Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Bird Walk

I found out about the Bird Walk because I follow Lewisville TX on Facebook, which is pretty awesome really because they are always telling me stuff I can do or about the city that I wouldn’t have known otherwise.  So this was a guided Bird Walk at LLELA which is Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area.  You can actually go out there any Friday-Sunday for $5 but the guided tour intrigued me.  Yes it started at 7:30am... but it’s the early bird that catches the worm....right!?!
I am happy to report Phil decided to come with me on this adventure!!!! Yay!  Let’s just take a moment and soak it in. ..... 


So with nothing but our camera and tripod we set out.  I saw nothing because we found out that in the “sport” of bird watching that’s pretty measly.  These people showed up with giant tripod scopes, bird books, camo, notepads, walking sticks and of course binoculars.  We were definitely the newbies.  Lucky for us they were glad to share, so we got to see some beautiful birds through super powerful scopes (that no camera I can afford will ever capture the detail from that distance.)  
I quickly picked up from the guide that our mission today was to see a Painted Bunting.  I was very excited about this because I was just “challenged” by my brother to see one in my neck of the woods.  The early morning wasn’t turning out too promising though it was pretty chilly and windy and I guess it turns out the birds feel the same way as I do about chilly wind... HIDE!  So they stayed hidden and we enjoyed the rest of nature and the hike we were on.
Here are just a few pretty nature pictures I took along the way.... I did, after all, have a camera ;)

So after round one our Tour Guide decided our best place of the day for seeing anything would be in the swamp area... sounds ominous but away we went.  Now this was much better.  The birds were much more active and plentiful and the hike was awesome.  I honestly didn’t know Lewisville had any area like this place.  

Here is what we saw:  

White Egret... I knew this was a big pretty white bird but I had no idea it has giant bright yellow feet.  So funny and cool!  
I didn't take this, but see his yellow feet!
I took this one though!
Then we saw what everyone was calling a Dick Thistle... it was a very pretty little bird with a red chest and blue head and back.  Now I tried to google a picture of this for you (btw don’t do that: you get milk thistle weeds and well.... you can guess what else) but I didn’t find a picture which now has me curious if this bird really is as hard to see as everyone was saying because I tell you when they saw this bird their days (maybe months) we made!  Seriously they were super excited so we only thought it appropriate to be equally as excited because after all it was our FIRST bird watching trip and we had seen this oh so illusive Dick Thistle.   
Then we saw a Belted King Fisher.... I really like his mohawk!  Pretty cool bird.  
Again didn't take this but sweet mohawk!

The bird I probably watched and followed the longest was the Prothonotary Warbler.  Beautiful bright yellow guy.  Here is a picture I took of him.  He is in the circle of color on the right and he wanted me to go away so he could fly into his house the structure on the left.  Below the one I took is a good google pic of what he looks like up close.
See the little dot on the right.
Didn't take this one but this is what he looked like.
It was fun to watch him, at one point he had a giant worm hanging out of his mouth as he hopped around the trees.
In the river bed area we saw Sand Pipers which were in a flock and that was fun to watch them duck down into the water for food and then clean themselves up.
Here are a few other pictures I took because I couldn’t get quality bird shots.

Just loved this twisted vine!
No idea what these things are but they looked cool.

Just look at his intricate wings!  So amazing!
In the end I didn’t see a Painted Bunting but several people did see an Indigo Bunting and we heard lots of others.
All in all it was a great adventure and I must admit pretty relaxing!

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