Sunday, January 31, 2010

Our salt air at the beach is tough on outside equipment

We got the television satellite dish new last January. The chain that drives the dish up and down rusted through and broke while we were in Florida last October so we had it replaced. Now the dish needs a new skew motor and sensor. Until we get that fixed, each time we move the coach, I have to go up on the roof and point the dish by compass and guesswork until I stumble upon a signal, then lock it in place.
Not just anyone can work on these Motosat satellite dishes. We have two choices in South Texas. There is one guy north of Houston and a guy in San Antonio. So far we’ve used the Houston guy. We don’t want to go to Houston again yet, so we decided to try the guy in San Antonio. When we called to arrange a visit, we found out he was actually down south in Harlingen for a few months, so here we are, in a giant RV Park in Harlingen, getting our skew motor fixed.
Here is another Wood Duck picture from Saturday.



Saturday, January 30, 2010

Life Bird!

Yellow-Billed Loon at Canyon Lake. He was too far out to get a good picture, but we could see him well enough to make the call.
We went by Landa Park in New Braunfels on the way back and got some good Lesser Scaup and Wood Ducks though.






















Friday, January 29, 2010

Annie and Eddie

Annie has a boyfriend: Eddie, a King Charles Spaniel. She likes Eddie. She even lets him wear her Halloween hat.


Last weekend they went boating together.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Choke Canyon State Park

We like it here.

Our campsite.


Our morning view


Last night was busy though. Before midnight we heard Great Horned Owls calling, so we got up and looked at them. More toward morning we heard Javelina snorting and squealing outside our bedroom window. We didn’t get up for them, but Annie did. She dashed across us to bark them away. Twice.



Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Annie



Annie’s vocabulary evolves. A long time ago, she starting having a bad reaction to the word “bath”. She didn’t necessarily mind the actuality of the bath, but she would shiver at the mention of it, so we started spelling it. She learned that. We switched to referring to it as “going to see Melissa” the groomer. She likes Melissa, but learned to associate her name with the dreaded bath so we had to make up a new reference. Last week Annie had a “balloon ride”.



Tuesday

We’re on the road. Camping. Choke Canyon State Park. White-tailed deer, javelina, green jays, wild turkey, bobcat.





Monday, January 25, 2010

Fashion Show

Judy organized a fashion show for the RV Park. Caroline from Island Woman brought the outfits. Several women from the park modeled the clothes. Julie brought Miche bags. Jewelry by Beaded Essence. Jeff poured the wine. Artichoke dip. Fruit dip. Pinwheels with ham, turkey, and guacamole. Friends helped.




There was even an appearance by a giant leprechaun.


And just for the record, I swear that wasn’t me in a dress. It was my twin sister. We call her the twisted sister.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Matt

Matt and Lindsay (and Lindsay’s sister Kelley) went to a friend’s wedding last week; on a cruise ship; in the Virgin Islands!











Saturday, January 23, 2010

Friday, January 22, 2010

Can you find the...

Can you find the Cinnamon Teal in this picture?








Thursday, January 21, 2010

Long-billed Thrasher

 

I didn’t get any good pictures of him in the overcast morning light, but I did get him singing.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3g-mawqlLQ

 

 

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wednesday

A black bellied whistling duck day. Small flocks flying back and forth overhead this morning. A flock of four circled and landed across the pond from us.

Warm nights. Furnaces off. Windows open. Good sleeping weather. Don’t need the air conditioning yet.

Bonaparte’s Gulls bobbing around next to the south jetty.






And a quick video of them on YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8vndgqKN2Y



They kind of look like phalaropes when they swim. Phalarope gulls.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Birding

This birding thing can be a dirty business. To get to a good burrowing owl site, it might involve driving on a road like this (level, but very slippery):


Leaving the Jeep looking like this (not much traction left with these tires):


Just try to imagine how long it took Judy to get that all washed off…

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Paradise Pond

Last year, Paradise Pond was a dry grassy field. This year it has water in it again.



And turtles.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday

Judy emptied the rain gauge at 5 inches this morning. That’s a lot of rain in one night. Showery today. Exercised indoors. Played racquetball with Russ. That felt good.

