Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, June 14, 2017

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, June 14, 2017
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, June 14, 2017

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year's Eve Day - Tues, Dec. 31

New Year's Eve day was downright fun! For the last day of the year, my 7.44 mile Volksmarch exceeded my expectations. Along the Mission Reach of the San Antonio Riverwalk, the birdwatching was as good as Mitchell Lake Audubon Wetlands.

When I started the walk at noon, the weather was chilly and I wore my heavy winter coat. First stop on my walk was Mission Concepcion. After the first three miles, I was back at the RV park to shed the heavy coat as the sun had come out and I was getting too warm.

Winter in San Antonio - looking toward Riverside Golf Course
Riverwalk Mission Reach Trail to RV Park
Fast forward 30 minutes: The sun went behind the clouds not to be seen again for the rest of my walk. As a chill wind kicked up, I was kicking myself for ditching the coat!

Here are some of the birds I watched today:

Northern shrike
Marsh hawk (??)
Double-crested cormorant
Turkey vultures feasting on rotted fish.
Turkey vulture with rotten fish
Turkey vulture
Neotropic cormorant
Little blue heron fishing

Greater yellowlegs



American kestrel
Snowy egret- breeding plumage
Riverwalk Mission Reach Hike and Bike Trail
Snowy egret and double-crested cormorants
Mission Park Pavilions Picnic Area
Great egret
I watched the egret above hunt in the tall grass. Suddenly, its neck snapped down and it pulled something black out of the grass. I zoomed in with my camera but it was too far away to clearly see what critter it had snared, but it looked suspiciously like a rat. Do egrets eat rats?

In another nature encounter, I was standing by a picnic pavilion wondering which way I was supposed to go when I felt a whoosh of air slip by my leg. I turned to see, about three feet from me, a hawk in full attack mode, talons extended, trying to capture a grackle (black bird). The grackle made a horrible noise and escaped. The hawk flew off. If only I had my camera at the ready on video mode! The hawk below may have been the one doing the attacking. Anyone know what kind of hawk this might be?

What kind of hawk? Looks different from the one in the next pic.
Marsh hawk??
 You never know what you may see in nature!

Um, didn't know I got this shot until I got it on my computer.
American widgeon
Along the Riverwalk are historic markers about early San Antonio. The Hot Wells Hotel and hot springs no longer exist. According to the sign, "plans are being made to restore the Hot Wells property as a major attraction."

What the Hot Wells Hotel and Bath House
looked like years ago.


Ostrich races at Hot Wells Hotel
Juvenile Northern cardinal
San Antonio Riverwalk trail crossing - Mission Reach
Turkey vulture in flight - they are huge!
White ibis (rare in Texas) and double-crested cormorant
Black vulture in flight
Black vulture in flight
I walked to Mission San Jose, then back to the 5er on the Mission Reach of the Riverwalk.

After the walk, Bob was waiting for me at the 5th wheel. It was 3:40 p.m. and our next adventure for New Year's Eve evening was about to begin. To be continued in my next blog.

Welcome to our most recent followers, Faye and Dave. Faye writes the blog The Wandering Camels. Currently they are snowbirding in Port Aransas, Texas, and will head east at the end of January. They like to hike and walk, so we're setting up a time to walk in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Mui and Erin of Two to Travel's Phaeton Journeys will be walking with us as well. Anyone else in Corpus Christ/Port Aransas/Rockport area want to do a 10K (6.2 mile) walk. The date we have in mind is Sunday, January 12. We're looking forward to meeting more blogger friends!

Travel Bug out.

15 comments:

  1. I am available whenever, unfortunately Dave probably won't be able to walk since he has a bone spur that affects his walking.

    Sounds like fun, 10am is just fine just let me know where.

    Faye

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  2. Thanks for the shoutout, Susan. Looking forward to meeting you guys in person.

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    1. You're welcome. You have a very interesting blog for travelers.

      See you on Sunday in Corpus Christi! Woo hoo.

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  3. Bwahaahaaa on the peeing bird pic!


    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
    Karen and Steve
    (Blog) RVing: The USA Is Our Big Backyard
    http://kareninthewoods-kareninthewoods.blogspot.com
    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

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    1. You never know what nature is going to send your way. Just glad it wasn't flying overhead, if you know what I mean!

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  4. What a great idea to have other nearby RVers meet you for a walk. Wish I were close enough to join in although if you are wearing a heavy coat, maybe I'd better stay where I am. Happy New Year to you!

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    1. And we'd love to have you join us. If you come San Antonio way, look us up.

      The weather was so cold here the other night, the park management went to all sites that didn't have water hooked up and ran the spigots on a slow stream overnight. Temps went to 20 degrees. By morning, all spigots had icicles from the spigot to the ground. Now it has warmed up a little, but it's raining. Where is this warm south Texas winter I keep hearing about???

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  5. What a great variety of birds you saw...wonderful! Love it when you get to see nature in action!

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    1. Yeah, I'm really enjoying learning about the different birds! And it's quite a challenge to photograph them, being that they're mostly moving targets.

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  6. Looks like it was a very productive walk for bird watching! Good way to spend New Year's Eve day.

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    1. Oh it was. I was thrilled. And to think all I have to do is walk outside our RV park to get on the trail along the San Antonio River! No commute, no using up a lot of gas!

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  7. Nice job naming the birds. I look at a bunch of birds, but never no exactly what I am looking at!

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    1. Well, I'm naming the birds the best I can. Not sure if they're all correct, however. I've invited Judy to take a look at the pics and help out.

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  8. Never knew there were so many wonderful walks in San Antonio area. Keep on walking.

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    1. You have no idea. I feel like we've only scratched the surface. The other group I walk/hike with is San Antonio Hill Country Hikers and they go all over the place to hike. I've seen more state park and natural areas with them than any other group. I love meetup.com to find these kind of groups.

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