Monday, November 17, 2014

Nov 17 (Day 321) - A short ride with actual birds!

After two very long, 100+ mile rides, it was time for a break today. I stayed at the Best Western Ozona Inn last night, and today I commuted 37 miles east down I-10 to the Best Western Sonora Inn. My legs actually felt fine on the ride, but I nonetheless feel asleep as soon as I arrived. Earlier in the year I would have the energy to go out birding/photographing after I reached at my destination, but at this stage of the year I am so wiped I can't do much else than watch TV, surf the net, and snooze when I arrive. I suspect that once I reach areas with more exciting birding this will change, but at the moment I do feel a bit like a slug. I guess I've earned the right to veg a bit though!

A wider map to give you some perspective of where I am right now.
I am now in the heart of Blue Bell Ice Cream territory!

Texas waffle at Best Western this morning

Rolling through Texas Hill Country

It was a chilly 28F when I awoke at 7:00am this morning. Given that I did not have far to go, I waited until 11am to depart. By this time the temperature was 37F. However, today, unlike yesterday, the sun was shining brightly and this helped to nullify some of the additional chill provided by the 10-12 MPH north wind. There was a nice service road paralleling I-10, and from here I was able to do some actual birding as I rolled leisurely along. Greater roadrunner, Black-crested titmouse, Hermit thrush, Black-throated sparrow, Northern Mockingbird, Northern Cardinal, Bewick's wren, Red-tailed hawk, Lark Bunting, Golden-fronted woodpecker, White-winged dove, Canyon Towhee, American goldfinch, American kestrel, Lark sparrow,  and Loggerhead shrike all made roadside appearances. It was really nice to actually use my binoculars today. They've been firmly stashed in my bag for the last 4 or 5 days. The should see some more action in the next few days - I hope. 

Tomorrow I am going to ride 55 miles to Rocksprings. This ride will take me south for ~20 miles and then southeast for ~35 miles. With moderate to strong south winds forecast, this ride looks like it will be a pain in the ass. I would get started at sunrise, but again, it is going to be in the mid-20s in the morning. I just do not have the clothing with me at this time to ride in thee conditions. I will have to wait for it to warm up which means the winds will be in full swing for most of the ride - UGH. Who knows, maybe a hawk-owl will ride the cold air down to Texas!


  1. Don't forget to beat brush for Harris's Sparrow when possible! Good luck on the ride tomorrow

  2. I hope a Gyrfalcon lands right in front of you tomorrow