I get to throw in a new bird from time to time here at Intrigued and on those rare occasions like with the last I go crazy and give you two birds back to back. I know, I know, a lot to take in when that happens ha. You may need to sit down for this in case it becomes too overwhelming – today we are featuring .. wait for it … wait for it.. grab on to something sturdy… the THIRD new bird in a row. Think my heart may have skipped a beat just typing that as I do not think that has ever happened in the 14 years of this here blog. What’s up with all the counter clicking as of late, one word “pressure”. My brother Ron is coming on strong with his counts. 40 new birds when he met us Texas the year before, 20+ new birds from our birding trip to southern Alabama last month and now I find out he just tinned a new one over the weekend. I claw and claw at the dirt, but I just keep losing ground. The only thing going for me is he has a blog (link here) and as a result, he doesn’t get official credit for the +1 until it is featured there – that’s the agreed upon rules (link here – see rule 6!). Taking advantage of his posting sabbatical, let’s officially turn my counter.
You may have noticed, that you are not actually looking at a bird (although you may have been fooled by my previous blurry finger painting shots of birds and thinking it is in there somewhere ha). You are correct in this case, that is a tree trunk – a longleaf pine tree trunk to be specific. This particular specimen happened to be located in the Blackwater River State Forest in the Florida panhandle near Pensacola. This one happens to have a large white stripe on it with an ID. Over the years we have learned this is a sign you are likely to find something like this higher on the trunk.
Not always this amount of discoloration, but typically a patch of icky goo with a suspicious hole in the middle. I purposely took this shot due to how surprisingly extensive it was. Linda and I have hunted down these holes for over 6 years now. Traveled to the swamps of Georgia, the luscious forest of North Carolina, braved the heat of Arkansas, twice to Conroe, Texas, risked the suspension of the RV on something they called a road in Louisiana and a number of places in between those while on a birding mission – Linda would refer to it more as an obsession.
Tomato tomauto – hit the jump to reveal the catalyst for our many adventures.
Good news everyone, looks like you are in for a surprise with tonight’s post! Unless you happen to live in southern Central America or a large swatch of South America, in which case I probably overplayed the hype for just a Dove.
However, if you are not from those specified places I get to introduce you to …well, a Dove which you probably deduced from the general shape of our featured feathered friend. A relatively small rounded profile sitting atop a plump chest walking along the ground – yeah, definitely a Dove. The shape may be similar to the local variety you may be used to, but maybe the colors are throwing you off a bit.
Hit the jump to discover what kind of Dove this is!
Well, I finally beat a trail course today that has been putting a serious hurt on me since the day I discovered it. Even owned it being a bit tired from 3 hours of whacking weeds on the lot. Not sure what it is about this course.. wait, I do know – the 4 miles of what seems like continuous climb to start and the 2x repeats of 1 mile vertical climbs at the end have my legs and lungs begging for mercy. The 3 miles on top of the plateau of the big-ass hill aren’t so bad. Yep, basically the start and the end spent traversing the slopes that has been my nemesis – until today! Of course, now I’m wondering if I’ll ever be able to make it out of this chair tonight ha. Enough about personal struggles – let’s get to the reason you are here!
Before we go any further, please take a few steps away from your monitor. Can you still read this text without squinting? If so, please take a few more steps back and try again. Please repeat until you reach that optimum distance for this particular post. These shots would be better characterized with finger paints and hoping the extra distance will hide the less than stellar execution.
I am all kinds of late on this particular post. I was going to put it out Saturday and then got distracted and then planned to squeeze it in Sunday. When those days passed I figured yesterday at the latest. Clearly this Mother Goose is not pleased with my priorities.
So, without further delay, Happy belated Mother’s day to my mother and all the other mothers out there that are tasked with raising us and preparing us to take on whatever the world decides to throw at us. From the path of gosling to adulthood, they are either there physically to help guide us or at least in spirit as we continue to build off whatever lessons we were able to put in the memory banks.
I need to get on the stick with these posts. Between the yard work, running, birding and ramping up the Halloween prop lab for this year’s haunted trail (link here), things have been getting a bit bunched up. I was going to wait a bit on this one, but an encounter a few days ago while hitting the trails for some training felt like a sign.
Yes folks, we have our next installment of the “in a Tree” series. This one is not as odd as the previous Roadrunner in a Tree as I’ve witnessed a Wild Turkey in a Tree (WTiaT) a few time times in the past. Admittedly, on the rarer side as typically they are wandering around the ground or trying to play Frogger with Linda’s vehicle. As luck would have it, this is one of the few species Linda doesn’t have a silhouette of on her front fender – for the record she stands firm her bumper is the victim of animal suicides.
Hit the jump see a few more shots of our large bodied tree climber.
