Nearby, a curve-billed thrasher took the sun in a brushpile.
Now this is another thing we don't have: green kingfishers. Ohh beautiful bird.
Caught a fish, she did (you can tell it's a girl by her rusty bra).
And swallered it down.
Devilishly difficult to photograph a ladder-backed woodpecker, which is the ecological equivalent of the downy in South Texas. They're always on the other side of the limb, tapping away.
A lovely flight of long-billed curlews goes over, reminding me yet again that I'm not in Ohio.
and a mottled duck drops into the lagoon.
The unlikely star of the show was a northern beardless tyrannulet, a tropical flycatcher much sought after in South Texas. Dave Irons knew just where he'd be, trilling dryly. I remembered beardless tyrannulets from the Brasilian Amazon, remembered their call. Amazing, to have that memory sift up through my much-used gray matter.
Liam's paraque was in exactly the same spot she was two days ago, but this time she was looking at us with eyes in the back of her head. I've got those too. Ask Liam. (He really thought I did have them for the longest time; he used to sort through my hair to find them. How else could I know what he was doing behind my back?)
I love this shot! The bird is facing away. I'm still trying to figure out why the paraque would roost just inches off the trail and put up with being awakened dozens of times each day by gawking birders. What is it about that exact spot that makes it worthwhile for the bird to stay there? File under Things I'll Never Understand But am Thankful For.
I didn't expect to come away from a bird festival in Texas with a vision straight out of the wild blue sky of North Dakota. White pelicans wheel over Estero Llano, and I found myself wondering if I'd look up smiling next June during our Prairie Ramble and draw in my breath at the same bird circling near Chase Lake.
You never know who you'll run into at a birding festival.