East Texas Naturalist Blog

Information and photographs mainly about nature in east Texas. Our authors have widely diverse backgrounds and write on a variety of topics.

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Spring in the Lost and Found Box

Spring in the Lost and Found Box
Eastern Kingbird

Great Blue Heron

Brown-headed Cowbird

Female Red-bellied Woodpecker

Diamondback Watersnake

Northern Cardinal

We had a big storm blow through the Lake O' the Pines area last night. For a while, the winds were rather fierce accompanied by a drumming rain that brought a bit of hail and just ...
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Rainy Winter Day But the Birds Didn't Care

Rainy Winter Day But the Birds Didn't Care
BonapartsGull012117 3
CommonLoon012117 1
GoldenEyeDuck012117 1
GreatBlueHeron012117 1
HerringGull012117 1
Pelicans012117 6
RingbilledGull012117 1
SongSparrow012117 2
WhitePelicanFlyby012117 2
BaldEagleOnTheNEstl012117 1

The weatherman was wrong again. It was supposed to be over 70 degrees and lots of sunshine for at least most of the day. Well, the sun was out for a bit but then the clouds blew in. We didn't get anywhere near 70 degrees. Luckily the birds didn't care.  

Kristi Thomas and I, accompanied by fellow naturalist, Mickie Moore, and nine other who were mostly members of the Tyler Audubon Group, hit Lake O' the Pines on a pontoon boat. While these birding trips are always geared towards finding as many species of birds as we can, some of us were more interested in the Bald Eagle's nest and what was going on there. Of course, all the other birding was always fun and this was an exceptional day. Not only did we see over 30 species, it seemed that many didn't mind posing for us. 

Here are some of the photographs that I took today. 

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If I Move - Will the Birds Follow Me?

If I Move - Will the Birds Follow Me?
Red breastedMerganser11 27 16 2
AmericanCoot111116 2
ChippingSparrowPair122616 1
EasternBluebird11 2916 3
PiedBilledGrebe103116 3
PineWarbler11 28 16 2
RingBilledGull120216 1
WhiteBreastedNuthatch11 2916 1

I recently moved my RV from a fairly good nature spot on Lake O' the Pines. I was near the northwest end of the lake and was on the edge of a remote wooded area. In addition, across the highway was another large wooded area. On my lot, I had a pretty good bird turnout year-round. Much of that due to my 9 feeders and lots of other food items that I put out for birds.

Surprisingly enough, it was not that great for waterbirds. Well, not for ducks anyway. There were Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, an occasional Green Heron, White Pelicans during the winter, Cormorants, and Common Coots. Rarely did I see ducks of any kind, other than the Coots. Common Loons which are very common on other parts of Lake O' the Pines were never seen in this more shallow and weedy end, nor were any of the other shore birds that show up on the south end of the lake.

In the late summer, I moved just eight miles away to Lone Star Lake (Ellison Creek Reservoir). This RV park is in a more populated area. There are no woods aound this lake. The park is surrounded by houses, as is almost all of the lake. There is a little bit of a more primitive area at the north end of the lake but it is fairly small.

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Hey, Eagles! How Can I Take Your Picture if You Keep Flying Off the Nest? **A Rerun from 2015**

Hey, Eagles! How Can I Take Your Picture if You Keep Flying Off the Nest? **A Rerun from 2015**

We put these guidelines out last year after so much interest in the eagle's nest and reports of other nests in the area. 

It is critical that if you find a Bald Eagle's nest (or any bird nest actually), that you follow these guidelines. Bald Eagles and most birds are VERY sensitive to activity around their nests. If you bother them, they may fly away and MAY NOT BREED THAT YEAR.  If there are eggs in the nest they may abandon them; they may even abandon young birds. 

PLEASE READ THESE GUIDELINES and if you find a nest, make sure that you follow the information that is written here. I will add a PLEASE to that. Please let the birds breed, nest and raise their young in peace.  You can observe, but read the information below so you know what you should and should not do. Again - PLEASE.  

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Northeast Texas Bird Report - April 2016

Northeast Texas Bird Report  - April 2016

Northeast Texas Bird Report  - April 2016

This is the NETFO bird report for April.    Highlights include two Swallow-tailed Kites, a White-tailed Kite, a Pacific Loon, a Cinnamon Teal,  Hudsonian Godwits, Wild Turkeys, and Bobolinks.  Thanks to all who birded and sent in their results and thanks again to Luanne for everything.

Found in six counties, the peak of 20 Black-bellied Whistling Ducks were found at Cedar Creek Reservoir in Henderson county on 4/17 (ebird MS).  A single Ross’s Goose was reported from a new location in Quitman in Wood county on 4/2 (ebird TK), while the “normal” one in Rains county was tallied on 4/23 (ebird BC,GC,SG).  A Cinnamon Teal was recorded at RC WMA in Freestone county on 4/17 (ebird DC,DL).  Five Red-breasted Mergansers were tallied at LTW in Van Zandt county on 4/12 (ebird RK).

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