Sunday, July 29, 2012

Purple Martins Majesty

Holly and I joined some old and new friends at the Purple Martin staging site near Willowbrook Mall in Northwest Houston this evening. The site is one of a handful in town where tens of thousands of PUMAs do their evening roosting ritual, which involves flying around in a huge, swirling cloud before diving into area trees for the night. It is quite a spectacle.

A word to the wise about attending such an event... bring an umbrella. There is a good likelihood - as I found out... twice - that you will be pooped on. Ahhhh... nature. While we already had PUMA covered for the photo Big Year, it was still an awesome thing to behold. We did manage to add a bit to the list this weekend, netting four new birds on a swing to Bolivar-Anahuac-Trinity River. Adds included the elusive Clapper Rail and a life bird in the form of a Swallow-tailed Kite. More soon!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Dog Days of Summer

We've been stuck close to home for the past several weeks due to various day job commitments. It's been hot, sticky and relatively free of any avian excitement. We did head down to Aransas a few weekends ago to chase the Brown Booby that had been reported, but came away empty after a four-hour search. In the end, we netted a Magnificent Frigatebird... and found a new burger place!

The good news is that the summer funk will be lifted soon and we'll get back to the business at hand. We have a pair of brief excursions on the calendar over the next few weeks... and are still toying with taking the July Texas pelagic out of South Padre. We want to get down to the LRGV again to clean up a few stragglers. We wished we could have done that sooner to get the Masked Duck that had been at Sabal, but alas...

I should probably use this time to grab the few cheap photos we still need. There is still some low hanging fruit... like the European Starling and Rock Pigeon. I can just imagine us putting those off again and again and looking up at the end of the year and realizing 'D'oh!'