Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Alex Jones Was There

Bull Creek - a typical creekside in a preserve; Austin, TX.   
Image online here

The setting was a preserve, encompassing a creek, in the Austin, TX area. This was easy to determine as there was a canopy of deciduous trees replete with dense understory. Throughout most of Austin, if you are out for a hike, Ashe-Juniper and Live Oak dominate the forests.  Very little grows under junipers.

Hiking in the much of the Hill Country, in and about Austin, TX looks a lot like this if you're not near running water.

What passed for footpaths were overgrown from the waist down. Dozens of birders peppered the area, all seemingly obsessed with what time it was. We were all primarily in search of female Black-throated Blue Warblers. Curious, because in Austin the species is only found in migration; and rare then. The mood was focused, and no-nonsense. This is probably no surprise as tend to I adopt this attitude during most bird outings.  A greater purpose for our being there, other than for the rarity, never surfaced.

The inimitable Alex Jones.

Curiously, Alex Jones was among those present. This is the first "famous" person to grace any of my bird dreams. Mr. Jones does live in Austin.  He's  best known for a very outspoken brand of political expression, often earning him a "conspiracy theorist" label. I have no earthly clue as to whether he's interested in birdwatching. Curious indeed.

The general discussion among folks was the fact that this species had recently been seen in various places in the Lower Rio Grande Valley - the greater McAllen and Brownsville areas. Given the looks of the vegetation, the time frame was Spring. That's odd, as the few records central Texas has of Black-throated Blue Warbler greatly favor Autumn.

Ringed Kingfisher (Megaceryle torquata) - male
Image online here

Yellow Warbler (Dendroica petechia) - male
Image online here

I found a new path through the undergrowth and forged ahead.  Eureka!...  I'd been transported behind the backyards of my neighbors where I grew up in western Mass. The quality and diversity of birds became rich. In just a few trees I spotted the following: a male Ringed Kingfisher, a male Yellow Warbler, "western" Palm Warbler and an adult Fork-tailed Flycatcher. I've made a note to take that trail again in future dreams.

"Western" Palm Warbler (Dendroica palmarum palmarum)
Image online here

Fork-tailed Flycatcher (Tyrannus savana) - adult
Image online here

It didn't take but a turn of the corner before I spotted the quarry:  a female Black-throated Blue Warbler!  She darted about in a small copse of short trees just twenty or so feet away. Immediately I went into my "hey-the-bird-we're-all-looking-for-is-over-here" dance. The group then magically appeared and joined the festivities.  Many people got satisfying looks, albeit brief ones.  Unfortunately, not everyone did. The dream ended with short scene where I to came back the next day to assist in the relocation for those who didn't get an opportunity to see it the first time.

Black-throated Blue Warbler (Dendroica caerulescens) - female
Image online here

1 comment:

Rufus said...

You're wasting your time giving credibility to Alex Jones. Elected politicians, regardless of party affiliation, are puppets who serve the hidden rulers. Alex Jones is a shill and a liar. By attacking the puppets he is covering up the real power brokers. AJ is a willing tool of the globalists. See: Jones

Very nice birds though!


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