Sunday, May 1, 2011

Incidental Birding While Traveling

I was in Tyler, TX for a conference Thursday evening through Saturday morning. The meeting left precious little time for birding, but since this was my first time there, I did have to make some attempt to see what I could see. I received several suggestions of good places to go from individuals on the TEXBIRDS listserv. However, I didn't have more than an hour to spend and since Tyler is known for its roses, I ignored all of the good advice and headed to the city Rose Garden.

The roses were a little past their prime, but were still very pretty. Even better, they actually smelled like roses (have you noticed that the roses you get from the florists no longer have a smell--what's up with that?)

In the more formal part of the gardens with the roses, I didn't see many birds, but in the areas with more trees and other sorts of plantings I did see some good birds. A woodpecker flew past my head and from the yellow on the head, my best guess would be a golden-fronted woodpecker. Seems a little too far east to me, but then, the birds could care less about the range maps generally. In addition, I had a chance to watch a brown thrasher carrying nesting materials (primarily leaves from the ground) into an arbor covered with coral honeysuckle. At the same arbor, a female ruby-throated hummingbird was very cooperative in allowing some good looks.

It is about a 4.5 hr drive from Tyler to Wichita Falls and I am not good about driving that long without stops. By the time I got to Denton, TX, my hip and leg were more than sore, so I decided to stop at one of the parks there. I had seen the sign for North Lakes Park before, but have never stopped. I decided a nice half hour walk would be just the thing to work out the kinks before finishing my trip.

Left: Photo of Lake at North Lakes Park from Model plane area.

When I pulled into the entrance with the recycling bins, I was initially a little disappointed. I could see the pond (OK, in Texas, it's called a lake) and walked over. I didn't see much so headed back to the truck. Fortunately for me, there was a runner who went past my truck and around a bend onto a trail that wasn't very obvious from the main parking lot. What a great discovery! The Wildflower Prairie trail turned out to be a nice walk with some pretty wildflowers and nice birds. I saw my first common yellowthroat of the year and a flock of clay-colored sparrows that were vocalizing. There were also several dickcissel calling.

Left: Entrance to the wildflower prairie trail. Check it out!

There was a young person taking pictures along the trail of another person among the flowers. I am sure she got some nice photos.

If you're ever in Denton, check out this little park.

Good birding!

1 comment:

Traveler Literary Gnome said...

Incidental birding is always a great part of traveling!