It was a gorgeous morning for a quick walk in our little Texas town. Seven a.m. is my favorite time of day; even when it’s prior to the morning coffee. Desi and I quickly dressed before the heat hit Mineral Wells full tilt. I grabbed the XS-1 and off we went. Critters are scurrying about, while the dove coo overhead. Fantastic time of day. A Cardinal can be heard in the distance as well as the buzzing of bees. Birding is not always about looking for birds. For me, it is about getting out in nature. One cannot necessarily commune with nature while in the neighborhood, but one can get away from daily stress and enjoy the moment. Some men hit walls to relieve stress; I prefer to watch, listen, walk and capture moments in time stopped with a click of the shutter.
We counted eight species of birds during our 30 minute walk, located some bees, and saw a squirrel or two. My sharped-eyed wife found a Red-Bellied Woodpecker high in a tree. She amazes me. I walked past the tree ignoring what I knew to be Western Kingbirds fighting overhead. Mixed in with them was this woodpecker. Click. Cardinals were everywhere. Fantastic. House Sparrow, House Sparrow, more House Sparrows. Western Kingbirds, Northern Mockingbirds, Young Scissor-Tail, and White-Winged doves lining the wires as we walk. Kingbirds and Mockingbirds dive down into the street to grab unlucky insects. Great morning for a walk.
Time to load up the photos and turn off the computer. What will tomorrow bring?
The wife is at work, so I take a walk in the neighborhood. It was a bright, clear day. In fact, it was a bit bright and late for photography. During the walk, I saw two very distinct looking birds diving into the trees a couple of blocks over. They were decent size raptors, grey in color with white heads. So, I walk over. Upon my arrival, I discover a couple of Western Kingbirds fighting over the right to a tall tree branch. The winner was NOT well rewarded. I captured a couple of photos of the squawking bird when this raptor took the Kingbird right out of my frame and into a nearby tree. The raptor, I later discovered was a Mississippi Kite. WOW! Our Oaks are FULL of cicadas and the noise must have drawn them in… more on them in another post. Enlarge the photo below and look in the top left corner. Pure luck!
Western Kingbirds are very common throughout Palo Pinto county; especially, throughout my neighborhood. Their bright yellow underpants are hard to miss. One of the shots I captured was sorta rare, the red crest on top of the head is rarely seen. Photo also seen at Texas Bird Images.