Distance-wise, my house is much closer to Pedernales Falls than my previous apartment. Because of the actual roads available, I’m only about 20 minutes closer, but that’s still a big improvement. Sadly, I have only been to Pedernales once since I moved. There’s been a million things to do and until recently, I was often not here on the weekends.
In late September of last year, I finally made it out. For the most part, it was the normal birds. There were several people there, which was unusual. It worked out quite well, since they were more birders than photographers. It helps me out immensely when people are watching with binoculars and either notice birds I don’t or when I’m busy taking photos. I perked my ears up when someone said they saw a White-eyed Vireo. I have been trying for years to catch one. This one was well in the back of the north blind, but it was definitely a Vireo. It was not easy to get photos, but I managed a couple and came away from the trip very happy.
Before I left, there was one more surprise. I looked down and was slightly terrified to see a small snake making its way across the blind, a little too close to me. I gathered my senses, and waited for it to come out from around the corner where it had darted. I have no idea what species it was, but I’m glad it was a cooperative and friendly one. According to my photos, I haven’t seen a snake since 2010!
Yes, that is the correct date. Since moving to a house last year, I’ve been very busy. While collecting photos from 2015, I discovered some from the Austin Cars and Coffee that I never processed. Although I am several minutes closer to it, I have not been back out. After awhile, it’s not that exciting because chances are you’ve seen them all before. I labeled them as best I could, but identifying cars is harder than birds sometimes.
There are only 6 new photos, but I am a completionist, so I had to update. I have alot more free time now, so the wildlife photos will be up soon I hope. Being out in the “country”, it’s much more interesting than the occasional squirrel…
Last weekend we were driving north on I35 around sunset. Far away on the horizon I could see smoke. Not unusual. But it wasn’t normal smoke, which stays together. This was like huge puffs of smoke. I thought maybe clouds, but it was moving too fast. As we got closer we thought they were birds. LOTS of birds. My first thought was swifts since they are known for large flocks at dusk, before they settle in for the night. But these were leaving, not arriving. Doris was driving, so I whipped out my phone and started recording. This was made easier by everyone slowing down to watch them. I thought it was just the usual traffic jam, but not today!
As we watched thousands of them go by, I could see they weren’t shaped like birds, but more like bats! Austin is well-known for the 1.5 million Mexican Free-tailed bats that live under the Congress bridge. I’ve been down there to see them once, but they didn’t leave until after dark, so I couldn’t see much. I did not know about the additional 1 million bats in Round Rock. Apparently they don’t mind the train that runs under their home.
This is less than 1 mile south from where I used to bird on occasion, which is the Brushy Creek area by the I35. I would definitely like to head out there some time for proper photos and video.