We are finally back from our exploration part deux. For those that didn’t already figure it out based on the recent comments, we headed down to the shores of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle for some migration birding. Ron was able to join us down there making for a wonderful time. We managed to hit the fallout while at Dauphin Island and had the best birding of our lives. Ron and I are both in the +20s which means almost certain I’ll be hitting my 300 bird list goal by the end of the year .. assuming I can get those posts out by then. More on the trip when I get to those posts. For now, going with what was previously the most recent trip – Texas in January.
So, to set the stage for this featured feathered friend, I need to weave in one of my fellow bloggers. Timothy over at Off Center & Not Even (link here) is an Owl aficionado, purveyor of sunsets , accomplished musician, clever poet, Bird tinner, Cat nurturer and owns a slick looking red car… to highlight just a few facets of things he covers on his entertaining blog.
Well, the latest exploration is nearing completion. Time to turn the RV northward and begin the return leg. Like a good Oreo, our trips tend to be a bit crunchy on the ends, but sweet and delicious in the middle. This year the special ingredient was our first fallout resulting in a Warbler extravaganza. Before you get too excited about the future posts, be patient. On a normal outing I can be a bit heavy on the shudder – after this trip I will likely need months of therapy to simply uncurl my index finger. Not to mention I haven’t even scratched the surface from the January trip. Getting way ahead of myself – focus Bri, focus!
As we are officially over the hump, I can dive back into the older captures. Tonight’s featured feathered friend comes to us from Havana. Ummm, before you start having a flashback to a bad Patrick Swayze sequel, that’s Havana, ILLINOIS. A rather nondescript small rural town that happens to sit near Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge – the jewel of the Midwest when it comes to birding.
Finally back on the keyboard. All I can really say at this point is the days have gotten a bit crazy since we embarked on our second exploration of the year. First week was a bit tiring as that was primarily travel days. Last week ended up being a birder’s paradise thanks to a bit of luck on the weather front. We really tried not to continue our long history of tugging bad Midwest weather down wherever we go – unfortunately, it continued as horrible rains raced us to our destination. Even hopped over us and pounded our first main stopping point so everything was nice and soaked for our arrival. A bit bummed, we headed to the recommended birding spots expecting the worst. Wow, were we wrong – imagine hundreds of birders standing on the roads, standing on the trails, standing under the trees, hell, hanging from the trees. Appears we managed to experience our first fallout! Will post more on that when we finally return, however, as a teaser I am at LEAST +22 for the trip so far. Now to more pressing matters – getting to the end of the month and the post production is a bit light. All hail the King of Kings.
As we are in the early part of the week, the promise is to deliver the fresher posts. Thankfully, I worked up a number of newer images before we departed. Today’s featured feathered friend comes to you from the first exploration trip of the season back in January. Seems like a lot longer than a mere three months ago. That excursion took us to Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park and to a new location called Edinburg Scenic Wetlands.
Hit to read a bit more about our rather stout Kingfisher or is it a scissors with feathers.
I think we are somehow cursed. Maybe that love of all things Halloween has finally overwhelmed my good karma or maybe it is all just a coincidence that bad weather tends stick to us like nettles on shoestrings. Regardless of the reason, we have once again brought a weather plague on the inhabitants of our exploration destination. On our southern Texas adventure we managed to bring unusually cold temps and rain to the natives and to further add in insult, managed to vacate the area just before the epic snow and ice storm hit them (please accept our apologies). Today we reached a primary destination and sure enough they are basically flooding out. Is it asking too much to have some “plain” weather !?!
Ummmm, there you go Mother Nature, jinxing me again clearly I requested plain WEATHER and what do I get.. a Plain Chachalaca. Unless this is a play on raining cats and birds, we are not properly communicating. Might as well go with it as the birding is currently at a standstill until this downpour lets up. As we are past the older post days, going with something fresh.
Hit the jump to see a few more shots of our featured bird.
Well, we are officially off on our exploration part deux for the year. Just in time, it appears, as our hometown county is experiencing some unexpected high numbers of Covid outbreaks. Not sure what is up with that, but at the moment, thankfully not something we need to worry about. So far the birding has been a bit weak, however, I have been able to get a long run in on an amazing set of trails. Told Linda it was like running on the set of The Last of the Mohicans. Good for the soul and the long steep elevation climbs was a good reminder to the legs they are still in training. As it is Flashback Friday, I get to pull from the front of the LIFO queue. Meet today’s Featured Feathered Friend.
We have been experiencing some unexpected cold temperatures on our exploration. Our destination should be significantly warmer – in the meantime I have to keep reminding myself we are officially past winter ha. While looking through the queue, noticed these shots that were taken in the same month and still had SNOW on the ground.
Hit the jump to see a few more shots of the big birds