Saturday, December 27, 2008

Big Bend Trip Day 2: Marathon & The Post

As Deanne isn't a great fan of early morning birding, she missed this beautiful sunrise behind our room.

She also missed a dawn trip to The Post, a local park with a good reputation for attracting birds.

The Post

The park had a nice range of birds, from American Coots and Marsh Wrens to Horned Larks, Swamp Sparrows, Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Eastern Meadowlarks.

Eastern Meadowlark

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

On the way back to the motel, I had an excellent view of the first Greater Roadrunner of our trip.

Greater Roadrunner

Once Deanne was up and ready, we set off back to The Post for a couple of hours of birding together. The most abundant birds were White-crowned Sparrows but we also spotted Ladder-backed and Golden-fronted Woodpeckers, White-winged Doves, Loggerhead Shrike and American Kestrel. We were both thrilled to see two of our favorite birds, Black Phoebe and Say's Phoebe.

Black Phoebe

Back in Marathon, we had another dreadful meal at the town's second diner and spent the rest of the day relaxing in the motel courtyard. We were surprised to see that the Cactus Wrens were busy collecting nesting material. Presumably either the Wrens nest throughout the year or else the mild weather had persuaded them that spring was already on its way.


Marathon is a tiny town with little to recommend it except the motel, a couple of small art galleries (both closed whenever we looked) and the restaurant in the Gage Hotel. The restaurant had very good food but was pricey: entrees ran $30 to $60!

The only vulture we saw on our trip

The bank in Marathon

The day ended with another spectacular sunset, followed by a star-studded night sky.

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