Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Huge Snowy Plover poulation, Stephens Co. Texas , June 10-11

  Over the past two mornings we covered two areas teaming with Snowy Plovers on Hubbard Creek Lake in Stephens County.  The sheer amount of Snowy Plover habitat is incredible.  We barely scratched the surface and by our best estimate came up with about 180-190 birds that we actually saw.  We had no time to investigate identical habitats elsewhere.  We inspected ~100 birds that were within binocular range for color tags but found none.  We did not penetrate far into the "colonies" in an effort not to disturb the birds more than we already had.  Here are a few photos of occupied habitats...There are likely hundreds of acres similar to this on this drying lake.  From the boat few could be be detected but as soon as we stepped ashore they were as fleas on a dog., many actually running toward us as if to greet or distract us...They appeared from nowhere almost..  Dr. Warren Conway has expressed a great interest in following up on our discovery to obtain more detailed data and and more accurate count

Monday, June 3, 2013

Starry-eyed Sweetie

 Found this starry-eyed sweetie roaming across a pasture on our Milo , Oklahoma place on June 1 about 140 yds. from the nearest water.  I figure she was looking for better digs or was out to find a place to deposit a clutch of eggs.  She is pretty old but still cute as a bug. Measured roughly 23 inches long with head tucked in, likely would have been around 29-30 with head fully extended.   Snapped at me 3 times and here I was flirting with her by walking around here for photos and to admire her beauty!.  Note she is well off the ground in a defensive posture and it was hard to get a side shot as she pivoted to face me as I walked around her..  Once I picked her up I estimate she was around 18 lb.s if not more. At least she was heavier than my 15lb. cat.  It has been a while since I have found one this large...At least 3-4 years.  She could easily remove any unwanted warts or fingers.