Texas Spring Break: End of Days


End of Days.
Maybe that is Dramatic.
But it was definitely my last few days worth of Photos.
I can’t believe it has been three weeks since I was last in Texas
almost all of my itches are going away.
As are my clear recollections of any events that may or may not have happened
All we have now are memories cobbled together with photos
But that is more than I really have of most things anyway
So at least we have the photos.

Pretty sure this is a sunrise
Or a sunset
Those are probably also some good birds
And definitely some palms
All that can be confirmed here is bird silhouette and palms.
This tree is a mighty fellow
It is probably still where we left it
I have GPS coordinates if anyone wants to see it in real life

Some kind of non-memorable butterfly name
Swallow-tail something something?
Memories are fuzzy
Lots of good lizards,
Convinced most of them were the same
Anole, Green Anole, Something Gecko,
I am pretty sure they changed colors based on your mood
It aint easy bein’ green
One of the more memorable birds
One of our target birds
And an easy bird to get anyone excited about South Texas
The Green Jay
I still am surprised that this is real
Portland needs more green birds. 20170326-_T9A4223

This is a hooded Oriole
It loves Sabal Palmetto
And to be fair, Sabal is one of best kinds of Palmetto
Very palmy
Portland could also use a few more Orioles.

20170326-_T9A4288Oh god!
Its coming right for us!
Regal Lawn Dart
Destroyer of Fishies
Royal Tern20170326-_T9A4301

South Padre Island
South Jetty
Good place for fishermen
Or if you just like to be with a giant crowd
Surrounded by water on 3 sides.
Needle nosed fish shape
Fun to catch,
For humans or Cormorants
But you gotta let it go bud
Eating it would be suicide!
International Port Towering in the skies
Fishermen living in the shadows
The future is here
But it isn’t evenly distributed

Black Skimmer
Gets by skimming off the top 1% 20170326-_T9A4445

Clapper Rail
But ever present
Well… In its range, at least. 20170326-_T9A4637

Ruddy Turnstone again
Body naturally off balance
Enjoys long walks on the beach20170326-_T9A4738

You just gotta expand your mind
See things from a different
Whatever Frank.
No Seriously.
I think I have it all figured out
We’ve been looking at it all wrong
Skimmer’s mostly don’t skim
They seem to mostly chill on the beach.
Black Chillers
I brought you this
I hope you like it
I picked it myself.
Sable Palm Sanctuary. 20170326-IMG_7499
Its a jungle in there20170326-IMG_7518
A beautiful Jungle20170326-IMG_7522

Some birds live here.

Photos are crazy Jumbled
As are my memories
Laughing gulls
And strutting humans
coexisting is all we can ask for20170326-IMG_7581Human Nature


Birds are just staring into the sun all the time
No hats
No sunglasses
Sometimes hiding in the shade
Must be reason for black around eyes
Oh great
Another beautiful little butterfly
This one has seen better days
Probably called queen something something
I don’t know.20170328-_T9A7667

One of my more memorable trip birds
White-eyed Vireo
Sings incessantly in the bushes
Almost always behind a branch
Like an optical illusion
No matter where you go you can’t get a clear view
This clear view
Obviously breaking the weird rule that I just created
Was the effort of 15 minutes of walking around the same bush
Trying for the perfect shot20170328-_T9A7708

Oh hello
I’ll be your Harris’s Hawk for the Trip
Look at those feet
Look at that bird
They’re all good birds
But this one is better.
Rufous Pants
Brown Jacket
Yellow Shoes
We stared longingly into each others eyes
For… maybe 2 minutes.
Trip highlight for sure. 20170328-_T9A7774

Mourning Doves
Apparently they are everywhere.
oh well, this one has Texas as a background.
Tropical Kingbird of Industry
Checking those fittings
Tightening those bolts
Catching those flies
Black Bellied Whistling Ducks
Family oriented
Enjoys public parks
Probably bread crumbs. 20170328-_T9A7888

Look at those stilts
also black neck
A bird normally found wading
Was searching for some shallow water
But only found a deep pond
Pretty sure I’m lost


A real grabable lizard
I have proof.
Available on request.

I miss you
I would like to visit
I wish I had the energy
Or capacity
To write more about you
When you were fresher in my mind
But I have new adventures to go on20170328-IMG_7768
Birds are on the move
Spring is here
Oregon may not have your incredible diversity
But it still has some really good birds
I’ll prove it.


Texas Day 2: Electric Boogaloo


Foggy morning seemed like a bad omen
Yeah right, we saw a bunch of birds anyway
And arachnids
But nobody’s home here


We also saw a horse
Though we received an apology for not seeing more
Apparently Texas should have more free range Horses


Our best look at an Olive Sparrow.
we heard them singing during the whole trip
But Texas birds are tricky
and there are lots of places to hide.