Got my 2010 haircut early this year. Got sheared this week.

Loggerhead Shrike






Thursday, January 14, 2010

Weather

 

The weather warmed back up into the sixties.  It has been nice the last few days, but the rain storms hit again tonight.  Still warm, but HEAVY rain.  A DOWNPOUR.  We’ll probably get as much rain as Denver gets all year long.  Again.

 

It’s supposed to stop by Saturday morning.

 

 

Long-billed Curlew






Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Big Year

 

Here it is.  Our last big bird list of 2009.

 

But first, I digress.  When Jon announced he was doing a 2009 Texas Big Year, I declared an additional contest.  I thought maybe we could match Jon’s birding skills with our geography.  He was going to get all the birds he could entirely within one state; Texas.  Judy and I would count birds from everywhere we went in North America and see who came out with the most.  He only birded in one state.  We birded in 22 states, two provinces, two countries.  How hard could it be to get as many birds as he did?

 

Jon got off to a quick start.  By the end of January he had 225 birds.  We were at 141, pretty far behind already, but we expected that.  We figured he would run out of birds he could get in Texas.  We were going to get birds that don’t go anywhere near Texas.  We were going to catch-up when we started traveling to new habitats.

 

We didn’t leave South Texas until mid-July.  By that time Jon had 426 species; more than we were going to get all year.  We got birds he couldn’t, but still, there was no catching up.

 

Our total for the year ended up at 389.

 

Jon’s total for the year ended up at 443.

http://www.mcintyrebirdingtours.com/2009yearlist.html

 

We got smoked.

 

But it was a great year for us.  389 species.  A record year.  Our previous best was 356 in 2008.

 

