A Morning Dove flew across the highway in front of me, it’s wings slicing through the heavy mist. I was rolling south on US 281 shrouded in fog, 55 miles from The Valley and one hour from my Waterloo. Okay, so we all know that this Golden-crowned Warbler is a “must see” bird for my Big Year. After a string of four successive disappointments, success is critical. There is now pressure from my family, who are coalescing around the mantra of “Don’t chase anymore single birds- they’re a needle in a haystack”. The warbler was seen on Wednesday at the NABA Butterfly Garden next to Bentsen State Park.
I rolled into the NABA parking lot, paid my daily admission fee and headed to the dike trail where the warbler had been seen. Phil Kelly from Kokomo, Indiana, who originally located the bird, has provided excellent detailed directions and tips on how and where to view the Golden-crowned Warbler. I began slowly walking the trail. Lots of Great Kiskadees and Green Jays were flitting from branch to branch and Yellow-rumped Warblers were flycatching everywhere.
On the west side of the dike trail I saw movement in the dense shrubs below me. Got you! I stepped back into the trail and waved my arms wildly. Eventually Victor Luna noticed came running. We were both able to snap several photos before the skulking warbler flitted ahead of us into another mass of brambles.
It was lunch time and I was back in The Valley. A celebration was in order and where better to celebrate than Taco Palenque! The two adobada tacos never tasted so good!