Thursday, January 19, 2017

Number 67: Lake Brownwood State Park

Over Christmas break when our plans changed unexpectedly, Breck and I took full advantage and bounced around a part of Texas we had not spent much time in.  One of our stops was Lake Brownwood State Park on December 26th.

When we checked in at the Ranger Station we picked up a map of the park and asked the ranger where she suggested we go to see some birds.  She smiled and said, "Anywhere."  So after a quick drive through the park to get a feel for the layout we hit a trailhead.

The hiking wasn't strenuous.  After all, this region of Texas is pretty flat.

Being winter there wasn't much color.  The grasses had gone to seed and the leaves had fallen from the trees.

And the Ranger was right.  There were birds everywhere if you looked closely.

Bewick's Wren
Field Sparrow
Most of them were pretty familiar to us also being found in south Texas.

Eastern Bluebird
And most of them where found at the edges of trail where the trees met the tall grass.  No your eyes are not playing tricks on you. This Ruby-crowned Kinglet is upside down hanging from his little black legs and turning his head around as he spots a bug.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet
But the jewel, the bird I most wanted to see, the one I would add to my Life List having never spotted or photographed one before, popped out midway through our hike.  This is a Spotted Towhee.  Isn't he gorgeous!  Love that red eye.  And what a nice splash of color against the mostly brown limbs.

Spotted Towhee
When we finish our hike we drove down to the lake.  Too cold for swimmers and picnickers so we had the grounds to ourselves.

Yet another park that I bet is packed in the summer months.

The day was late and my lens began to struggle to get enough light for a good shot, but I did find this guy in a patch of setting sun.  He's a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and quite the cutie.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
And as we left the park we had to stop in the road to allow a flock of Wild Turkeys to cross the road.  I considered this a bonus with 12 of them giving us a good look.

Wild Turkey
This Red-tailed Hawk stood out in the sky as the sun set in the background.  As we watched he spotted something on the ground and dove from his perch and out of sight.

Red-tailed Hawk