Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Del Rio, Laredo & Falcon Texas

Green Kingfisher 

On our way south along the Rio Grande we stopped in Del Rio at Moore Park where the San Felipe Springs runs fast and clear.  Along the bank were our first Green Kingfishers.  So small and brightly marked.  A treat to behold!

Many Scissor-tailed Flycatchers lined the fences and power lines along the highway as we headed for Laredo.
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

We took a campsite at Lake Casa Blanca International State Park in Laredo.  We were able to find over 80 species of birds here and added many to our Texas and year list.
Yellow-crowned Night-heron takes flight

Eastern Amberwing Dragonfly

Rusty Crayfish

Cockroach - Texas sized

Cave Swallow

Tall Prairie - gentian

Groove-billed Ani - aero-dynamic 

One treat was there were many Groove-billed Anis skulking about in the thick brush areas.  This may not be a beautiful bird but very interesting in looks and habits.  Fun to watch.

Silver Garden Spider

We then moved down to Falcon State Park for a couple hot days.  Good thing for electricity and air conditioning.  Ty was out checking for moths and other insects and startled a Bobcat kitten who took off in one direction and then another kitten went the other way and there is Mom looking right at Ty!!  Later he found them together one getting a bath from mom.  The other just curiously looking on.

Bobwhite Quail enjoy the seed we put out

Crested Caracara

At Falcon we had Crested Caracaras and Harris's Hawks, always great to see and a challenge to photograph.  These two held for a moment to check us out.
Harris's Hawk

We had put out some feed for the birds but as dusk arrived so did the Javelinas.  This mom and 2 babies vacuumed up as much seed (and dirt) as they could find.  
Falcon Lake Reservoir 

Giant Swallowtail 

Falcon State Park is developing a very nice butterfly garden and we were able to find a few beauties.
Large Orange Sulfur

Tropical Leaf-wing 

Underwing Moth - color usually only seen when flying

We head for the southern Rio Grande for the winter staying in different areas along the way.   We hope to catch a good hawk migration and butterflies too. Hoping the hot weather turns a little more fall-like soon.
Love & Prayers,
Ty & Ida Baumann

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Big Bend National Park to Amistad Reservoir

It is a long ride in to Big Bend National Park - 118 miles from Alpine.  We started early through the Chihuahuan Desert.  Gorgeous sunrise!!
Common Short-winged Katydid

We arrived at the Chisos Basin Village and found a rare level campsite and stayed for 4 days through the Labor Day weekend.  We had over 40 species of birds just around this area and lots and lots of interesting insects.
Metallic Wood-boring Beetle

Praying Mantid

Cenizo - Purple Sage

Greater Roadrunner

Thomas's Two-striped Grasshopper

Mexican Jay

We walked the long trail to the Window View, very beautiful and lots of birds including the Mexican Jay, Lucifer Hummingbird, several warblers and Black-crested Titmice.  The walk and heat were too much for me but thankfully I made it back without calling for rescue.  That's enough climbing for a while.
Two-tailed Swallowtail Butterfly

Walking Stick

Chisos Mountain from our campsite
Ty went up the mountain trail the next day hoping for one Colima Warbler that hadn't left for Mexico yet.  Too late but he found other interesting birds like a Black-capped Vireo.

Each night we had breath-taking views of the star-studded skies and the Milky Way.  The Heavens do really declare the glory of God!
Window View Trail

We drove to Elena Canyon where the Rio Grande cuts through the rock.  Canyon walls are 1,500 feet above the water.

The last night at Big Bend we went to the Rio Grande campground for electricity and much needed air conditioning - 105 degrees.
Dog-day Cicada

We took a day driving out of the park and south to Amistad National Recreation Area finding a nice RV Park near the reservoir.  So nice to have  a pool too for a refreshing afternoon dip.  Also we were able to watch the opening Green Bay Packer game.  Exciting!!
Vermilion Flycatcher

Scissor-tailed Flycatchers

Red Saddlebags Dragonfly

Eastern Pondhawk Dragonfly

Blue-fronted Dancer

Anistad Reservoir - just a small part of the whole

Greater Earless Lizard

We took day trips to Rough Canyon, Seminole Canyon Historic State Park, the Pecos River Canyon where it empties into the Rio Grande and other desert areas around this huge but low level body of water.  They say it's 40 feet below what it should be.
Rio Grande Leopard Frog

Seminole Canyon Historic Site

Jumping Spider on our water hose

Purple Sage Blossom 

Hutton's Vireo

Javelina or Collared Peccary 

We are traveling south along the Rio Grande soon and hoping for that fall weather to come with us.

Wishing the best to all.
Love & Prayers,
Ty & Ida Baumann