Monday, March 9, 2009

Texas Trip Day 6

Day six's highlight was another life bird for me. The Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl. This precious little bird is a hard to get species since it has a very specific habitat, is so small and is difficult to find. However some of the ranches in the area are blessed with having this little owl on their property so they give short tours of their ranch for you to see the owl.

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.


yoon see said...

Happy Cactus Monday.
I really hope you have the time to paint again, same here ....I guess we all love to have another 24hours more for a day, so that we have lots of time to spend.
You are on a bird project, me too!!!!I am glad that we are heading on track on this special bird project.
Thank you for dropping by and giving lovely & supportive comments.
I always value your friendship:)

Q said...

Dear Lisa,
It is amazing to me that you saw all these have been birding for many years! I am happy the LRGV was such a great experience for you. I am enjoying your trip too.
Sometimes it is difficult to have the time to do everything we want to do! At least I cannot do everything all at once...
Spring is calling me outside. I need rainy days so I can get my inside projects caught up.
Whenever I travel I am so very far behind when I get home. You will enjoy painting your birds when it is too hot to be working in the yard...we will enjoy seeing them!

Margaret Ann said...

A great ranch really captures the feel...What an amazing trip...I cannot believe all the birds and woldlife you saw..a dream come true for sure!

HCM fellow Cacuteer! :)

marianne said...

I think it is never a good idea to import animals from other countries, so far I only know of problems come from that.......
I guess only the hunters will benefit by time when they get the green light to shoot the caused sad Thanks for taking me along your wonderful trip so far!
Have a nice day!
And Happy cactus Monday!

ArtistUnplugged said...

What a neat bunch of critters you saw....that's a neat painting posted. Sounds like a marvelous and nature filled trip!

Teri said...

You have had so many adventures on this trip and gosh, birds I never heard of. Altho that small owl is seen here in AZ, not that I have seen it of course. lol

Great pages as always. I have loved seeing your journal.

stapeliad said...

You seem to be having such a great time!


Julie said...

Oh, Lisa, your trip sounded so wonderful...I am kinda gone right now in Miami and on to Key West in the morning, and I will have to come back and read more on your birds when I get back home! I just love birds so much too...both to look at and listen to...been having a lot of Mockingbird singing going on lately here in So. Florida!!! Love their song warbling!!!

Leticia said...

Hi Lisa,
What a surprize to run across your blog. I am Leticia from the San Miguelito Ranch. I want to thank you for the kind words you said about me and my ranch....And, I LOVE the painting you did. Is there anyway that I could have a copy of it. I would love to hang it in my living room right next to pictures of our little feathered friends, the Ferruginous Pygmy Owls. It was a pleasure having you and your hubby on the ranch. You are always welcomed!
Truly-Your friend,
p.s. I have set up a blog myself about the daily happenings at the ranch.