Today I saw a long-eared owl, vermilion flycatcher, mute swans, and an American wigeon. Quite a day at Mitchell Lake Audubon Wetlands in San Antonio. Bird-watchers have been a-twitter about the long-eared owl for over a week. Last week I couldn't find it, but today...jackpot!
|Long-eared owl in a mesquite tree.|
But that wasn't the only unusual bird seen today. We were walking along the isthmus between the East and West Polder. I looked across the pond and said, "Wow! Those are the biggest honkin' geese I've ever seen ** or ** those are swans!" When I got back to the Visitor Center, I asked if there were swans in the west pond and the answer was, "Yes." I wanted to know what kind and was informed they are mute swans.
I consider the swans quite a find in south Texas. Their range is the Midwest and Northeast, especially Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Tennessee, Kentucky, along the northeastern seaboard, eastern Minnesota, eastern Iowa and eastern Missouri.
Bob and I had a great walk today, although a cold wind was blowing down from the north. As we were walking, we saw a number of people wandering through the weeds and brush taking photos. We heard a bird making a very unusual noise and couldn't identify it.
I tried to find the unique birds on our way back to the Visitor Center, but no luck. However in the Visitor Center, a birder was talking about adding TWO birds to his birding life list today: the long-eared owl and a common pauraque (which is a type of nighthawk). We're thinking the bird with the unusual call was the pauraque.
In addition to the above birds, we saw:
|American wigeon and Northern shoveler|
|Snowy egret & tri-colored heron with four turtles.|
|Wind-blown snowy egret and five sunning turtles.|
Below is one of my personal favorites: the vermilion flycatcher.
|Great blue heron taking off.|
|Three turtles sunning|
I was very happy with the bird sightings today! Maybe I'll go back tomorrow to look for more. We'll see what tomorrow brings.
After our walk, we went home and I showered to get ready for our employee Christmas party at the RV park tonight. We headed over to the Rec Hall at 6 p.m. and were greeted with our choice of beer, wine, pop, water or spiked eggnog. Bob and I shared a bottle of prickly pear beer. It was good. The hall looked so festive decorated for the holidays and our party.
|Rec Hall decorated for employee dinner.|
|Helen (co-worker), Brenda (manager), and Pam (friend).|
The dinner was catered by The Big Bib BBQ restaurant. It was delicious! We had smoked turkey, smoked brisket, pulled pork, jalapeno sausages and regular sausages with fantastic BBQ sauce to put on the meats. In addition, we had scalloped potatoes, green beans with cut up sausages, corn bread, sourdough bread with cheeses, squash casserole, veggie tray, and fruit tray. For dessert, we feasted on banana cream pie, chocolate cream pie, cheesecake and cupcakes.
Here are all the people who work in the park and their significant others.
|Helen (office), Ron, Brenda (manager), Terry (manager), |
Fran (activities director), Tom (landscape)
|Dixie (cleaning), Felix (cleaning), Rose, |
Mike (maintenance), DeAnna (Security) and Larry (Security)
|Steve (landscape/maintenance), Jan (office), Lee (cleaning), |
Delia (office), Virginia, Pam, Bob (maintenance)
|Steve (landscape, Margaret, Vickie, Ralph (office), |
me (office), Bob
We had a great evening with our RV park "family." And I'll tell you what, there was plenty of food. I'm still full five hours later.
After the party, we took care of seven loads of laundry. A very satisfying day from start to finish,
Travel Bug out.