Sunday, October 6, 2013

Back to Mitchell Lake Audubon - Sun., Oct. 6

One of my very favorite nature Volksmarches in San Antonio is the Mitchell Lake Audubon wetlands. I go frequently because it is very close to our RV park and I always see a variety of wildlife. Bob came with me today. We walked 10K (6.2 miles) in two hours ten minutes which included stopping to spot and watch birds and taking photos.

What was so nice today is that the temperature took a plunge overnight. During the night we had very loud thunder, loud rain, and lightning. I remember waking up at 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. to rain pounding on the roof. Because San Antonio has had quite a bit of rain in the past three weeks, things are greening up beautifully. Walking today was pleasant with cooler air and light breezes. That's good because there isn't much shade on the Mitchell Lake walk.

First up on the critter-spotting radar was a nice-sized lizard on the railing leading up to the Visitor Center.

Texas spiny lizard
The first third of our walk we only saw mockingbirds, but once we got to the poulders (ponds), bird sightings were more frequent. When we signed in at the Visitor Center, we noted that a number of people had signed in for a Bird Tour. We weren't sure if they would still be out on the trails. Sure enough, they were. One of these days, I am going on the Bird Tour. They have one on the second Tuesday of the month.

We spotted quite a few different birds today. I asked the lady in the Visitor Center if the fall migration had started yet and she said no. I'm definitely coming back to look for unusual birds in a few weeks!
Semipalmated sandpiper (Calidris pusilla)
Least sandpiper.
The Bird Tour group below. If you have seen the movie "The Big Year" with Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson, you will know that this photo shows bird-watchers in their element. It's a funny movie. If you haven't seen it, give it a shot. These people were not posing for me, I caught them doing what bird-watchers do.

The Bird Tour group.
American pelicans in flight formation.
American pelicans.
In the following photo, you can see a portion of the hundreds of birds hanging out in this poulder.
Great egrets, tri-colored heron, American avocets, coot.
Tri-colored heron.
Roseate skimmer dragonfly.
Cool-looking pods.
American pelicans in flight.
Black-necked stilts.
Least sandpipers.
Cute coot retreating.
American avocet.
American avocet.
Good comparison in differences between the black-necked
stilt versus the American avocet.

Adult scissor-tailed flycatcher.
Ground cover with tiny magenta flowers.
The beetle in the following photo was running across the ground. I was having a hard time getting a photo until he got up next to the rock where he stopped and froze in place. This black beetle is about 2" long.

Big black beetle (Calosoma macrum)
Laredo striped whiptail lizard.
I always get my nature fix walking the trails at Mitchell Lake. I hope you enjoyed the show.

After our walk, we rested and had lunch. I did the laundry, though Bob offered, but I knew he wanted to go to work for a bit. 

And now for a couple of kitty photos...

We have totally conquered the mousy plaything.
So sweet. (Believe me, they weren't this quiet at 4:00 a.m.!)
The rest of this lovely Sunday Bob went to Random event center to see his son, Randall, and to talk to his boss. I stayed home and did chores: vacuumed, hand-washed delicate laundry, filled new hummingbird feeder, cleaned and filled the cardinal feeder with seed that is supposed to be bitter to squirrels (we'll see how that goes), and put some new Velcro in our laundry hamper to hold in the laundry bag.

In the evening, I watched "60 Minutes" and when Bob came home we watched "The Amazing Race" (with channel flipping for him to see bits of the Dodgers/Atlanta game).

I hope you had a good weekend too. Enjoy your week.

The end.
 Travel Bug out.