Monday, April 30, 2012

Roughing it


Five days, four nights, camping.  I can cook while I’m out.  Judy wanted me to have something nice though, so we ended up cooking all day today.  Hamburger patties, grilled chicken, baby-back ribs, and chicken enchiladas.  All cooked.  All sealed in vacuum bags to go in the ice-chest.  Yeah.  I’ll be roughing it.


We’ll be off even earlier than planned tomorrow morning.  There is a report of a Rufous-cappped Warbler in Uvalde.  A slight adjustment to our route and Uvalde is on the way.  Here is a map with our expected highlights marked:,-92.8125&spn=23.774538,56.90918


You can zoom in for more detail.


I’ll keep in touch with Judy as phone connections allow, so if you want any updates you can check with her: (303-666-6018) to see how we’re doing.  She will be roughing it on the beach.



Sunday, April 29, 2012

Exciting times


Since we’ve gotten so good at working from anywhere, I’m not really ever completely away from work either…


…except next week.  I’m going to be totally away from work.  On Tuesday I’m leaving for a birding trip to West Texas.  I’m going to tagalong with Jon,  so it’s guaranteed I’ll see a LOT of birds.  We’ll bird Marathon, Big Bend, Fort Davis, and Balmorhea.  (We’ll stop and bird on the way there and back too.)  It will be a camping trip, so I won’t even have a computer with me.  There will be radio silence from Tuesday through Saturday.  I’ll mostly be out of cell phone range too, but I’ll check in with Judy whenever I can.  She’ll stay here at Gulf Waters.  I don’t know what’s up with her.  For some reason she doesn’t want to go bird for eighteen hours a day and sleep on the ground.  She’d rather stay on the beach.  Go figure.



Saturday, April 28, 2012

One more SandFest Report


These sand sculptures are three-dimensional, 360 degree displays.  I did a couple walk-around videos to show them from every angle.  Looking up into the sun I couldn’t see much of the viewfinder so it was hit-and-miss on keeping the camera pointed right at the sculpture, but here is a slightly different perspective from just the still pictures anyway.




…and the elephant one entitled “Where mermaids come from”.

The two people in the middle of the sculpture at the end are the sculptors getting their pictures taken, haven just won 1st place.



Friday, April 27, 2012



It’s that time of year.


Killdeer Mom and Dad.



Watching over their Killdeer babies.



Four of them.




Thursday, April 26, 2012

Along the way


Prickly Pears in bloom.






Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It happens every year


In April.  When the weather is just right.  It was just right last week.  Another Big Day.


We started at midnight, in the dark on the boardwalk, in the marsh at the Birding Center in Port Aransas, listening to Clapper Rail, Virginia Rail, and Sora.  We ended the day standing in a swarm of mosquitoes in a marsh in the Guadalupe River Delta well north of here, listening to Least Bittern and King Rail call.  In between, we spent 22 hours, covering 450 miles, making 22 specific stops at birding sites, and tallying 203 species.  Not a new record for us, last year was 207, but 200+ birds in a day is a respectable count nonetheless.  I know you want to know which birds we saw, so here is the list:


