

 

~South Llano River State Park, Junction, TX, November, 2017

Howard and I spent several days, during the Thanksgiving holiday at South Llano River State Park. Because, it was a holiday weekend the campground was full and crowded. Lots of people enjoying this beautiful park, birding, walking, hiking, biking and fishing.

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South Llano River

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Fallen

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Me and my buddy!

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A little Fall color

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Hiding in the Woods

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Clear Water

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Mules

Of course some of us were enjoying taking photos. More to come from South Llano River State Park.

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Vermillion Flycatcher

~Rock Hound State Park

~Rock Hound State Park, Deming, New Mexico, November, 2017

We left Catalina State Park in Oro Valley, AZ and drove to Rock Hound State Park in New Mexico. We had a reservation for one night, tried to get two nights, but they were booked. This state park is popular and has been filling up every night.

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The rugged slopes of the Little Florida Mountains are the setting for this park, which boasts trails, unique geology, wildflower displays, and a peaceful campground. The stunning scenery of the Spring Canyon unit of the park provides a peaceful area for hiking or picnicking. (Description from the Web)

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Here is our site, which was the only one available at the time we made our reservation.

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Curved-billed Thrasher

I only saw two birds during the short time we were here – a Cactus Wren, which visited us at our site and this Curved-billed Thrasher who stopped to say goodbye. We had just hooked up the tow car and were ready to pull out of the campground when I saw this bird. I ran inside to retrieve my camera and was able to capture him with my “short” lens.

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When we were driving toward the campground on a two-lane country road, having driven over several cattle guards, we came upon these Texas Longhorns. Whoo, Whoo! I enjoy seeing them and love when I get an opportunity to photograph them.

I asked Howard to stop, grabbed my camera off the sofa and quietly opened the door. I readied my camera and peaked around the frontend of the coach.

Well, in doing so, I scared the heck out of this big cow with long horns. She jumped back and twirled around.

Well, she scared me even more; I took a few steps back behind the coach. I through for sure she was going to run away, but instead she stopped and just stared.  I guess she realized she was bigger than me.

I got my photo and jumped back in the coach. Notice the black and white one in the background.

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~This New Mexico State Park is a beauty… you are surrounded by mountains with views in all directions, the sunsets are stunning, and the dark skies are breathtaking. And, maybe if you are lucky you will see a few longhorns along the way.~

~Birding in Arizona – a few final photos from Catalina State Park

~Catalina State Park, Oro Valley, AZ, November, 2107

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As the sun sets on the Catalina Mountains.

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Yellow-rumped Warbler

I don’t think this Warbler liked the suet, but it was fun watching it try to land on the feeder.

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Recently I began paying more attention to the House Finch, which is usually ignored. They can be very expressive and a challenge to photograph.

I watched this male land on this stump, fly off, and then return.  I focused my camera on the stump, and with patience managed to capture these photos. It sure pays to watch a birds behavior when trying to photograph them and is very educational. What a handsome little finch and a cute pose.

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Morning Dove
The sweet Morning Dove….

This Morning Dove sat on this branch for the longest time. It seemed perfectly fine, resting in the sunshine. There must have been about fifty morning Doves around our RV site, usually in the early morning and late evening;  they appeared to be a little thin, perhaps they just migrated south.

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We sure did enjoy this backyard for two weeks. (Late evening)

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~Beautiful Arizona, we are already looking forward to next year!~

“The West is the Best”

 

~Birding in Arizona – Number 388!

~Catalina State Park, Oro Valley, AZ (near Tucson), November, 2017

I am excited to add a new bird sighting to my Life List. Number 388, a cute Dusky Flycatcher.

This Dusky Flycatcher, migrating south, visited our RV site, at Catalina State Park, for several days; continually searching for insects in the Mesquite trees.

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Dusky Flycatcher

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“Ain’t he cute?”