This is South Padre Island
If you like Herons, Egrets, Shorebirds, and Ducks
There may be no better place
incredible beauty in diversity
and the boardwalks make this barrier island very accessible.


This Tricolored Heron thought I needed a closer look
It flew right up to the boardwalk so I could get a better view
“Check my wings bro!”


It is difficult describing this shorebird
If vanilla frozen yogurt is your dessert of choice
You will love a Willet.


The Black Skimmer
Looks like it was made from too many bird parts
But it has a niche,
and the niche is skimming.


Surprisingly overlooked
Maybe because they are literally everywhere
Great Tailed Grackle
Succeeds in getting my attention.
They are easier to focus on if they are solitary.


We saw our Texas alligators too!
They came in two sizes
Adorable Baby sized


And Big Chompy Mom sized


Green heron reminds me of a tiger
Maybe it is the yellow eyes
or the ready-to-pounce posture
Absolutely prepared to eat some tiny fish


I loved Jurassic Park
I love dinosaurs
And I think that is why I love bird watching
That and I get to keep obsessive lists
Look at this Common gallinule’s  feet though!
So Stabby!
Probably makes putting socks on difficult.


Little Blue Heron
One of my favorite birds of the trip
The largest legitimately blue bird I have seen
But wait, it also gets a purple head?
Wait?  It also stabs fish?
So good.


Scanning the surroundings
Is fairly difficult
If your perch is only a foot off the ground
Silly Osprey


More Willet
I just can’t get enough
And I can’t explain why
Vanilla elegance?
Is that a thing?


Little girl doesn’t care about how great these birds are
Or maybe sand is more important
These flocks would pop up periodically
Mostly due to tourists taking Skimmer selfies
Or people parking on the Skimmer part of the beach
Weird coexistence with cool birds at South Padre


The most proactive fisherbird I have seen
Chases and flaps wings maniacally
And it works?
These guys are hilarious to watch, and I love them.
White Morph Reddish Egret


After South Padre
We trekked into the wastes
Post apocalyptic bird watching

Little waste scavenger
A little water here
A little snack there
The future is bleak
But we make due
And find hope in the little things
Being able to fly


Spotted Sandpiper
Found respite among a bit of grass
Normally a bird you’d find next to water
If there was water


Ahhh I’m just playin’
I love a post apocalyptic hypothetical
This place was really just a weird boat ramp
That led out to a cracked-earth mudflat.
Here’s another Willet.
And in this photo you get to witness their true beauty>
Vanilla exterior
But the wings,
Oh the wings:
Chocolate swirl.


Semipalmated Plover
Probably stuffed with marshmallow
Eyes on the skies
Gotta make sure his delicious candy interior
Stays on the interior
For as long as possible.


After the apocalyptic memorial boat dock
We went to Mexico
At least our phones thought we did
Kept changing to international roaming
This is a photo of Mexico
From our side of the Rio Grande
You can’t hear Mexican Folk music blasting
But know it is there.


Laughing Gulls were everywhere
At Boca Chica
But also everywhere else
Though I tend to appreciate a gull a bit more
When it is at the beach
Maybe I just like the ocean.


Mid laugh-laughing gull
Their eye crescents
Dark coloration & red bill
Make these very attractive birds
Underappreciated due to frequency seen
Oregonians would go nuts if one showed up here.
(only three ever have).


Just a lil crab
There were several
Living terrestrial lives
In tiny hobbit holes
This one’s body was about the size of a quarter


Constantly running in the surf
Stopping while the water recedes
Grabbing a tiny snack
And running again
Busy life of a Sanderling


Yellow-crowned Night Heron
A bird I had seen before in the Dominican Republic
And a bird I really wanted to see again
This was our best look
As it landed behind our car on our way home
I leaned out for a photo
Such a great body shape
Head/bill are so menacing looking
Yellow eyes help too.
I want to see more soon.

20170325-_T9A3871The last good bird of the day
Ruddy Turnstone
Their face kind of reminds me of Rorschach
Rorschach Turnstone
Too bad if I rename birds nobody knows what I am talking about

Day two was a great day
A long day with 26 new bird species I have never seen before (lifers)
I ended up taking about 1,500 photos, and we went bird watching for about 12 hours
Here are the my three eBird checklists if anyone is curious.

For your convenience if you missed it
Preliminary Texas Trip Report
Texas Day 1: Lower Rio Grande Valley

And here is where I put a link to Day 3
In a couple of days… man this blogging stuff is a lot of work.