1

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck

Texas

2

Fulvous Whistling-Duck

Texas

3

Greater White-fronted Goose

Texas

4

Snow Goose

Texas

5

Ross's Goose

Texas

6

Cackling Goose

Alberta

7

Wood Duck

Alberta

8

Gadwall

Texas

9

American Wigeon

Texas

10

Mallard

Texas

11

Mottled Duck

Texas

12

Blue-winged Teal

Texas

13

Cinnamon Teal

Texas

14

Northern Shoveler

Texas

15

Northern Pintail

Texas

16

Green-winged Teal

Texas

17

Canvasback

Texas

18

Redhead

Texas

19

Ring-necked Duck

Texas

20

Lesser Scaup

Texas

21

Surf Scoter

Texas

22

Bufflehead

Texas

23

Common Goldeneye

Alberta

24

Hooded Merganser

Alberta

25

Common Merganser

Montana

26

Red-breasted Merganser

Texas

27

Ruddy Duck

Texas

28

Plain Chachalaca

Texas

29

Ring-necked Pheasant

North Dakota

30

Sharp-tailed Grouse

North Dakota

31

Wild Turkey

Texas

32

Northern Bobwhite

Texas

33

Common Loon

Texas

34

Least Grebe

Texas

35

Pied-billed Grebe

Texas

36

Eared Grebe

Texas

37

Western Grebe

Colorado

38

Clark's Grebe

Colorado

39

Masked Booby

Florida

40

Brown Booby

Florida

41

Northern Gannet

Texas

42

American White Pelican

Texas

43

Brown Pelican

Texas

44

Neotropic Cormorant

Texas

45

Double-crested Cormorant

Texas

46

Anhinga

Texas

47

Magnificent Frigatebird

Texas

48

Least Bittern

Texas

49

Great Blue Heron

Texas

50

Great Egret

Texas

51

Snowy Egret

Texas

52

Little Blue Heron

Texas

53

Tricolored Heron

Texas

54

Reddish Egret

Texas

55

Cattle Egret

Texas

56

Green Heron

Texas

57

Black-crowned Night-Heron

Texas

58

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron

Texas

59

White Ibis

Texas

60

Glossy Ibis

Florida

61

White-faced Ibis

Texas

62

Roseate Spoonbill

Texas

63

Wood Stork

Georgia

64

Black Vulture

Texas

65

Turkey Vulture

Texas

66

Osprey

Texas

67

White-tailed Kite

Texas

68

Snail Kite

Florida

69

Mississippi Kite

Colorado

70

Bald Eagle

Texas

71

Northern Harrier

Texas

72

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Texas

73

Cooper's Hawk

Texas

74

Harris's Hawk

Texas

75

Red-shouldered Hawk

Texas

76

Broad-winged Hawk

Texas

77

Gray Hawk

Texas

78

Swainson's Hawk

Texas

79

White-tailed Hawk

Texas

80

Red-tailed Hawk

Texas

81

Ferruginous Hawk

Colorado

82

Golden Eagle

Colorado

83

Crested Caracara

Texas

84

American Kestrel

Texas

85

Merlin

Texas

86

Aplomado Falcon

Texas

87

Peregrine Falcon

Texas

88

Prairie Falcon

Montana

89

Clapper Rail

Texas

90

King Rail

Texas

91

Virginia Rail

Texas

92

Sora

Texas

93

Purple Gallinule

Texas

94

Common Moorhen

Texas

95

American Coot

Texas

96

Limpkin

Florida

97

Sandhill Crane

Texas

98

Whooping Crane

Texas

99

Black-bellied Plover

Texas

100

American Golden-Plover

Texas

101

Snowy Plover

Texas

102

Wilson's Plover

Texas

103

Semipalmated Plover

Texas

104

Piping Plover

Texas

105

Killdeer

Texas

106

American Oystercatcher

Texas

107

Black-necked Stilt

Texas

108

American Avocet

Texas

109

Northern Jacana

Texas

110

Spotted Sandpiper

Texas

111

Greater Yellowlegs

Texas

112

Willet

Texas

113

Lesser Yellowlegs

Texas

114

Upland Sandpiper

Texas

115

Whimbrel

Texas

116

Long-billed Curlew

Texas

117

Marbled Godwit

Texas

118

Ruddy Turnstone

Texas

119

Red Knot

Texas

120

Sanderling

Texas

121

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Texas

122

Western Sandpiper

Texas

123

Least Sandpiper

Texas

124

White-rumped Sandpiper

Texas

125

Baird's Sandpiper

Texas

126

Pectoral Sandpiper

Texas

127

Purple Sandpiper

Texas

128

Dunlin

Texas

129

Stilt Sandpiper

Texas

130

Buff-breasted Sandpiper

Texas

131

Short-billed Dowitcher

Texas

132

Long-billed Dowitcher

Texas

133

Wilson's Snipe

Texas

134

Wilson's Phalarope

Texas

135

Laughing Gull

Texas

136

Franklin's Gull

Texas

137

Ring-billed Gull

Texas

138

California Gull

Utah

139

Herring Gull

Texas

140

Lesser Black-backed Gull

