I came, I saw, I birded

The first week of May usually means peek spring migration. My goal was to observe spring migration this year feeling as if I missed spring migration of 2018 and having had such a fantastic time birding during fall migration last year.

No, this is not a bird. It’s a bee. I just love the photo.

Friday I decided to do a dry run testing out my Global Big Day strategy. My goal was 50 birds in one day. Realistically a birder needs to achieve most of their account first thing in the morning as the birds are not out in the sun from late morning on – waterbirds are a different story. My plan was to hit up my local pond and prairie areas to count songbirds early in the morning. Luck was on my side as Eastern Meadowlarks and Scissor-tailed Flycatchers were enjoying a cool morning of bugs.

A Dickcissel singing in the morning
A Scissor-tailed Flycatcher sitting pretty
An Eastern Meadowlark enjoying prairie grub

I visited Lake Grapevine in the afternoon photographing bluebirds, Great Egrets, and Great Blue Herons all around the lake. All and all I was pretty satisfied with my strategy.

Carolina wren
Swainson’s Thrush
Bluebird
Spotted Sandiper
Great Blue Heron

Saturday marks my second Global Big Day, a day where all birders are running around counting all species of bird through auditory and visual means. Instead of describing in detail my day, I will point you over to the podcast I host along with Austin Roe called the Back Porch Birding Podcast. Episode ten is all about May 4, 2019. Below is my photo of a Cottonmouth snake. You’ll have to listen to the show to hear what happened.

Listen to Back Porch Birding Podcast ->

Cottonmouth

Monday, I visited Pecan Valley Park for the first time. I had read an eBird alert for warblers in the area. Having yet to see any, I thought I’d give it a shot. I usually put on my mud boots when I’m unfamiliar with the terrain. This would be the first time I would be challenged by what felt like quick sand. Every step was a challenge but well worth it. Not 20 minutes into my outing I was able to photograph Least Flycatchers.

Least Flycatcher
Least Flycatcher
Least Flycatcher

Climbing up a hill I noticed the prairie lit with all sorts of colorful wildflowers. I stopped to take some macro photos having to change out my lens. I’m always torn with macro photography being outdoors always afraid I’m going to miss that lifer bird sighting.

I captured an Olive-sided Flycatcher for the first time perched on a dead limb shared by a Painted Bunting, Downy Woodpecker, and two Doves. The Olive-sided Flycatcher had dibs on the highest perch.

Olive-sided Flycatcher

The Painted Bunting was in my general vicinity the entire time allowing me to take some pretty good shots with my 300mm.

Painted Bunting

Clay-colored Sparrows enjoyed bugs in a burn pile further back in the trees.

Caly-colored Sparrow

Traveling back to my car is when I always see the best stuff and I would not be disappointed. I spied a black and orange small little bird on a large oak tree. Turned out to be an American Redstart. I wanted to see warblers. Saw one!

American Redstart

Bewick’s Wren are becoming my favorite species of bird for their feather palette of earth tone colors, long beak, and boisterous song. One Bewick’s Wren wanted to make his presence known.

Bewick’s Wren

I wrapped up my Global Big Four Day extravaganza having viewed 51 species of birds, five of them lifers, meaning the first time I had ever viewed the bird before.

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