We are now officially deep into the holiday season. Christmas will be here before we know it and the New Year stands ready to pile on disappointment for any unfulfilled ’22 goals. For a change, I happen to be in fairly good shape on the resolution front. As mentioned in a previous post, my 1200 mile goal has been met (currently at 1221.6 to be exact), and technically, my Average Year goals has been blown out of the water. Ron always reminds me that I thought it would be impossible to crest 200 birds in a single year. Stunned the count currently sits at 294 to the point I’m optimistic there’s an outside chance to crest 300. Two possible birds were on the hunt list for the end of this week (Prairie Falcon/Snowy Owl). Unfortunately, Mr. Freeze has decided to snow on my parade. The Four Snowmen of the Blizzpocalypse (link here) arrive tomorrow followed by the next “Ice Age” (-1F degrees base with 55mph gusts belching windchills to -30 and below). In those conditions, both Scrat and I would both lose our n….oses (link here). Fingers crossed we can get 6 checks the week after Christmas while we head south. In recognition of the “Hoodie” layer weather forecast – as in t-shirt, sweater, hoodie, coat, scarf, mittens and snoot-boot… how about we “check” out today’s featured feathered friend.
Hit the jump to read more about our orange flavored specimen.
I feel like I’m dragging on my production this month. Then again, that may be more of a fact than a “feeling”. Part of the reason for that is I am literally feeling drained thanks to a new endeavor I recently signed up for. Ever get in a rut with a hobby/pastime where that once enjoyable activity kind of loses a bit of its luster? Maybe it requires a tremendous amount of training just to be able to enjoy that moment in time, but now that training becomes more like work than the once buildup of excitement it brought when you were first starting on that journey. This is where I was starting to get with my running. The long training outings didn’t seem that bad thanks to being able to spend a few hours conversing with my fellow training buddies. Unfortunately, both of my partners in pain are out recovering from injuries making the long runs seem like.. well looong runs. Thought it was time to try something different – maybe get that spark back. Thanks to conversations with some co-workers, went ahead and committed to this “new” experience. I am going to leave the details until after next weekend (when the event occurs) in case it goes horribly wrong. What I can say, after two training sessions, it is much harder than I realized yet everyone that I encounter must be wondering why there is such a big smile on my face behind all that sweat. I can’t wait to see how this new experience turns out – wish me luck!
Looking back, that is one hell of a lead in to simply set the stage that I am sitting here relaxing in my den while relishing the aches in my legs – can’t think of a better time to knock out a post on another new bird on my list. Pop quiz… where did Brian find this feathered specimen…
UPDATE: Turns out I already featured this Warbler from my Georgia trip – apparently forgot to check it off my list: That first encounter is actually here.
I’m just going to go ahead and assume that Texas was bouncing around your cranium long before you got through that sentence. Yes, this is another new check from our birding trip to the Gulf Coast and along the Rio Grande Valley region back in December 2017. More specifically, this Yellow-Throated Warbler was spotted at Sabal Palm Sanctuary on New Year’s Eve. I posted previously on the surreal experience while visiting this sanctuary (link here). Still gives me an uncomfortable feeling when I recall it due to being the ONLY ones there. Definitely worth it though, since two new species made it onto my list – the Ladder-Backed Woodpecker and this much smaller warbler.
Hit the jump to see the only other image that made it into the tin.
I actually thought we might be out of the cold for a while. Temps were creeping back up to the point I was able to get multiple outdoor runs with minimal layers. The downside in that it immediately convinces your body that running on a treadmill is beneath it – both metaphorically and literally ha! Apparently it was just a tease being that it snowed this week and temps are hanging in the cold zone. Good news for you, It is still a perfect temperature for birding in my den.
Today’s post happens to come from another one of our Texas birding shoots.
That there is a Ladder-Backed Woodpecker,. which of course prompted my groaner of a title. The Ladder happens to be a +1 for my birding list, but this is not the only new experience I had that day. Should probably start by telling you where we were when Linda and I stumbled on this tree climbing Zebra. On our trip back to Texas over the recent Christmas/New Year’s break, we headed back to our favorite birding spot – the Texas Gulf Coast. This year we added an additional foray west along the southern tip of Texas. One of those places we stopped was near Brownsville, Texas at a place called Sabal Palm Sanctuary.
Hit the jump to read more about our visit to Sabal Palm Sanctuary.