Animals

Day Nine – Aransas National Wildlife Refuge

Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.  YEA!!  Today, I got to see whuppin’ cranes (Whooping Cranes), which are super rare.  You can really only see them in only a few places in the country, and even then, only at a certain time of the year.  I am so happy to have seen them!  There were 11 of them, in 3 different places in the reserve.  I also got to see Snow Geese, Roseate Spoonbills, Black Vultures (lots of these), and Common Moorhens.  These are all new to my lifelist.  I also saw MANY birds that I have already seen, and several I am fairly sure I haven’t seen, but need to identify for sure.  I feel like today was a BONANZA of birding!  Here are some photos:

Here are some Ruddy Turnstones, a Willet (biting at something in the surf), and a Common Moorhen

  

And these, my friends, are a Black Vulture, and some Whooping Cranes.

Rich and I went on a month-long road trip in 1999.  I am sure I have mentioned it before.  We were in Texas during that time, and I glimpsed my first armadillo.  Ever since, I have been on a mission to take a decent photo of said armadillo.  Armadillos are really interesting animals.  They look like little greyish pink articulated footballs.  I got a BUNCH of photos of one this time, but Rich was on the right side of the car, and took better photos of one than I.  Here are a couple of Rich’s photos.

Today was really great, and I am very grateful to Rich for being patient with my silly animal interests (even though he is sitting here right now watching Monster Bug Wars, and acting very interested…).

Tomorrow, I think we’re starting our trip home.   It will be nice to sleep in my own bed, but really…that may be the only thing I am looking forward to.  I really am a proponent of  ‘endless summer’.  That’s my secret dream…chasing summer all over the western hemisphere.  Well, I guess it’s not a secret any more.

Thanks for visiting and commenting!

Sharp-Shinned Hawk

Hi, bright-eyed happy readers!

I just thought you all might like to see this short video I took of a cute little sharp-shinned hawk in my parents’ side yard on Dec. 30.  He doesn’t look like he’s doing much, but rest assured – he’s watching the yard (like a hawk…heh heh heh) for little birdies for his dinner.

It was very cold that day, and he had to keep switching feet, so that he could have one up under his feathers.  Also, the snow was crazy that day.  We got about 8 inches.  UGH.

You can view it in hi-def by clicking the ‘360’ at the bottom of the video (after you click the ‘play’ button in the middle of the video), and choosing ‘480’ instead, and the icon in the lower right corner of the video with the arrows will make it full-screen.

Enjoy the hawk!

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