Sunday, April 20, 2014

East of the Pecos, West of the Pecos

Better late than never, and better to be slightly within the greater region than entirely in the wrong state, I hope! After surviving all that Big Bend threw at me, surveys at Amistad and the Devil's River were on the menu. Thankfully I was home for the first measurable rain that Marathon had all year (0.35 inches!) over Easter weekend before heading back. But...

The adventure started with a Myotis bat of some sort, unfortunately crisped and lodged in the front of a park vehicle. Sad, seems most of my bat work is with the deceased. At least this wasn't work related.

Myotis spp.
Overlooking the Devil's River.
Overlooking the Devil's River.
Overlooking the Devil's River.
What the...? Oryx.
San Pedro campground.
Horse crippler.
Excellent slopes to hike on. Kidding.
Just a cactus spine. That got pulled out of my leg.
The quick return home revealed a pile of mail with a copy of Texas Highways that included an article about the Davis Mountains. Those two folks on the left look awfully familiar...

Davis Mountains State Park, plus Trudell, York, and a team of volunteers.

Flip over a few more pages, and there's Jack Johnson of Amistad. Small world, considering that bat pic is from his work truck! Serious world shrinkage is occurring.

Jack Johnson, Panther Cave.

After the Amistad / Del Rio adventures, it was on to Fort Davis, then the Guadalupe Mountains... but Amistad certainly held its own with excellent bird diversity: White-throated Swift, Chimney Swift, Lesser and Common Nighthawks (Lessers making their amazing, skittery calling screeches) along with a nearly full set of swallows: Cave, Cliff, Northern Rough-wing, Bank, Barn, just about everything but Tree and Violet-green. Purple Martins and the Chimney Swifts made my head spin, feeling so very eastern. And on one afternoon, a bit of scouting around Del Rio proper turned up Great Kiskadee, Olive Sparrows, plenty of Long-billed Thrashers, Painted Buntings, and enough oriole activity to make me think I was in the Rio Grande Valley.

More adventures later!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds and looks amazing! I guess it's a bit more harsh when you're going it alone, but having some elements of danger and pain in the wilderness treks always make it feel a bit more real, more satisfying to me, than birding at the board-walk bedecked WMAs and what not. Very cool.