We made arrangements with Leticia Tijerina, owner of the San Miguelito Ranch to see this small wonder. This was my first experience on a large ranch. I was not disappointed. The sweet little FPowl wasn't the only owl we saw. There was a Great Horned Owl sitting on a nest not far from where the FP Owls were to be found.
Other birds and wildlife were seen. One of the most interesting was not a native. It was a herd of Nilgai that came to the pond. This is an introduced deer/elk type herd animal from India. How did it get here you ask? The neighboring ranch introduced it several years ago and of course as with most exotics it wasn't contained on the ranch that wanted to hunt them. This animal is now found in many areas in Texas. It is eating the resident wildlife and cattle out of pasture. So this was not a good experiment however it was fun to see them.
We spent the rest of our day at the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge. We missed the rare birds that have been seen there recently but we were happy to see the many resident birds and wildlife. Someone had seen an Ocelot the morning before we arrived. There is always something to draw us to this big beautiful NWR.
On our way out an Aplamado Falcon came whizzing past in front of the car. I slammed on the breaks hoping to see where it would land. In doing so I frightened the bird from its intended perch on a fence post right next to us. It wasn't too alarmed as it flew to the next fence row not too far from us. We could easily soak in its beauty with our binoculars.
Both of these birds are on my list to paint after the dust settles from our trip. It seems that I am having difficulty getting time for much painting right now.