Days 111 & 112 – Wichita Mts. Wildlife Refuge, OK and the Texas Hill Country.

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Well, the Morrell-McQuade team zipped through Kansas, Oklahoma and the Texas Hill country like a wildfire out of control. It’s not often that someone sees a Lesser Prairie Chicken and then a Golden-cheeked Warbler!

I’ve met some fanatic birders in my travels but the McQuades are right up there with me. We worked very well together finding all of our targets and more! On Thursday when David suggested we drive from Dodge City, Kansas to below Austin, Texas, nobody batted an eye.

After getting our Prairie Chickens, we made a stop along the way to Texas in the Wichita Mountains in Oklahoma to find Black-capped Vireo. When we found that beautiful bird and managed to get pictures, we were jumping around like kids.

It’s wildflower season and the drive through the Texas Hill country was breathtaking. I take back all of the nasty comments I’ve made about Texas. This area is beautiful.

Our next stop was Balcones Canyonlands NWR for Golden-cheeked Warbler. The Juniper and Oak scrub habitat in this area is perfect for this bird. We heard several and saw one darting about but the density of the trees made it impossible for photos. We weren’t dancing after this one!

Our last stop was Hornsby Bend for migrating shorebirds. A bonanza of birds here gave us our remaining targets.

This trip I added Lesser and Greater Prairie Chicken, Hudsonian Godwit, Black-capped Vireo, Veery, White-rumped Sandpiper, Golden-cheeked Warbler and Henslow’s Sparrow.

The McQuades headed back to Florida where I will meet them next week for a Dry Tortugas pelagic. David got back to Florida covered in ticks. Meanwhile, I headed to Buena Vista, Colorado for my next adventure. Stay tuned!


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