The Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge down the road toward Mexico is our "home" birding spot - not the best maybe, but it is close. This morning we went down just late enough that Lorna missed her morning group walk and had to hurry to find them. I am not a group walk kind of birder, I prefer birding with no more than four people. You gain eyes with a group, but at some point it's like a marching band trying to sneak up on birds. I wandered off in the opposite direct, slowly sauntering out toward Pintail Lake. When I broke out of the shelter of the thorn scrub into the open marsh it was winder than...than...winder than a Texas metaphor. Anyway, across the march I spied Lorna's group, less Lorna, looking for Grooved-bill Ani's. I cut back away from them to find shelter and more solitude. Along the trail I met Lorna and I send her off in the right direction to find her group. I sat on the bench at Willow Lake looking at Blue-winged Teal and Shovelers (which technically are aberrant teal themselves), ate a breakfast orange and drank a small thermos of the morning birder's friend, hot strong coffee. As it was still very windy the birds were hunkered down, so I followed their lead and sought an even more sheltered bench. Found it, killed the last of the coffee and waited for the birds to come to me rather than beating the bush looking for them. Eventually a few showed up. I was pleased to see a Clay-colored Thrush - used to be referred to as a Clay-colored Robin - it is rare as far north as the border land, known as a "good bird" to the life-list counters - the bird name collectors. I got some pictures. Here's a couple of them.
|I always feel I've done a good job when I can see the reflection of the skyline in the bird's eye. Or even better, the reflection of the photographer. Look close.|