Birding from Roswell to San Angelo

In October I went to San Antonio to visit family.  I took a different route than usual on the way there so I could stop overnight in San Angelo.  I’ve been following Bob Zeller’s blog Texas Tweeties for some time and have wanted to bird there after seeing all his wonderful photos.

On the way to San Angelo I stopped in at Bitter Lake in Roswell, NM.  It was pretty quiet there.  The fall migration has been slow this year due to unusually warm weather.  Here’s some of the birds I saw.

dsc_4984

Lesser Yellowlegs

dsc_1390

American Coot

dsc_1814

Snowy Egret

dsc_1550

Least Sandpiper

dsc_1368

Long-Billed Dowitcher

dsc_1820

Savannah Sparrow

I noticed this one duck was reluctant to swim away.  Upon a closer look, I realized it had been injured.  Looks like it had a close call with a coyote or some other predator.

dsc_1829

Injured female Mallard

As I was leaving the refuge, I noticed a turtle crossing the road.  I got out and took a few photos before picking him up and moving him fully across the road.  I would hate for him to get run over.

dsc_1845

Western Painted Turtle

I stopped to get an iced tea at Starbucks in Roswell and couldn’t resist photographing the grackles hanging out there.

dsc_1876

Great-Tailed Grackle female

Between Roswell and San Angelo, I came across this hawk enjoying the afternoon sun.

dsc_1881

Ferruginous Hawk

I arrived in San Angelo with about 2 hours of daylight left.  So I headed straight for San Angelo State Park.  It was quite active with birds and butterflies.  My first bird sighting there was a much hoped for one.  I saw several Scissor-Tailed Flycatchers busy catching bugs.   They weren’t very shy, so I was able to get some nice photos.

dsc_2487

Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher

dsc_1956

My favorite bird photo in San Angelo.  Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher

I saw a few other birds that afternoon.

dsc_1927

Loggerhead Shrike

dsc_1968

Canyon Towhee

I visited the bird blind there, but no birds were about.  But about 5 javalena came through to get a drink.

dsc_2000

Javalena

What I mostly saw were butterflies.  Lots of butterflies.  Most of them were one variety – Bordered Patch.  This was a new butterfly for me 🙂

dsc_2050

Bordered Patch

dsc_2349

Gulf Fritillary

dsc_2056

Painted Lady

dsc_4708

Queen

dsc_4692

Monarch

 

dsc_2240

Pipevine Sawllowtail

As I was leaving that evening, I saw a vulture settling in for the night on a handicap sign in a parking lot.  It was pretty much dark, but he was tame and let me drive right next to him and use a flash.  🙂

dsc_2099

Turkey Vulture – juvenile

I couldn’t resist taking a photo of the sunset as I left.

DSC_5383.jpg

Typical Texas sunset

I got up early the next morning for another quick birding outing before heading on to San Antonio.  I first stopped in at Spring Park to see if I could see a Great Kiskadee that has been see there.  But no luck.  All I saw were deer….lots of deer….

dsc_2545

White-Tailed Deer – they flip their tail up when they run

dsc_2531

The young one still has some spots

dsc_2132

Female White-Tailed Deer

dsc_2141

Beautiful buck

I then headed back over to San Angelo State Park to see if the birding was better in the early morning.  It definitely was!  As I approached the entrance to the park, I saw a roadrunner busy hunting for breakfast.

dsc_2230

Greater Roadrunner

dsc_2205

Greater Roadrunner eating a Painted Lady

I hiked several trails through the park and saw quite a variety of birds.

 

dsc_2501

Eastern Phoebe

dsc_2367

Northern Mockingbird

dsc_2330

Cactus Wren

dsc_2320

Lincoln’s Sparrow

dsc_2299

Carolina Wren

dsc_2275

Curve-Billed Thrasher

After hiking awhile, I visited the bird blind one more time before I had to leave.  It was much more busy with birds in the morning.

dsc_2398

American Goldfinch female

dsc_2387

Lincoln’s Sparrow

dsc_2448

Pyrrhuloxia

dsc_2373

Golden-Fronted Woodpecker

White I was sitting quietly in the bird blind, a Gray Fox made a very brief appearance.  I managed to get a couple pics before it was gone.  Very exciting!  I’ve never seen one in person before and so close!

dsc_2412

Gray Fox

Sadly it was time to put the camera away and hit the road.  I really enjoyed my short visit to San Angelo.  Hopefully I will get another chance in the future to visit again.