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I am writing this post from Lafayette, Louisiana, arriving today after spending three nights in Beaumont, TX. The birding at Cattail Marsh in Beaumont was wonderful! We met some expert birds while out on the pier, giving us some great advice on birding along the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coasts. Wouldn’t it be fun to attend a couple “Birding Counts” in this area?

Hopefully, next winter we can spend a few weeks down on the Texas Gulf Coast birding. Yeah!!

I am so far behind in posting; hopefully I will catch up soon. I have a few more photos from Catalina State Park to share, and photos from Rock Hound State Park in Deming New Mexico; South Llano River State Park in Junction, TX; McKinney Falls State Park near Austin; and Cattail Marsh in Beaumont.

Howard and I are enjoying our journey…. meeting with friends along the way, eating some delicious food (we had Crawfish Étouffée for lunch) and persuing our hobbies as best we can on the road.  I even got to  play a couple hours of Pickleball with friends in Austin, which made me extremely happy.

We haven’t seen rain for many, many weeks; I bet we will see some very soon!

~Enjoy the Journey~

 

~Birding in Arizona – more Hummers

~Catalina State Park, Oro Valley, Arizona, November, 2017

Don’t you just love these tiny birds?

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The only female I saw.

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I believe these are Anna’s Hummingbirds. Without the light highlighting the colors of the head and throat it is hard to tell. The Costa’s is smaller, short-tailed and has more white on the chest. I spent quite a bit of time trying to correctly ID these hummers. If anyone has any thoughts on ID, please let me know.

It was sure fun observing and trying to capture them with my camera. The bees sure did give them grief.

~Happy Birding~

 

~Birding in Arizona – a hummingbird with a red bill

~Catalina State Park, Oro Valley, Arizona, November, 2017

 

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Broad-billed Hummingbird

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The very first day, when camping, at Catalina State Park, I saw this Hummingbird. What caught my attention was a flash of red on the bill. Oh my, a red bill! I knew I had to purchase a hummingbird feeder.

While on a walk one morning, I saw a lady walking with binoculars around her neck. I stopped and asked her if she had seen the Broad-billed. She was excited to hear that I might have seen it,  but stated that she hadn’t. She told me her husband went on the ranger guided birding walk that morning and they hadn’t mentioned seeing it. She felt sure she would have heard if it had been spotted. She was a sweet, elderly lady who would stop and share birding information with us when she saw us walking. I will remember her fondly.

I noticed an RV with bird feeders hanging from the trees at their site. I stopped and asked if they had seen a hummingbird with a red bill. “Yes, she exclaimed, I have noticed it at the feeders.”

Okay, at least I had a confirmation. Turns out that, through their blog, I knew this couple.  I had read their blog many times, but had never met them. What fun! We enjoyed a couple of happy hours together and hope to see them again down the road.

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I spent one week trying to capture this hummer with my camera. It was very shy, highly protective of the hummingbird feeder, and would sit hidden in the mesquite tree. After the first week, I didn’t see it anymore; I don’t know if it continued on its migration path or was chased off by other hummers.

I was thrilled to have this gorgeous hummingbird visit my hummingbird feeder.

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Back in 2009, I saw this Hummer for the first time while visiting the  Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson.

~Happy Birding~

 

Birding in Arizona – Black-throated Sparrow and others

From Cave Creek to Catalina State Park…

It is nice to have internet connectivity again. After leaving Catalina State Park we spent four nights over the Thanksgiving holiday at South Llano River State Park. Verizon just doesn’t work there at all.

These are the final bird photos from Cave Creek Regional Park in Cave Creek, Arizona. Up next photos from Catalina State Park.

~Black-throated Sparrow

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~House Finch

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~Phainopepia

 Phainopepias, always sitting at the top of a bush or tree making it hard to get a good photo. The male is glossy black, and has a white wing patch that is visible when it flies; the female is plain gray and has a lighter gray wing patch. Both sexes have red eyes, but these are more noticeable in the female than the male.

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~White-crowned Sparrow

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~Happy Birding~

Enjoying retirement: On The Road & At Home