My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

My Blunch Lifers

Prickly Pear
Prickly Pear

After breakfast I was walking around with Patty and her brother who were telling me about the deers they encountered that morning. I noticed this large bird in the distance and quickly pulled the binoculars up . . . could it have been??

Crested Caracara Crested Caracara
Crested Caracara – blurr

Patty and Harry needed to head back to the house and I began working my way towards the bird to confirm its identification!! I didn’t get too far before the Crested Caracara (Yep Lifer – CHECK) flew into another cluster of trees. I tried to approach closer but the Caracara was easily spooked and flew away. I decided to go explore the area it was in with some hopes that the bird would return (and find other cool birds)!

Crested Caracara
Crested Caracara

I weaved through all the Prickly Pear’s and flushed this sparrow up from the ground!!! As I pulled my binoculars up to scan the LBJ’s identification . . . .  it flew towards a bird which I had already recognized without too much confusion. Too many decisions on which way to go!!

Loggerhead Shrike
Loggerhead Shrike

Question is do I get a picture of this Loggerhead Shrike (Lifer – CHECK) or do I try to follow this little brown job for another possible lifer?? I went after the Shrike and the bird was very cooperative in allowing me to capture a series of pictures of it! Like my Carolina Wren from yesterdays post . . . . those Northern Shrike’s would never let me get this close for a picture (even when photographing from a vehicle)!! I figured I needed to take this opportunity because I have no idea when I could get this opportunity to photograph such a stunning bird like this again.

Loggerhead Shrike
Loggerhead Shrike

I was finally happy with my pictures of the Shrike and then worked my way back to the little brown job where I was try to be blend in with the surroundings. The sparrows finally flushed into this shrub not that far from me. I kept taking pictures of the bird with each step closer that I took . . . . . I honestly couldn’t identify these little brown jobs until I returned back to my room to consult my Sibley guide. However I knew this was a lifer for my checklist!!

Lark Sparrow
Lark Sparrow

These ended up being Lark Sparrow’s (Lifer – CHECK) and they were the cutest little things ever with their funny striped heads and bullet mark in the chest. Not a species I had expected to find but they were happily added to my life list! Throughout the time we spent on the ranch . . . . I was able to relocate many of these birds with Patty so that she could also add them to her life list!!

Lark Sparrow
Lark Sparrow

I spent a few hours out in this one section of the ranch chasing these 3 lifers around and it was finally lunch time. I headed back to the house to sharing my new birding stories with Patty’s family and their hunting guides. The next blog post (since I am running out of room here) . . . . . I will explain two more lifers that I encounter during my first full day at the ranch. ( Hint – – – – be careful what you wish for )!!

Lark Sparrow
Lark Sparrow


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17 responses

  1. Great shots – I’m really jealous because I SO want to do a birding trip right now. Good luck with other lifers!

    15 January 2010 at 7:23 pm

  2. That’s so funny…the caracara and shrike are both here in Florida and fairly common. Love seeing both of them!

    15 January 2010 at 8:37 pm

  3. I can just feel your excitement. Aren’t caracara’s amazing? Hope you spot a Harris’ Hawk next! Amazing shots of the Lark Sparrows, esp. that last one! And those pictures of the Loggerhead Shrike are so shabby, either. Can’t wait to see what tomorrow will bring!

    15 January 2010 at 9:53 pm

  4. How cool, you hit bird lottery! I really like the lark sparrow, very distinct features. Good luck on more finds!

    15 January 2010 at 11:53 pm

  5. Grace

    What a great way to get new material for your blog.

    16 January 2010 at 12:48 am

  6. lisa at Greenbow

    Great shots of your lifers.

    16 January 2010 at 8:46 am

  7. Barb F.

    Crested caracara looks like such an awesome bird; great pics of the sparrow and shrike.

    16 January 2010 at 11:08 am

  8. Great photos–I’ve never seen any of them before!

    16 January 2010 at 11:41 am

  9. Your pictures are breathtaking! If you could count photos, the lbj and the shrike (of all things) are lifers for me too.

    Thank you so much.

    16 January 2010 at 1:16 pm

  10. Moe

    Fantastic! They would all be lifers for me, too.

    16 January 2010 at 5:04 pm

  11. What an awesome name: carracara. Rolls right off the tongue. Congrats!

    17 January 2010 at 9:51 pm

  12. Pam

    Very cool finds, Tom! Can’t wait to see what else you found!

    18 January 2010 at 2:13 pm

  13. Wow Mon@rch, all those great birds in just one morning! And you got such great photos too! Thanks for sharing.

    18 January 2010 at 8:13 pm

  14. The picture with the two Lark Sparrows is my favourite.

    20 January 2010 at 12:06 am

  15. Congrats on the Lifers!

    21 January 2010 at 5:45 pm

  16. Marg

    I’m with Marty!

    Those Lark Sparrow are so cute-and what great shots-and the Shrike-stunning photo

    Any photo I have a shrike is way too far away!

    27 January 2010 at 6:02 pm

  17. Lark sparrows, lark buntings? Now all you need are horned larks! I got all 3 on my Big January list this year. I’m so excited for you to be getting all these life birds and such wonderful photos too.

    4 February 2010 at 6:17 am

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