Saturday, January 10, 2015

Woo are you...

So today I decided to try and knock off the rest of my "Eastern" owls. So up at 3:30 am, out of the house by 4 am, and on site in Chamber's County by 5:20 am. I routinely owl this area for the Bolivar CBC and so I have some favorite sites, but that's with special permission to be in Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge before it opens. The refuge is not open to birders until 1 hour before sunrise. Sunrise today was 7:15, so I was not able to enter the refuge until 6:15 am today.

At about 5:20 am I pulled up to the entrance road on FM 1985. The plan was to work FM 1985 until the refuge was open at 6:15 am right at the entrance there was a Barn Owl on a fence post. Owl species 2 for the year. I had about a dozen owls on FM 1985 on December 18, 2014 along this road, but that was under excellent conditions and starting about 90 minutes earlier. Barn Owls go to bed early and start to get hard to find an hour before sunrise. Conditions were also not great, wet and cold with no moon. Over the next 45 minutes I was only able to find one Eastern  Screech-Owl, but hey, that was owl species number 4.

When it became time to enter the refuge I headed in and set up about 30 minutes before sunrise at the northern end of the Yellow Rail Prairie with the scope and started scanning.By sunrise I had found 3 Short-eared Owls working over the prairies.

Most of the time there is a Great Horned Owl roosting in the Jackson Prairie Woodlot, but not today, So I dipped on the easiest owl, but I'm not sweating that yet, lots of opportunities for Great Horned in the next 11.5 months!

I had to be Liberty Texas at 10 am, so I had only until 9 am to look for the Anna's Hummingbird in High Island. By the time I made it to High Island I only had 15 minutes to look for it! Fortunately the bird made a brief appearance five minutes after I got there. I waited until I had to leave with no opportunity for picture I'm afraid.

After my meeting in Liberty, TX it began to rain and so yawning from lack of sleep I headed home.

Still not a bad day with 4 out of 5 target birds found.

Tomorrow's targets, Greater Pewee, Allen's Hummingbird, and Rufus Hummingbird.

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