As I have mentioned once or twice, I always see much more than birds when visiting Laguna Atascosa, Sabal Palm Grove, and other protected areas in southern Texas. I sometimes see wild cats. Although a small number of Ocelots do live at Laguna Atascosa and the elusive Jaguarundi may also occur there and a other sites, the feline that I see the most is the Bobcat.
This medium-sized wild cat is the most common feline in Texas. They seem to be pretty adaptable and can show up at watering holes or just appear in the grass when I am trying to take a picture of something else.
The wild canine that I see the most is the Coyote. This common animal has to be one of the most misunderstood creatures in the country. Admired by some but considered to be vermin by many others, Coyotes are intelligent canines that adapt to just about every situation. Although they are heard far more often than seen, I run into Coyotes on a regular basis.
Most of the birds tend to be prettier and look a lot more peaceful than the canivorous mammals shown above. The Common Ground Dove is a small dove with a subtly beautiful pearlescent hue to the feathers on its head and breast.
While taking pictures of this beautiful little dove, a female Western Tanager also showed up. The female is not nearly as stunning as the red-headed male but is still a fairly pretty bird.
During the winter, coastal lagoons are filled with thousands of Redheads. The large numbers of this beautiful diving duck just about guarantee plenty of photo opportunities. As with the Western Tanager, the males of this handsome waterfowl look much more stunning than the females.
They also pose for more dramatic images than the beautiful portrait above.
The flocks of Redheads will be around for another month and the tanager is a winter visitor but the Bobcat, Coyote, and Common Ground Dove are permanent residents in southern Texas.