Black-bellied Whistling-Duck

Fulvous Whistling-Duck

American Wigeon


Mottled Duck

Blue-winged Teal

Northern Shoveler

Northern Pintail

Green-winged Teal


Lesser Scaup

Ruddy Duck

Wild Turkey

Common Loon

Least Grebe

Pied-billed Grebe

Eared Grebe

Neotropic Cormorant

Double-crested Cormorant


American White Pelican

Brown Pelican

Least Bittern

Great Blue Heron

Great Egret

Snowy Egret

Little Blue Heron

Tricolored Heron

Reddish Egret

Cattle Egret

Green Heron

Black-crowned Night-Heron

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron

White Ibis

Glossy Ibis

White-faced Ibis

Roseate Spoonbill

Black Vulture

Turkey Vulture


Mississippi Kite

Northern Harrier

Cooper's Hawk

Harris's Hawk

Red-shouldered Hawk

Swainson's Hawk

White-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

Crested Caracara

Clapper Rail

King Rail

Virginia Rail


Common Gallinule

American Coot

Black-bellied Plover

American Golden-Plover

Snowy Plover

Wilson's Plover

Semipalmated Plover

Piping Plover


American Oystercatcher

Black-necked Stilt

American Avocet

Spotted Sandpiper

Greater Yellowlegs


Lesser Yellowlegs

Upland Sandpiper


Long-billed Curlew

Marbled Godwit

Ruddy Turnstone


Semipalmated Sandpiper

Western Sandpiper

Least Sandpiper

Pectoral Sandpiper


Buff-breasted Sandpiper

Short-billed Dowitcher

Long-billed Dowitcher

Laughing Gull

Franklin's Gull

Ring-billed Gull

Herring Gull

Least Tern

Gull-billed Tern

Caspian Tern

Black Tern

Common Tern

Forster's Tern

Royal Tern

Sandwich Tern

Black Skimmer

Rock Pigeon

Eurasian Collared-Dove

White-winged Dove

Mourning Dove

Inca Dove

Common Ground-Dove

White-tipped Dove

Monk Parakeet

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Greater Roadrunner

Barn Owl

Eastern Screech-Owl

Great Horned Owl

Lesser Nighthawk

Common Pauraque


Chimney Swift

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Belted Kingfisher

Golden-fronted Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Ladder-backed Woodpecker

Eastern Wood-Pewee

Ash-throated Flycatcher

Great Crested Flycatcher

Brown-crested Flycatcher

Great Kiskadee

Couch's Kingbird

Western Kingbird

Eastern Kingbird

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

Loggerhead Shrike

White-eyed Vireo

Yellow-throated Vireo

Blue-headed Vireo

Warbling Vireo

Philadelphia Vireo

Red-eyed Vireo

Green Jay

Northern Rough-winged Swallow

Purple Martin

Bank Swallow

Barn Swallow

Cliff Swallow

Cave Swallow

Black-crested Titmouse


Cactus Wren

Carolina Wren

Bewick's Wren

Marsh Wren

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Swainson's Thrush

Gray Catbird

Northern Mockingbird

Long-billed Thrasher

Curve-billed Thrasher

European Starling


Worm-eating Warbler

Louisiana Waterthrush

Northern Waterthrush

Blue-winged Warbler

Black-and-white Warbler

Prothonotary Warbler

Tennessee Warbler

Orange-crowned Warbler

Kentucky Warbler

Common Yellowthroat

Hooded Warbler

Northern Parula

Yellow Warbler

Chestnut-sided Warbler

Black-throated Green Warbler

Yellow-breasted Chat

Olive Sparrow

Cassin's Sparrow

Lark Sparrow

Black-throated Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow

Grasshopper Sparrow

Lincoln's Sparrow

White-crowned Sparrow

Summer Tanager

Scarlet Tanager

Northern Cardinal


Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Black-headed Grosbeak

Blue Grosbeak

Indigo Bunting

Painted Bunting


Red-winged Blackbird

Eastern Meadowlark

Yellow-headed Blackbird

Common Grackle

Boat-tailed Grackle

Great-tailed Grackle

Bronzed Cowbird

Brown-headed Cowbird

Orchard Oriole

Bullock's Oriole

Audubon's Oriole

Baltimore Oriole

House Sparrow


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

It still makes me smile


To see a gray primer ‘55 Chevy.


Even if I can’t see much of it.


(I can’t see much of that sedan in the shelter behind it either, but it looks interesting too.  A lot like my old ’32 Ford.)



Monday, April 23, 2012

And then..


Fish and shrimp at Snoopy’s.






Followed by dessert next door at Scoopy’s!



Sunday, April 22, 2012



Sunday afternoon.  All the sculptures are complete.


There is an entry called “Horse Sitting”.


A space cowgirl having rounded up some aliens.



Something about something.



A real dinosaur battling a robot dinosaur.



A Venus interpretation.


And the winner of everything: the elephant.  It’s more than an elephant.  It’s called “Where Mermaids Come From”.  I took several pictures of it from several angles.  The mermaids come out the back.




The future professionals are still hard at work.


And finally, SandFest beach camping in style.