March 17, 2014 Goose Island, Texas

Scissortail Flycatcher
Scissortail Flycatcher

Migrants are arriving!

On the way out of the campground, I caught this tricolor heron fishing in one of the ponds just as the sun was beginning to light things up.

Tricolor Heron at Sunrise
Tricolor Heron at Sunrise

As always, click on any image for a larger, sharper version.

Tricolor Heron Fishing
Tricolor Heron Fishing

While there were 9 Whoopers scattered around the pastures, none were close enough to get any good shots, so I headed back to the campsite to get some computer work done. At the last second I decided to run up to the fishing pier in the campground just in case there were some small wading birds on the water’s edge.

As I drove between the two sections of waterfront campsites, I spotted some colorful movement in the tall grass and shrubs on the side of the road…a scissortail flycatcher, a new bird for me!

Scissortail Flycatcher
Scissortail Flycatcher
Scissortail Flycatcher
Scissortail Flycatcher
Scissortail Flycatcher Pair
Scissortail Flycatcher Pair

 

 

Scissortail Flycatcher
Scissortail Flycatcher
Scissortail Flycatcher
Scissortail Flycatcher

 

 

 

 

 

On my way back from shopping yesterday, I spotted this odd couple along the road in Fulton. They appeared to be channeling their inner hunting dog, although they seemed a little confused as to which way to point.

Roseate Spoonbill and Great Egret
Roseate Spoonbill and Great Egret

 

February 17, 2014 Grand Isle, Louisiana

Black crowned night heron returning to roost
Black crowned night heron returning to roost

Some Nice Shots Inside the State Park

I was able to get some nice shots this morning at sunrise of the black crowned night heron at the park entrance flying back to his roost. Also found an osprey, a white ibis devouring a crab, and a tri color heron, all inside the park.

As always, just click on any image to get a larger, sharper version.

Tri colored heron
Tri colored heron
yellow helicopter
A different kind of bird overhead

One of the disadvantages of this campground is the almost constant noise of oil support vessels and helicopters roaring about 24 hours a day delivering goods and workers to the offshore rigs.

Osprey at the sushi bar
Osprey at the sushi bar

 

 

Black crowned night heron yawning
Black crowned night heron yawning
Black crowned night heron
Black crowned night heron

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

White ibis with crab
White ibis with crab

 

White ibis with crab
White ibis with crab

The Winegard Saga Continues

Later, I got in touch with Winegard and was told that the “AZ motor stalled” error message I got after the last fix, wasn’t good, and that I probably will need a second replacement unit. He suggested, as a very last resort, that I manually stow it and then power up and recalibrate. So, up on the roof yet again and manually stowed the unit. Back down and turned the power on and recalibrated the system, all to no avail. At this point, I am fed up with this process, so I went on the internet to find an authorized Winegard dealer around New Orleans and it turns out there is one in Metarie. I called Winegard one last time, waited two hours for the call to be returned, told them I was done fooling around with their system and I wanted the entire system replaced by the dealer in Metarie. They actually agreed to do just that, so, I now have an appointment for 8 AM next Monday to finally ( I hope ) get this sorry experience behind me.

OhNoMyKeyboardQuit!

In the middle of all this, my Mac keyboard began dying this AM. First, the “i” key failed. OK, “me” can work around that. Uh oh, now the comma key won’t work well that’s not good but lots of people don’t punctuate all that well so “me” can live with that “me” guess. Oh crap now the “8” the ”i” the ”k” and the comma all don’t worc plus now a row of numerals also has qu1t.Reallynowthespacekeyhasqu1t.T1meforanewkeyboard“me”guess!Nosatell1tteTVandnowno wayto1ntell1gentlycommun1catebyema1lorsearchthe1nternetfor1nfojustwonderful!

