Sunday, December 26, 2010

Big Bend Trip 4

We were up early (5:00) again on Sunday morning, watching the moon set in the Window.

I took a dawn walk along the Window Trail. 

I was hoping for Javelinas but didn't see a single mammal of any sort. Birds were scarce again, too; the only ones I saw were a bunch of Mexican Jays on a far-off hillside and a couple of Cactus Wrens collecting nesting material along the path.

As we'd really enjoyed the previous day, we decided to try the same route again for the first part of Sunday. So 8:30 saw us heading over to the Rio Grande Village.

We'd hardly started our walk through the campground before Dee told me to stop and look down. I hadn't noticed that a Greater Roadrunner was standing just feet away. It stayed long enough to let me take several photos.

We explored the "No Generator" zone, which was very busy with Northern Cardinals and Pyrrhuloxias.

There were other birds, too, of course: Say's Phoebe, Golden-fronted Woodpeckers, House Finches and Yellow-rumped Warblers.

The Nature Trail looked fantastic in the morning sun.

The reeds had Yellow-rumped Warblers, Verdins and Bewick's Wren, while the water had American Coots, Pied-billed Grebe and several turtles.


We moved down to Daniel's Ranch again for lunch. 


As before, we were in the company of birds: Vermilion Flycatcher, Verdin, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Northern Cardinals, Common Ravens, Golden-fronted Woodpeckers and Pyrrhuloxias.

The Golden-fronted Woodpeckers were busy again.

And the Kestrel was still around.

Lunch over, we drove back past the Chisos Mountains  and along the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive.


We stopped to admire a Red-tailed Hawk that drifted effortlessly up to and over the edge of the Chisos Mountains on the breeze.

We ended up at the Cottonwood Campground, overlooking the river.
There we spent an hour watching a variety of birds, including Vermilion Flycatcher, Black-throated Gary Warbler and Black-tailed Gnatcatcher. 

 Vermilion Flycatcher

Two Black Vultures circled overhead, a Great Blue Heron flew along the Mexican bank of the river, and a Spotted Sandpiper pottered about on a log in the water.

On our way back to the Chisos Basin we stopped in for a break at the Sam Nail ranch. The birds were very much the same as on Saturday - except that Dee spotted a Fox Sparrow - but it was pleasant watching the way different species happily drank together at the drip. And funny the way they all fled whenever the windmill clanked into action.

 N. Cardinal, White-crowned Sparrow and Hermit Thrush

So then it was back to the Chisos Basin for dinner after another day with no great new sightings but plenty of wonderful landscapes and enough birds to keep us occupied.



Birdwoman said...

A beautiful and birdiful area - one of my favorite places to visit.

Jeff said...

Unbelievably beautiful. And luckily so far from everywhere that it doesn't get too crowded with visitors.

Barbara said...

Beautiful job capturing the landscape!

Jeff said...

Thanks, Barbara, but it isn't difficult when the landscape is great every which way you look.