Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Big Bend: Tufted Flycatcher, Bobcats, Gray Fox and Javelinas


Zac and I went to Big Bend for a few days in mid December. A shame we had to leave, because Big Bend is a haven of all things good. For those who don't know, Big Bend National Park is the gem of Texas, in the Southwest part of the state. It's a huge park and shares the border with Mexico. It's rad. Anyway, I'll post the play by play of the days we were there...
13 December.

We found the Tufted Flycatcher (5th record in the US) early in the morning (no other birders around, which was kinda nice). After deserved admiration for the bird, I saw something come out of the bushes. A bobcat! Niice! But wait, two bobcats! An adult and a young one. They were skittish but didn't bolt all that fast. The adult came out into open without noticing us and squinted in the sun. The young one came out of the bushes and saw us and then took off, with the adult close behind. We meandered through through thorns and I saw them both on a log before I lost 'em for good. We were pretty pumped -I see mountain lions more than I see bobcats, so it was a pretty cool sighting. (wish I were able to get sharper pics of these guys!)
After lunch, we went on a 6 mile hike (the heat felt soooo good) along the Rio Grande. It's been a while since I've been to the desert in the winter, so that was a nice change. Lots of cacti and desert vegetation. Saw some huge fossils and a few pictographs. Scenic Sunday
(Me and the Rio Grande above; Black Vulture below)
After we were done with that trail, we went to another one just before sunset. Saw a gray fox (here's his picture), scaled quail and about 10 javelinas. They were snarfing and snorting and goofy as usual.
Great-horned owls and coyotes (and possibly screech owls) sang us to sleep. How kind of them! (Rough-winged Swallows above) Mellow Yellow

36 comments:

Seagull Steve said...

Sweet dude....I need to check that place out (preferably during Colima Warbler season though).

Woody said...

The flycatcher is such a handsome bird - very proud with that awesome crown.
I don't think a tornado could wipe the smile off yours and Zac's faces, look at your guys! Thanks for sharing these!

Tammie Lee said...

such an incredible post, it overflows with wilderness treasure! thanks for sharing. amazing what you two see!

Marie said...

So many neat photos! I showed the Vulture to my daughter who finds them rather fascinating after going to International Vulture Day at the World Bird Sanctuary here in our town. It was a few months ago but she still talks about the Vultures and how they are important to the environment :-)

Beyond My Garden said...

These are very nice. Black vultures are just moving into our area. They are still quite rare.

Clytie said...

What beautiful and amazing pictures ... my favorite is definitely the Tufted Flycatcher - what a jewel!

Mary Howell Cromer said...

What an exceptional post Jill. These images are awesome, the wildlife just jumps out, so close you were to them. The cacti, the gorgeous landscapes, of course...you and your husby, great series. Added to this is your opening image...that Tufted Flycatcher is a sweet perfection, what a beauty, what a glorious photograph...and you all be careful out there~

Out on the prairie said...

Lovely shots, in AZ we had Javelina tamales, thinking they were a bit different, but afraid to ask the host. When they arose in conversation of my going out the tent and looking them in the eye, the host said it was too bad I didn't get a few for him, his wife cooks them so well.

KT said...

We like you LOVED Big Bend...what a gem. While it is remote, I think that is part of the reason we liked it so much.

Would love to go back and float more the of the river some day. We just put in at Santa Elena and did a few hours up and then back...it was fabulous. The hiking was also wonderful.

We knew to look for the javelinas before we went, but they were definitely strange creatures!

biobabbler said...

wow. Looks amAzing and OMG I cannot believe you have TWO bobcats in ONE FRAME!!! Holy C! =) And I don't know what it is, but that flycatcher (huge congrats on 5th sighting, wow!!!!) and other birds with sort of punker hair (osprey, mergansers, etc.) makes me LOVE them so much. DYING to go to Big Bend. How happy do you 2 look? =)

Bryan said...

Many amazing photos here. That fossil would make me flip out.

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

Gee, I consider myself pretty lucky if I see just a snake when in the desert. You see the entire animal kingdom! "sigh"

Gaelyn said...

You really saw a great variety of wildlife. I sure like the look of Big Bend, kinda like a mini version of the Grand Canyon. These images are making me very excited about visiting there in the spring.

Adam Pinnell said...

Great Images! I loveeee the first one!

Steve Borichevsky said...

wow, what a day! I've never seen a bobcat.

Mike B. said...

LOVE the bobcats. My vet told me my housecat acts like one, so maybe I've already experienced it enough...

Denise said...

So that first photograph . . .That's one of Ansel Adams' on a rare visit to the desert, right?

Vita Stunder said...

Incredible post and gorgeous shots! Have a great weekend :)

Birgitta - foto CHIP said...

I thought it was lynx. How big are the bobcats?
Awesome pictures and nature!

http://fotochip.blogspot.com/2011/02/preparing-for-photo.html

Charlene: the Polarblogger said...

Great blog and pictures! I love the first bird photo.

casseydab said...

so beautiful there...is like i only see in my dreams,.,

veredit said...

Dear Jil, many thanks for this wonderful trip with you!!

so beautiful pictures ... I love to walk site by site with you


warm hugs from
isabella

Arija said...

I did not know you had real wild pigs in America. I have only encountered them in Europe before, That is one animal one does not mess with.
I have only seen bobcats in the zoo before so this was a wonderful experience to be able to see them through your eyes in the wild.

Thank you Jill, your blog is always a revelation and to be revelled in.

Inger-M said...

Another great adventure post, love the pictures and the story!

Lorac said...

Thanks for sharing your hike! Great pics. Would love to see that fossil!

forgetmenot said...

Love all your shots--could the little bird be any cuter!!!! What a great place to hike. Mickie

Liz said...

Sounds like an interesting hike. Love all your pictures.

Happy MM and Happy Valentine's Day!

Liz @ MLC

Cafe au lait said...

Great shots!

Natalie said...

Totally love the first shot!

Mona said...

indeed all lovely photos love them all .. have time to visit my MYM entry, thanks.

Everything And Everywhere said...

Wow. Stunning photos.

Nina said...

Wow! Our world is such a beautiful place. You did a great job on taking those awesome photos. I wish we have something like that in our country. Anyway, Happy Mellow Yellow and Happy Valentine's Day!

Rinkly Rimes said...

What wonderful pictures! And I love the name Big Bend.

Ann said...

any idea how old the fossil is?

I like the pink studded cacti.

casseydab said...

im really you fan,,,i love watching every photos you posted....beautiful

clavs said...

Absolutely perfect for scenic sunday entry! have a nice day...