Last weekend I traveled to South Padre Island, TX to visit the World Birding Center. The trip was amazing and I want to share this fantastic sequence of photos I captured while on the coastal boardwalk. Enjoy :-)

 

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I’m at my desk ready to work my night shift…and thought I’d take a few minutes to escape back to February and the Texas Gulf Coast. I saw a Pyrrhuloxia (Cardinalis sinuatus) for the first time – a female, beautiful, and content to pose for me.

Port Lavaca, TX, Feb 2012
 
Before I disappear again for who-knows-how long, I want to share the correct pronunciation of this bird’s name. The intimidating spelling is the reason why I have previously called it “the bird that’s like a Cardinal but isn’t.”  Time to fix that: here is a sound file that helped me, and it is from a neat website too:
 
“Pyrrhuloxia” is pronounced, “Pyrrhuloxia,” and the website where you can find all kinds of pronunciations is at: http://forvo.com
 
 

I visited the Texas Gulf Coast in February this year, finally have 5 mins to share a few pictures of the most interesting bird I saw. The Black Skimmer (Rynchops niger) has a beak so thin that you can hardly see it when looking at the bird head-on. Once he turns his head, you can see the unique, bicolor bill. The upper bill is markedly shorter than the lower bill, and they don’t seem to fit togehter. No matter – their bills are perfectly suited for their intended purpose – to drag though the water while in flight, snatching up fish on the go. Super cool. ;-)

Black Skimmer (Rynchops niger) head-on view

From the side…

Until next sporadically-timed post, please enjoy.

Santa Ana NWR

 

I visited Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge in October, and have been on another trip since then. Santa Ana NWR was so incredible that I cannot just skip it since I did not upload pictures before now. If you like pictures of Nature in all of her wondrous forms, you are in for a treat.

The Great Kiskadee (Pitangus sulphuratus) is a striking bird and full of character. I’ve been preparing a few photos to share and have run out of time, so it looks like I will need to cover Great Kiskadees in more than one post. To save time, I am inserting a small gallery, click on the thumbnail to see the pictures.

 

 

I finally made it out for a weekend, and spent a good long day hiking around Caprock Canyons State Park in the southern panhandle of Texas. Here are a few pics; more to come.

One of the many trails...

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Roadrunner - saw approximately 5, this is about the best picture I could get!

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Tiger Beetles were everywhere, will try to ID next post.