It’s been a rough week. Since the last post I’ve not been able to get around to do much birding. I only went to the lake once because we were so busy at work (not a good thing for me or the residents of Hutchinson County when the ambulance is busy.) To top it all off, I pulled a muscle in my lower back last Tuesday lifting my beer cooler. Sadly, the cooler only had Sam Adams in it (it’s an hour drive to a store that has anything other than Coors’, Bud, Miller, or Sam Adams beer.) My back was a little stiff during the week, not too bad really, until Saturday. We had a rodeo standby Saturday afternoon and after standing around for 3 hours my back was killing me. I lifted patients all week with no problem, but just standing for a few hours did me in.
Despair not, Gentle Reader, today made up for the whole nasty week. Although we got off to a slow start this morning because of my back and because of some overnight storms that were still lingering, Sheila and I headed out to the lake as soon as the heat packs and acetaminophen kicked in and my back loosened up a bit. At Spring Canyon we had to drive through some hail drifts where flooding had piled them, and through a lot of mud and rocks that had washed down from the canyon walls. It was worth the effort. One of the first birds we saw was a Green Heron, a new bird (a life bird in birding parlance) for me. It was cloudy and so the light wasn’t all that great, but I still was able to get a few good shots of him.
We also saw a dozen or so Cliff Swallows, Red-winged Blackbirds, an Eastern Meadowlark, several Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, a Chihuahuan Raven, a Rock Wren. Sheila and I really love to watch the Wrens. They are small and kind of plain-looking, but they act like they are 6 foot tall and gilded.
We drove around to Cedar Canyon so I could show Sheila the Orchard Oriole I had seen there Friday morning. There were also several Western Kingbirds and 3 Northern Mockingbirds jousting over territory.
We then drove to Amarillo and had ribs and brisket and pulled pork for lunch. We stopped at Market Square and used the gift card my youngest had bought me for my birthday (too young to buy beer) and picked up an assortment of beers that included Stone IPA, Lagunitas Imperial Red Limited Release, and a mixture of Sierra Nevada‘s offerings. I’m not sure if my back feels better, or if I just don’t care anymore.
There were some bright spots during the week–the Orchard Oriole I mentioned, and a couple of American Avocets. I’ve been seeing larger groups of avocets over on Meredith for several weeks but they are too far away for good shots. Friday, these two were at the ‘Stillin’ Basin rooting around in a newly flooded area and I was able to get some nice photographs of them.
Check out the galleries for more photos of the birds mentioned in this post.