Sunday, April 24, 2016

Davis Mountains

After waiting out storms in Central Texas, we've finally headed west on our (slow) journey toward Leadville, Colorado. Our first stop was to be Balmorhea State Park, so imagine our surprise when we pulled in and saw the "All Campgrounds Full" sign!  We've been there many times and have never seen more than a few campers. We continued on to Davis Mountains State Park and found that they were also full. Our third choice was the Historic Prude Ranch just down the road. We'd stayed there many years ago and were pleased to find that they still have RV sites and were almost empty.
Canyon Towhee
Canyon Towhees showed up immediately around and underneath the trailer. They are certainly friendly birds! Another common bird here is Ash-throated Flycatcher. Their referee whistle "tweet-tweet" makes them easy to find.
Ash-throated Flycatcher
This morning we hiked the Madera Canyon Trail on a Nature Conservancy property. We saw some beautiful Claret Cup Cactus blooming along the trail.
Claret Cup Cactus
Bewick's Wrens were singing from the tops of trees.
Bewick's Wren singing
We saw a few butterflies, including this tiny Reakirt's Blue. It is hard to get them sitting still long enough to get a picture.
Reakirt's Blue - female
The best find of the morning was this Gray Flycatcher. This plain little Empidonax flycatcher has a Texas range that is restricted only to the Davis Mountains. After chasing a couple around for a while this one was kind enough to perch right in front of us and call. Hearing the call was the clincher on the ID.
Gray Flycatcher
We'll stay in this area for a few more days before heading further west.