Thursday, September 5, 2013


... there will hundreds at a glance.  Thousands.  Flocks so large on the trans-Pecos horizons it may look like wisps and puffs of smoke.

However, for now; well, as of a couple of days ago there is one.

This one:

Lark Bunting (Calamospiza melanocorys), male

In high-desert grasslands such as the Marfa Plateau or our Marathon Basin, the number of Lark Buntings can be staggering.  Large, seed-eating flocks questioning us with a call of "What?..What?"

My first returning Lark Bunting noticed was back on the 18th of July.  Yes, we also had a single group of seven fly over-head on August 10th.  That's been it.  The single male in mid-July may have been this particular male, photographed a few days ago in the same general area as seen over a month prior.

For a bird that spends much of its life in such large flocks, I wonder if a sense of liberation at being the "first" on a wintering-ground is felt or loneliness?  Both?  That question is ofcourse far more human than bunting, but still..

If it was a call to all or a call to none, no matter; it won't be terribly long.

He will also lose that dapper, black suit of feathers; his summer-breeding plumage.

Welcome back.



  1. Remarkable pictures and remarkable writing.
    thanks for both.

  2. Yeah, looking forward to their return, but similarly disappointed to only get he 2nd fiddle LABU, without their formal dress.

    Sweet photos!