Beast Mode

Not sure where this myth about vacations being relaxing originated from. Obviously not from one of our outings, that’s for sure. We have been basically in birding “beast mode” since we headed south right after Christmas. The days leading up to the new year was focused on trying to reduce the gap from 300 – the days since have been a whirlwind of checks as the Average Year slate was wiped clean. Definitely two sides of the same coin. Every check at the end of the year felt like getting teeth pulled versus the check extravaganza beginning on the first. While Brad was entertaining you with his +1, Linda and I (and Ron while he was down here) were hitting the south Texas hotspots trying not to miss any key birds that are only accessible in this particular region. Time after the sun went down was spent trying to catch up on my mail (Sisyphus could relate) and doing my best to clean up the Birding Chronicles to close out 2022 and reset for 2023. I need to update the text, but I did get the plot captures updated – 2022 can be found here and the 2023 shell can be found here (note, for ease I added a quick summary on the title page (link here). Thanks to an amazing day today at Brazos Bend State Park, the 2023 stats are already out of date – my latest count is 170! Pretty good for only 20 days into the year.

In honor of the birding “beast mode”, thought I’d go with a beast of a different kind.

Nilgai Antelope found off highway between South Padre Island and Brownsville on our January 2022 trip to Texas

Hit the jump to learn more about our surprise while driving to one of our base camps on South Padre Island.

Continue reading Beast Mode

Gator for Fast Food Delivery

The month counter has officially gone up by one which means the post count falls all the way back to zero.  Figured it was time to give my non-birding friends a break from the barrage of birds last month.  Don’t be fooled though, you are not out of the woods yet .. or more appropriately I guess, not out of the Gulf Coast yet.  If things go as planned, there will be a bevy of new birds to read about this month from our Texas trips.  First, let’s have a chuckle!

Birding Gator Speak for Food Delivery

That there is one scary beast.  For some reason I really wasn’t thinking about the dangers of birding on my first trip to Texas several years back.  It wasn’t until our second visit to Padre Island that we came face to face with a living dinosaur or rather BIG ASS LIZARDS.  Our first day at Padre Island Birding and Nature Center back in January 2017, we saw a number of signs on the railings supposedly indicating an Alligator sighting.  We didn’t see a single one that morning and both of us decided it was all a grand hoax to tease the visitors.

Alligators encountered while birding Texas in January 2017 - South Padre Island

Hit the jump to see the rest of the Gator shots we were able to get in the tin!

Continue reading Gator for Fast Food Delivery