Frustrating Fulvouses

Howdy everyone! Although I did get another Halloween project out on the mothership (Our updated UV Light Bombs link here), it has been a bit of time since we’ve had a real wildlife post. To remedy that, today I wanted to bring you a new lifer bird in thanks for having to sit through that rather lengthy project post(s). Some house cleaning before I get to that.

First off, I left my readers hanging on the outcome of the Bix7 race. Some details were provided in response to a few of the comments that asked how it went. As a whole it went quite well! The weather probably lands in the top 5 best conditions I’ve had for that event. End of July races in the Midwest can be brutal with the heat and humidity sucking out every bit of moisture in your body. I’ll never forget the year the course was littered with runners getting IVs in the street gutters. Somewhat cool at the start and smattering of clouds that kept a lot of the humidity in check. They did add a new layer of asphalt to the middle of the race course a year or two ago and for some reason that portion really cooks ya’. Beyond that – no performance excuses can be levied on the race conditions. My primary focus was on the tender ankle. Right before the gun went off I gave it a very stern lecture on how there would be NO whining, NO bitching and certainly NO pansy footing tolerated – there was Whitey’s popsicles at stake and nothing was going to jeopardize getting that delicious post race treat – Linda calls me a medal whore.. in reality I am more of a popsicle whore ha. To keep with tradition, I’ll put a full account of the race in a future post (on the mothership), but as a summary – ankle did just fine. Had some minor swelling afterwards, which was less than expected so complete success. Note – the next day I was moving a ridiculously heavy washer up a truck ramp and the damn thing fell on top of me pinning my injured ankle under it. That pissed me off, but I couldn’t yell at the ankle for that – that was all me and the guy I was helping getting distracted by a Squirrel. Although extremely frustrating at the time, ended up being okay and no additional damage occurred – at least not the serious kind. Ankle continues to improve and now with the ultra race coming up here in October, I’ve been hitting the trails hard and it is holding (always mind over body!).

In honor of being frustrated with the washer incident, decided this, or should I say these, would be a good feature for today.

Fulvous Whistling-Duck found at Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge, Anahuac, TX in January 2022

Hit the jump to read about why these Fulvous Ducks are equated to rampaging appliances

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Whistle While You Waddle

How’s it going out there in the blogosphere? I am starting to feel really good about the Texas production – been some work to get to this point, but clearly on a path to put a serious dent in my birding backlog. Not to mention, definitely picking up some ground on my brother, although I am taking advantage of his distaste for the cold weather (I keep reminding him how odd that is being that he chooses to live in the Windy City). Maybe have a large queue of unprocessed trip pictures is a godsend and not a yoke.

How about we do some more den birding. Back in December 2016 (trust me, my backlog goes several years beyond this), Linda and I stopped off at Conroe, Texas on our way down to South Padre Island. Guessing this was a good stopping point for a day’s travel as opposed to a specific destination at the time. For those interested, we found an incredible Mexican restaurant there – major yum. Since we had some time to spare I looked up some local birding locations.

Whistling Duck found at William Goodrich Jones State Forest, Conroe in Texas December 2016

The William Goodrich Jones State Forest had good reviews and was relatively close. It also boasted having the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker. I’ve been to several preserves and refuges claiming they host this Pecker, but every time I’ve come up empty tinned. This happens to be an oddly situated park. There’s an apartment complex on the side of it (at the main pull off entrance) and a sizeable (and busy) road cutting right through it. To be honest, I really didn’t have too high of hopes for finding anything decent. My optimism for the Pecker has since devolved into pure pessimism. I’m always up for a good hike, so grabbed the Beast and headed out to explore.

Whistling Duck found at William Goodrich Jones State Forest, Conroe in Texas December 2016

There was a small pond as you first come into the forest. I saw some activity on it from the RV, but again, didn’t really think much about it – probably some Mallards splashing around or Coots practicing their walk on water bar trick. Every experience that moment when something catches your peripheral vision, but doesn’t really process until you’ve taken a few more steps. Slowly the mind sorts through the grey matter until it finds some piece of stored data it can relate this new input – maybe I am just getting old and my processor is getting long in the tooth. As it came into focus I even stopped walking to re-run the quick sort algorithm – Bird->Water->Duck->No Green->Not Mallard->Partial Black->Not a Coot->Orange Bill->Merganser->Black Eye->Not Merganser WHAT?

Whistling Duck found at William Goodrich Jones State Forest, Conroe in Texas December 2016

Hit the jump to read more about this musical duck!

Continue reading Whistle While You Waddle