Long day, number 1

I am writing this in Shreveport, Louisiana.  It’s been a long day so it will be a short blog.

The day started in the UK at 430 am and at 430 pm I set off in my hire car from George Bush (presumably Snr, but maybe both) International Airport, Houston, TX .  It’s now 930 pm so that’s 17 hours but you also have to add in the 6 hours time difference so it’s been a long day.  And I got 15 minutes sleep on the 10 hour flight.  But I’m not complaining as I have seen a new species of bird, a new species of mammal and two new US states.

The mammal wasn’t looking at its best as it was squashed on the road, but I’ve never seen an armadillo before – and this was presumably the 9-banded one that has, I seem to remember, identical quads.

The bird was a bit frustrating as it was a scissor-tailed flycatcher – a stunning looking bird (according to the books) with an unmistakeable tail (according to the look I had before the lights turned green in Lufkin (what a  lovely name!), TX.   Objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are, but not if they are small birds with amazing tails.

New birds that you see on Day 1 of a trip are ones that you tend to think ‘Oh I expect I”ll see plenty of them’ but I am, even now, teetering on the edge of this species’s range and will only reenter it after three weeks, or depending on route taken, maybe closer to six weeks – so one can’t be too sure.

Just a short blog to tell the world, but more particularly the few people who will be looking out, that I arrived safely and that the trip is underway.

Please do leave comments on this blog – but note that they are likely only to be moderated at the beginning and end of my day (which is going to be between five and eight hours out of synch from the UK readership’s days.


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11 Replies to “Long day, number 1”

  1. Mark,

    I'm in Denton, TX right now at the Society of Ethnobiology meeting at UNT (see: http://ethnobiology.org/conference/upcoming) and came across Scissor-tailed Flycathchers at the small town of Post in the west Texas Great Plain country.

    A truly remarkable bird that I need to get a better pic of than I did. Enjoy your trip,


  2. Sounds a long arduous day Mark but nonetheless I've turned a little green with envy. Top of my list, were I to go to the States again would be bison, wolf, bald eagle, a myriad of other birds, Fort Robinson ( Crazy Horse memorial although I hate the wording), Wounded Knee ( After reading A Wolf in Twilight by Nerburn), Adobe Walls and Palo Duro Canyon.

    1. Paul - all sound good to me. Should encounter some of those! Plenty of turkey vultures yesterday.

  3. Outside of zoos, the only armadillos I've ever seen had been converted into musical instruments. Hopefully you will get to see one (or more) that has not either been flattened by a truck or had a fret-board and strings attached!

  4. Good to hear you have made it to the States without incident Mark. Is it hot over there?

    Cool and showery here. I'm off to the Burren this afternoon - not quite as exotic as Texas but should be great.



      1. That'd be the County Clare Burren, Miles and not the County Cavan Burren? The weather'll be much better at the latter, of course. 🙂 See http://www.cavanburren.ie

        1. yep it's the County Clare Burren Dave, and though the weather has not been at its best, the flowers are stunning. Orchis intacta in flower - teeny but beautiful. Pinguicula grandiflora in flower - stunning. A few birds too.

  5. Tiring as it is, I love that travelling west feeling.

    Eating your evening meal in Victoria BC when your watch tells you its mid evening, then the time stamp on you photos reminds you its 3:30 in the morning. That's when you know your trip has really started.


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