Texas

141

Least Tern

Texas

142

Gull-billed Tern

Texas

143

Caspian Tern

Texas

144

Black Tern

Texas

145

Common Tern

Texas

146

Forster's Tern

Texas

147

Royal Tern

Texas

148

Sandwich Tern

Texas

149

Black Skimmer

Texas

150

Rock Pigeon

Texas

151

White-crowned Pigeon

Florida

152

Eurasian Collared-Dove

Texas

153

White-winged Dove

Texas

154

Mourning Dove

Texas

155

Inca Dove

Texas

156

Common Ground-Dove

Texas

157

White-tipped Dove

Texas

158

Monk Parakeet

Texas

159

Green Parakeet

Texas

160

Red-crowned Parrot

Texas

161

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Texas

162

Greater Roadrunner

Texas

163

Groove-billed Ani

Texas

164

Barn Owl

Texas

165

Eastern Screech-Owl

Texas

166

Great Horned Owl

Texas

167

Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl

Texas

168

Elf Owl

Texas

169

Barred Owl

Texas

170

Short-eared Owl

Texas

171

Common Nighthawk

Texas

172

Common Pauraque

Texas

173

Chuck-will's-widow

Texas

174

Chimney Swift

Texas

175

Vaux's Swift

Montana

176

White-throated Swift

Colorado

177

Buff-bellied Hummingbird

Texas

178

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Texas

179

Black-chinned Hummingbird

Texas

180

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Colorado

181

Rufous Hummingbird

Colorado

182

Allen's Hummingbird

Texas

183

Ringed Kingfisher

Texas

184

Belted Kingfisher

Texas

185

Green Kingfisher

Texas

186

Golden-fronted Woodpecker

Texas

187

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Texas

188

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Texas

189

Ladder-backed Woodpecker

Texas

190

Downy Woodpecker

Texas

191

Hairy Woodpecker

Florida

192

Red-cockaded Woodpecker

Texas

193

American Three-toed Woodpecker

Montana

194

Northern Flicker

Colorado

195

Pileated Woodpecker

Texas

196

Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet

Texas

197

Olive-sided Flycatcher

Texas

198

Western Wood-Pewee

Colorado

199

Eastern Wood-Pewee

Texas

200

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher

Texas

201

Acadian Flycatcher

Texas

202

Alder Flycatcher

Alberta

203

Willow Flycatcher

Texas

204

Least Flycatcher

Texas

205

Hammond's Flycatcher

Montana

206

Dusky Flycatcher

Idaho

207

Eastern Phoebe

Texas

208

Say's Phoebe

Colorado

209

Vermilion Flycatcher

Texas

210

Ash-throated Flycatcher

Texas

211

Great Crested Flycatcher

Texas

212

Brown-crested Flycatcher

Texas

213

Great Kiskadee

Texas

214

Tropical Kingbird

Texas

215

Couch's Kingbird

Texas

216

Western Kingbird

Texas

217

Eastern Kingbird

Texas

218

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

Texas

219

Loggerhead Shrike

Texas

220

White-eyed Vireo

Texas

221

Black-capped Vireo

Texas

222

Yellow-throated Vireo

Florida

223

Plumbeous Vireo

Texas

224

Blue-headed Vireo

Texas

225

Warbling Vireo

Texas

226

Philadelphia Vireo

Texas

227

Red-eyed Vireo

Texas

228

Black-whiskered Vireo

Texas

229

Gray Jay

Alberta

230

Steller's Jay

Colorado

231

Blue Jay

Texas

232

Green Jay

Texas

233

Western Scrub-Jay

Texas

234

Pinyon Jay

Colorado

235

Clark's Nutcracker

Idaho

236

Black-billed Magpie

Colorado

237

American Crow

Texas

238

Fish Crow

Georgia

239

Chihuahuan Raven

Texas

240

Common Raven

Texas

241

Horned Lark

Colorado

242

Purple Martin

Texas

243

Tree Swallow

Texas

244

Violet-green Swallow

Colorado

245

Northern Rough-winged Swallow

Texas

246

Bank Swallow

Texas

247

Cliff Swallow

Texas

248

Cave Swallow

Texas

249

Barn Swallow

Texas

250

Carolina Chickadee

Texas

251

Black-capped Chickadee

Colorado

252

Mountain Chickadee

Colorado

253

Boreal Chickadee

Alberta

254

Tufted Titmouse

Texas

255

Black-crested Titmouse

Texas

256

Verdin

Texas

257

Bushtit

Texas

258

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Montana

259

White-breasted Nuthatch

South Dakota

260

Brown-headed Nuthatch

Texas

261

Cactus Wren

