Michael's Rediscovery of Nature

Ramblings and observations of a former biologist and a lifelong naturalist, who has recently returned to his roots in east Texas. After a many years of working from coast to coast in an industry far removed from biology, it has been a pleasant change of geography, activity, and attitude. No stressful job decked out in a three piece suit. No city living. Instead there is a rediscovery of the woods, of something scurrying through the leaves, of the clear notes of a bird call, and of reliving the joy that I had when nature was a playground and a classroom.

Second Followup on the Mystery Bird and More

b2ap3_thumbnail_PineTunnelCovinLake100114.jpgWell, I solved the mystery.  The Mystery Bird mystery.  I found a new tool that is really quite incredible.  It is the Merlin Bird Id by Cornell Lab of Orintholgy.  This is an app for iPhone (and other smart phones).  Easy as can be to use and zeroes right in on identifying birds.

In this case the bird was a Ruby Crowned Kinglet.  The first I have ever seen.  

If you are a birder, you likely already know of this tool, but if not check it out.  Just Google "Merlin Bird Id".

I managed to spend a couple of day out in the woods not far from Lake O' the Pines on some land that is being sold by a friend of mine.  He left a four-wheeler on the 565 acres for me to use while I explored and took pictures for him and his sales prospectus.  I had a ball.  It is a thick mixed forest with lots of water.  Since I was dashing about on the 4-wheeler I didn't see a lot of birds - the noise scared them off usually.  However, I did spot some of the common ones I see all the time: mockingbirds, crows, and vultures.  I did scare up a Harris Hawk and a flock of Lesser Scaups.  I heard some other ducks as they paniced and took off, but the brush was too thick to see them.

I also got some great pictures of the woods there.  Will post some soon.  One of the best is to the right.

The next day, I was at the Upshur County Landing, again taking pictures and saw an Osprey diving into the water, catching his breakfast.  He was too far away for me to get pictures with my little 200mm lens, but I did enjoy the show.

How About a Lizard
Followup On Mystery Bird

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Sunday, 24 February 2019
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