Water is a scarce resource in southern Texas. While there are coastal lagoons, sources of fresh water can be hard to come by. For this reason, water drips, ponds, and even the smallest of seeps can concentrate a wide variety of birds, bugs, mammals, and reptiles. It can be a bonanza for the photographer and wildlife watcher.
Recently, I had a very nice photography session at a small “watering hole”.
Altamira Orioles are one of my valley favorites. These brilliantly colored birds are regular visitors to drips but are also seen just as often away from water.
Spring migrants are starting to pass through southern Texas in numbers and many stop off at water sources. The striking Hooded Warbler is a common resident in the woodlands of the southeast and a simply beautiful bird.
Blue-gray Gnatcatchers also visit sources of fresh water to take advantage of the bugs that prefer the humidity of such sites. The hyperactive nature of this litte sprite makes it very tough to photograph.
Lincoln’s Sparrows are also starting to pass through in numbers and are a common bird around fresh water. They look a lot like the Song Sparrow but have a thinner, daintier bill and buff markings on the breast and flanks.
Another rather dull-plumaged bird of southern Texas is the Brown-crested Flycatcher. This one will also show up around water but is well adapted to arid environments. It is shaped a lot like the Great-crested Flycatcher but has much paler plumage.
Another flycatcher that is adapted to arid conditions but will show up at sources of water to take advantage of the insects that occur is the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. This dapper bird shows eye-catching salmon-red wing linings in flight and has a long, forked tail.
Armadillos are a fairly common sight in southern Texas and hanging out by a source of fresh water is an excellent way to get close shots of these comical creatures.
Javelinas can also make an appearance.
You have to be careful around these wild pigs because they can be aggressive!
In contrast to the intimidating appearance of the Javelina, Cottontail Rabbits are about as cute as an animal can be!
As I have mentioned, water also attracts insects. This exquisite wasp was visiting spring flowers.
This wasp seemed to blend in with the red and yellow flowers it was feeding on.
With migration kicking into gear, I expect to get lots of photos of colorful warblers any day now. Drips and other sources of fresh water will be good places to find them.