Spotted Owls

Spotted Owls
adapted from my photo of 2008

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

OK Panhandle

I'm in Guymon, halfway across the OK Panhandle. I got away from Ft. Worth about 11:00 and drove north to Hackberry Flat, which is sort of on the way here. Highlights there were Bank Swallows and a flock of Wilson's Phalaropes. Just north of there at an area with cattle on both sides of the road was a huge flock of Yellow-headed Blackbirds, some of which I photographed as they crossed the road ahead of me. I then headed north and west. After the sun had set but trees and poles were visible in silhouette, I came to the tree where I had found a Great Horned Owl nest about a month ago (and had painted the owl later from my photo). Tonight, an adult owl was out on a pole in the field and what appeared to be a huge unfeathered juv owl was sitting in the nest. There may have been a second one behind the first, but it was just too dark. I'll check out the nest on Friday morning when I come back through past that tree on my trip back to Hackberry Flat for the OOS meeting.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Birding ahead

I'm looking forward to heading north to Oklahoma tomorrow to do some west-OK birding, including the OK Panhandle, before going to the Oklahoma Ornithological Society meeting in the Frederick, OK area (Hackberry Flat WMA and Wichita Mts. NWR)on the weekend.Then a couple of days at home before I head to Ohio and my first ABA board meeting where I can meet the other board members, followed by birding at The Biggest Week in American Birding at Crane Creek, Magee Marsh and Ottawa NWR in Ohio.

My book is being copy-edited now by the Texas A&M University Press people. My duty now is to gather up names and addresses of people to whom announcements of my book can be mailed, and to provide all sorts of information about me and my birding and where my book might be sold and publicized, etc. Except for impatience (always my problem) I'm loving this process!

Friday, April 23, 2010


I'm a bit scattered lately - much on my mind. We had a wonderful TOS meeting in Rockport last weekend, and here we are already at another weekend. A male Common Yellowthroat and a male Painted Bunting visited our yard briefly this morning - not a regular habitat that either likes, but just a place for them to rest briefly I guess. Next week I'm off to Oklahoma to the OOS spring meeting, to meet more people there and to see some OK birds. And I just received the agenda for the ABA board meeting, the first I'll go to, in Ohio on May 4 in conjunction with the "Biggest Week in American Birding" event in northwest Ohio. I'll stay there a few more days to bird. And then the last big news-I've signed the contract with Texas A&M University Press for my book on my big year (running title: Passionate Birder: One Woman's Big Year). And one more thing - I started two small bird paintings yesterday, doing a colored background wash for each. So much stuff I want to do; and just not enough time.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Matagorda Island

Early this morning 20 Texas Ornithological Society members along with 3 leaders and the boat captain and crew sped through the waves and rain to Matagorda Island for one of the TOS meeting's field trip. We all got very wet before the rain finally stopped as we were driven about the island on an open trailer being pulled by a truck. We did see great birds, particularly after we dried a bit. Highlights for me were a migrating Swallow-tailed Kite, Blackpoll Warbler, and two uncountable but gorgeous Aplomado Falcons. Tomorrow I get to help lead another group out there, hopefully with less or no rain. The TOS meeting here is going great, with field trips to many birdy places and great speakers.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

In Rockport

I'm at the spring meeting of the Texas Ornithological Society. Spring warblers are coming through, hastened by the strong wind - 11 species at Paradise Pond in Port Aransas this morning. I've taken pictures but no time to post them now. Tomorrow if the wind isn't too strong I'll help lead a field trip to Matagorda Island.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

No Rufous Hummingbird

It looks like Rufie is gone (last sighting was April 11), back to the northland. I hope she thinks of our yard as "home" since she was here more than half of the year (since August 18). Maybe she'll return in August/September again. It's sad.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Miscellaneous bird stuff

I think that my wintering Rufous Hummingbird is gone. I haven't seen her at all today, despite lots of looking, and only one year did she stay later than this. I still hope she'll reappear so I can post that she's still here though. I had my first Chimney Swift over the yard today though, and the American Goldfinches are up again in numbers, with 25-30 around periodicially. Of course, they'll leave soon too. Many of them are bright yellow now, and they're singing all the time.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Passionate Birder

Yesterday I submitted my manuscript (running title: Passionate Birder: One Woman's Big Year) to Texas A&M University Press, since they have accepted it for publication. The next step is apparently for them to copy-edit it, and meanwhile for me to gather information for them to use in the publishing process, such as information about me, information about places and people that might be useful in publicizing the book, etc. This whole process is very lengthy, but so exciting! The EARLIEST that my book will be out is March 2011!! Of course mine is just one in their stable of books to be published and I must get in line like everyone else. I really don't know all the things that need to be done betweeen now and then, but I'm sure I'll find out. I plan to post regularly here on what (if anything) is happening. Stay tuned.
(PS. And of course if you know people that might be interested in this book, or places that might be good to try to sell it, please let me know - email:

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Back in Oklahoma

I'm finally birding again. Yesterday I drove up to Hackberry Flat WMA, with highlights of Franklin's Gulls, American Avocets, American Golden-Plovers, and Baird's Sparrows. Then to Wichita Mts. Wildlife Refuge yesterday afternoon and this morning, with the biggest highlight being a great view of an early Black-capped Vireo. This afternoon I drove up to Salt Plains NWR, and saw Snowy Plovers out on the salt flats. There were Ring-necked Pheasants along most of the roads in the evening slanted sun. Tomorrow I'm going to the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve to look for Greater Prairie-Chickens, and then I'll go home.

gold parties