12 November 2008

Day Two in Texas

Day two in Texas brought me to the great birding hotspot of King Ranch. Once again I had excellent guides that with much effort helped us see the Ferrigunous Pygmy-Owl. Much of the trip was spent luring out the owls but I saw a total of 47 species on the ranch. One of the highlights (other than the owls) was the killer looks of White-tailed Kite.

Since King Ranch is infested with sand spurs we were encouraged to tape up our shoelaces and pant legs. This proved to be a very colorful fashion show of duct tape colors. Here are a few of my favorites modeled by Sharon and Robert respectively.

As for myself, I went with the yellow tape. I decided that this was a look I would keep for the duration of the festival. Birders aren't known for having good fashion and I felt that I wanted to keep a little of the King Ranch spirit with me for the rest of my time in Texas.

Other than the birds and the duct tape fashion show one of my favorite encounters had to be Jeff's capture of a Texas Indigo Snake. This was a beast of a snake that must have been over 5 feet long. Jeff was quite a sport throwing his scope to the ground to help pin this snake so we could all have a closer look. Check out the pictures below. Notice how big the head is, that's one snake I wouldn't want to have bite me.

The King Ranch was a nice trip. Least Grebes stole the show at one pond with their young. I even saw another owl species on this trip, Great Horned Owl. And we even picked up a few birds on this trip that I wouldn't see elsewhere for my Texas list like Ruddy Duck, Sandhill Crane, and Northern Bobwhite.

After a half day at King Ranch I picked up my friend Kim for a side trip out to Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge but that post will to wait until tomorrow.

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