The last installment of my birding genesis story, Try Again, (which was a recap and continuation of The Mythical Post) ended with me sitting in the yard swing drinking coffee in the mornings and beer in the evenings while watching the birds at the feeders. I began taking pictures of the birds with my daughter’s EasyShare camera so that I could look them up in Birds of Texas–a nice book for beginning Texas birders by Keith Arnold and Gregory Kennedy.
One day I saw a photo in the local paper of a Barn Owl that was hanging out at the City Park. Sheila and I thought we would go try to photograph it. We wandered around the park for an hour or so one evening and had a blast, craning our necks to follow bird’s flights, then chasing after them to take their picture.
Some of the birds were familiar to us–Northern Mockingbirds, Mourning Doves, and Blue Jays were plentiful. There was a beautiful male Northern Cardinal as well. Others we had never noticed before and had no idea that they even came around here. We took quite a few pictures and headed back to the house to see what we had found. We didn’t see the owl that evening, although I did catch a glimpse of him a few days later while walking in the park early in the morning. I didn’t have the camera with me, unfortunately, and so far have been unable to photograph any owls.
Back at home we compared pictures to drawings in Birds of Texas and discovered that we had seen Western Kingbirds, European Starlings, Eurasian Collared Doves, Common and Great-tailed Grackles, and, best of all, American Kestrels.
The pictures aren’t that good, not even as clear as the ones I had been taking at home of the finches at my feeder. The desire for a better camera flamed–the quest for unknown birds begun.
Next time–The Nerdiness Escalates