Monday, November 07, 2016

Sabal Palms Sanctuary . . . the feeder

At the bird feeder by the old visitor center, listening to the last rain drops hitting the leaves and palms. 

Watching the water drops hitting the leaves and causing them to flutter. Seeing the reflections of the green tree leaves in the reflections on the dark deck. Feeling the gentle cool breeze. Hearing the quiet voices of a group of birders who drop by but don't stay.   As I wonder if any birds will visit the feeders on this wet day, I hear a bird calling. Chachalacas pass by with their loud cackling call. 

The forest is thick and green around this old visitor center. It is quiet now - only the sound of the occasional rain drop. 

The Green Jay arrives. 

Buff bellied on feeder.
When I mention to a visitor one appeared - a female. 
Shortly a male arrived - giving me ample time to study him but not to photograph. 

Maybe he will come back.

2 white tipped doves silently arrive. 

Now 3 white tipped doves are at the feeder. 

Buff bellied hummingbird came back allowing photo opportunity 

Now there are 4 doves. 

Green jays come in disturbing the white tipped doves

Now 4 green jays but my cough scares the doves off but the green jays quickly return. 

It has been the quiet of nature but in the distance is the rumble of machinery - the bass of a car radio's beats in the distance. 

Hoping for an oriole to drop by . . .

The dove wings whir as they fly off. 

The rumble of thunder precedes the next group of people with their footsteps and quiet voices. 

They pass on by for the trails. 

I have a nice quiet place to weather the storm and a raincoat to keep my equipment dry. But I would prefer that it not rain on my hiking friends. 

I wonder, "Will a Cooper's hawk come fly over the feeder this time as it did the last scattering the birds?"(Sadly, it didn't.)

A loud group of chachalacas passes noisily by out of sight.

10 white tipped doves whir away as they are startled by my cough. 

White tipped doves melodically coo behind me. 

The buff bellied briefly returns. 

Jays come in but the white tipped soon reclaim the feeder. 

The water drops dripping from the leaves are a calming sound. 

As I see movement in the low vegetation and hope for olive sparrow but so far it is always white tipped dove.

The buff bellied comes in briefly.

A soft high call note signals the presence of another small bird. 

Only one chirp. Will it call again, will it reveal itself or will it be just the one note that told of its presence without revealing the identity?

After 4 days of birding, I am soaking in the quiet peace so far removed from the ugly election hoopla. 

A group of chachalaca come silently one by one to the feeder.  

The 5 chachalaca have control of the feeder. 

2 Black crested titmice arrive but can't compete with the chachalaca. 

Green jays and doves wait for the chachalaca to leave.

More human voices. They don't come close as they walk by on their trail. 

The chachalacas are finishing their meal and the green jays return. 

Human voices scatter the birds but a brave few remain at the feeder. 

People stop and we quietly visit sharing stories,

A couple of small birds possibly orange crowned warblers tease us but stay out of sight refusing to reveal their identity.

A cottontail rabbit comes through grazing on the vegetation. 

They tell me the trails are slippery confirming the wisdom of enjoying the feeder station 

Loving watching the green jay's yellow tail display in flight. 

Mourning dove arrives. 

I move over to sit on the wet wooden seats and I am rewarded by a better view and photograph of the buff bellied hummingbird. 

Time to go . . . I enjoyed this peaceful, restful interlude in one of my favorite places in the Rio Grande Valley.