Texas

262

Rock Wren

Colorado

263

Canyon Wren

Texas

264

Bewick's Wren

Texas

265

House Wren

Texas

266

Sedge Wren

Texas

267

Marsh Wren

Texas

268

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Texas

269

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Texas

270

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Texas

271

Eastern Bluebird

Texas

272

Western Bluebird

Colorado

273

Mountain Bluebird

Colorado

274

Townsend's Solitaire

Montana

275

Veery

Texas

276

Gray-cheeked Thrush

Texas

277

Swainson's Thrush

Texas

278

Hermit Thrush

Texas

279

Wood Thrush

Texas

280

Clay-colored Thrush

Texas

281

American Robin

Texas

282

Gray Catbird

Texas

283

Northern Mockingbird

Texas

284

Sage Thrasher

Idaho

285

Brown Thrasher

Texas

286

Long-billed Thrasher

Texas

287

Curve-billed Thrasher

Texas

288

European Starling

Texas

289

Common Myna

Florida

290

American Pipit

Texas

291

Sprague's Pipit

Texas

292

Cedar Waxwing

Texas

293

Blue-winged Warbler

Texas

294

Orange-crowned Warbler

Texas

294

Tropical Parula

Texas

295

Nashville Warbler

Texas

296

Northern Parula

Texas

298

Yellow Warbler

Texas

299

Chestnut-sided Warbler

Texas

300

Magnolia Warbler

Texas

301

Cape May Warbler

Texas

302

Black-throated Blue Warbler

Texas

303

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Texas

304

Black-throated Gray Warbler

Colorado

305

Golden-cheeked Warbler

Texas

306

Black-throated Green Warbler

Texas

307

Townsend's Warbler

Montana

308

Blackburnian Warbler

Texas

309

Yellow-throated Warbler

Texas

310

Pine Warbler

Texas

311

Prairie Warbler

Texas

312

Palm Warbler

Texas

313

Bay-breasted Warbler

Texas

314

Blackpoll Warbler

Texas

315

Cerulean Warbler

Texas

316

Black-and-white Warbler

Texas

317

American Redstart

Texas

318

Worm-eating Warbler

Texas

319

Swainson's Warbler

Texas

320

Ovenbird

Texas

321

Northern Waterthrush

Texas

322

Louisiana Waterthrush

Texas

323

Kentucky Warbler

Texas

324

Mourning Warbler

Texas

325

Common Yellowthroat

Texas

326

Hooded Warbler

Texas

327

Wilson's Warbler

Texas

328

Canada Warbler

Texas

329

Yellow-breasted Chat

Texas

330

Summer Tanager

Texas

331

Scarlet Tanager

Texas

332

Western Tanager

Texas

333

Olive Sparrow

Texas

334

Green-tailed Towhee

Colorado

335

Spotted Towhee

Colorado

336

Eastern Towhee

Texas

337

Canyon Towhee

Texas

338

Bachman's Sparrow

Texas

339

Chipping Sparrow

Texas

340

Clay-colored Sparrow

Texas

341

Brewer's Sparrow

Idaho

342

Field Sparrow

Texas

343

Vesper Sparrow

Texas

344

Lark Sparrow

Texas

345

Black-throated Sparrow

Texas

346

Lark Bunting

Colorado

347

Savannah Sparrow

Texas

348

Grasshopper Sparrow

Texas

349

Le Conte's Sparrow

Texas

350

Song Sparrow

Texas

351

Lincoln's Sparrow

Texas

352

Swamp Sparrow

Texas

353

White-crowned Sparrow

Texas

354

Dark-eyed Junco

Montana

355

McCown's Longspur

Colorado

356

Northern Cardinal

Texas

357

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Texas

358

Blue Bunting

Texas

359

Blue Grosbeak

Texas

360

Lazuli Bunting

Texas

361

Indigo Bunting

Texas

362

Painted Bunting

Texas

363

Dickcissel

Texas

364

Red-winged Blackbird

Texas

365

Eastern Meadowlark

Texas

366

Western Meadowlark

Texas

367

Yellow-headed Blackbird

Colorado

368

Rusty Blackbird

Texas

369

Brewer's Blackbird

Texas

370

Common Grackle

Texas

371

Boat-tailed Grackle

Texas

372

Great-tailed Grackle

Texas

373

Bronzed Cowbird

Texas

374

Brown-headed Cowbird

Texas

375

Orchard Oriole

Texas

376

Hooded Oriole

Texas

377

Bullock's Oriole

Texas

378

Altamira Oriole

Texas

379

Baltimore Oriole

Texas

380

Scott's Oriole

Texas

381

Pine Grosbeak

Colorado

382

Cassin's Finch

Idaho

383

House Finch

Texas

384

Pine Siskin

Texas

385

Lesser Goldfinch

Texas

386

American Goldfinch

Texas

387

Evening Grosbeak

Montana

388

House Sparrow

Texas

389

Eurasian Tree Sparrow

Missouri