Sunday, December 27, 2015

Headed South

While I was in North Central Texas the Golden-crowned Warbler in Refugio was relocated. So at sunrise I was at Lions/Shelley Park looking and listening. It wasn't really very birdy. The wind was kicking up; part of the system that was going to dump a blizzard on my west Texas plans. Some of the usual suspects where there. An Audubon's Oriole that was calling was a good one. Shepdawg was there by then. We both needed this bird.

I started to hear the distinct dry chatter that was the Golden-crowned Warbler. Over the next 30-40 minutes I kept hearing it and I could not locate the bird in the thicket. I continually compared it to recordings of Golden-crowned and Wilson's Warblers and I was sure I was hearing Golden-crowned Warbler now. I'm going to count it, the Big Year Clock is ticking, Golden-crowned Warbler is going down as Year Bird 493. 

About 9:30 I headed for an appointment with a Crimson-collared Grosbeak that was found at a residence in Alamo, TX. I made it there about 1 pm. It was small place and the wind was blowing a gale. It felt like pretropical storm like. A small group was there and we filed into the small back yard looking. The wind made it hard. After about 30 minutes of looking we called it a dip and I headed for Del Rio.

It's about 350 miles to Del Rio from Alamo and I pulled into my motel about 9:30 pm, having traveled about 725 miles that day from Houston. I was ready to get some rest! I get my gear into the room and hear the smoke detector chirping. I call the desk and I get a battery and change the battery. Problem solved.

The bed is right by the a/c unit and I can feel the now 35 degree and 30 mpg wind blowing through the unit. No problem I turn on the heat. No heat, I turn it up to 80 degrees. No heat. Since everything is run by a computer processor these day I unplug it and count to 10 and plug it back in seeing if that will solve the problem. No heat.

I call the desk and tell them I have no heat. She asks me to cycle the power and I tell her I've already done that. She says she will give me another room. As I am grabbing my jacket to go back down to the office I feel heat. Problem solved and I cancel the room change.

Well, I wake at midnight cold. There is only a little heat coming out and its not warming the room up. I'm dead tired and don't want to move. I double the blanket up and can make the night. Back to sleep.

At 4:40 am the smoke detector goes off for about 3 seconds. I can't find anything wrong, I go back to my chilly sleep. 5:17 am the smoke detector goes off for 3 seconds again. I still can't find a problem. I manager to get a few more minutes sleep until I get up at 6 am. I don't feel well rested for this day.

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