Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Migrating North

 Seeking target birds brings us to a new habitat - the Pine Forests of Eastern Texas in the Angelina National Forest.  The challenge to finding the endangered Red-cocaded Woodpecker in mature pine stands was made easier by locating nesting trees conveniently marked with white rings and yellow signs.  (Pictured)  We enjoyed several sightings of this small woodpecker along with Brown-headed Nuthatches, Bachman's Sparrows plus 40 other species.

 Another great find was this Box Turtle - finally a slow moving photo opportunity.

We then headed north - last stop in Texas - Atlanta State Park where we finally found Fish Crows along a large reservoir.  We were interviewed by a local newspaper reporter for the "Cass County Life" about what we enjoyed about the park and area.  He was amazed at all the birds that were around him.  We left Texas with 343 species for the state and 367 for 2012 and 575 for our trip list.
 We spent three days slowly moving through Arkansas and its beautiful Ozark Mountains.  We added Chuck-will's-widow and Whip-poor-wills that were calling at the National Forest Campground.  We went through a corner of Missouri, Tennessee, and into Kentucky staying at a Confederate Historical Fort at Columbia-Belmont State Park on the Mississippi.

Into Southern Illinois and the Cache River Wildlife Area with the most northern Cypress swamps in the U.S. (Pictured to left).  We walked several boardwalks and found many Prothonotary, Yellow-throated, Nashville, & Black-throated Green Warblers, Louisiana Waterthrush and a new trip bird - the Prairie Warbler.  We also saw three Championship trees - Tupelo, Bald Cypress, and Cherry-bark Oak.
We traveled through the Shawnee National Forest camping at "Garden of the Gods" park named for the beautiful rock formations along the trails. (Pictured to the right).

We stopped at Horseshoe Lake in East St. Louis to find the Eurasian Tree Sparrow and found 8.

We are now following the Mississippi north into Wisconsin completing our year long journey.

Ty & Ida

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