Black crowned night heron returning to roost
Black crowned night heron returning to roost
Osprey at the sushi bar
Osprey at the sushi bar
Black crowned night heron returning to roost
Black crowned night heron returning to roost

 

 

 

 

Black crowned night heron returning to roost
Black crowned night heron returning to roost
Black crowned night heron returning to roost
Black crowned night heron returning to roost

 

 

 

 

 

January 23, 2014 Bolivar Peninsula, Texas

Royal terns
Royal terns

Some really nasty weather predicted for this afternoon through Friday, ice, sleet, freezing rain, maybe even snow with 30 mph north winds, pretty nasty for this part of Texas, and supposed to be even worse a little farther north. Guess I am glad I decided to plunk down here on the Bolivar Peninsula and not go any further north until this thing blows past.

Went to turn on my rooftop Winegard Trav’ler sat. dish last night and it would only go up a little, make a 360 degree turn and then pack itself away again, giving a “no LNB voltage” message on the interface box. Went up on the roof and checked out all the coax connections and everything seemed tight, same inside the RV. Called the Winegard help line and after 3 attempts finally had a tech return my call, but she did not seem to understand my situation. Next tried to do an online support ticket and got a response several hours after I entered it, so I only answered the tech’s question this AM. Will be kind of curious how that version of support goes. Supposedly, Winegard has a good reputation for support, but so far, I am not impressed. I had this automatic dish installed 8 months ago and have been pleased with its performance, it dials right in on a signal quickly and never loses the signal in windy conditions like the little manual rooftop dish that came installed on the motorhome would.

After having lunch, with the foul weather still not arrived, I decided to venture out and head up to Rollover Pass, High Island, and then on to Anahuac NWR.

Willet feeding
Willet feeding
Snowy egret breeding colors
Snowy egret

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It seemed strange to pull into Rollover Pass and see it completely deserted, not a single fisherman, I guess a winter storm warning must scare reasonable folks off. There were a few wading birds in the flats there, but not very many.

The remains of Highway 87
The remains of Highway 87
A pair of terns
A pair of terns

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Proceeded up Route 87 to where the highway turns inland to High Island and drove out the dirt road north along the hurricane ravaged abandoned old Route 87, scouting for seabirds and found several gulls and terns on the edge of the surf. The image to the right above shows the centerline of the abandoned 40 mile stretch of Highway 87 heading north to Sea Rim.The highway was closed in 1989 when hurricanes Chantal and Jerry washed out the roadway. More evidence of the power of Mother Nature.

Least tern in flight
Least tern in flight
Forster's tern in flight
Forster’s tern in flight

 

 

 

 

 

 

The skies were getting dark and the wind was starting to pick up, but I decided to check out Anahuac NWR anyway, since I know I won’t be getting out the next couple of days.

I was running low on gas when I drove past the last gas station in High Island and I had forgotten how far it was to Anahuac so I was getting a little nervous about running out of gas as I finally drove into the refuge. Don’t know if the threatening weather was the cause or not, but there was very little in the way of birds at Anahuac, no snow geese at all, very, very few ducks, and little of anything else, I will have to come back out after the cold front passes through.

The Prius has a function on one of its monitor settings that shows you how many miles you have left to go before running out of fuel. I watched this pretty closely as I left Anahuac, which, if you haven’t been there, is in the middle of nowhere, and anxiously headed back towards High Island. The monitor said I had 20 miles of fuel left and that was about how far away from High Island I guessed I was. When High Island was finally in sight as I crossed the bridge over the coastal waterway, my monitor said 2 miles of fuel left and that would calculate out to less than 1/25th of a gallon. With great relief, I coasted in to the gas station with 1 mile of fuel showing on the monitor. I assume that the remaining fuel estimate probably is going to be on the conservative side, but just out of curiosity, I wish I were brave enough to have kept on going to find out for sure, since I don’t think I will ever intentionally put myself in this position again anytime in the near future.

Tri colored heron
Tri colored heron
Tri colored heron
Tri colored heron
Snowy egret breeding colors
Snowy egret
Oystercatcher liftoff
Oystercatcher liftoff

 

 

 

 

 

Oystercatcher
Oystercatcher