This photo pretty accurately depicts how I feel after this weekends Birthday shenanigans.
You might think I went hog-wild and hit all the clubs and drank myself stupid, hooked up with random men, got in fights, stayed up until dawn or any other number of things.
Nope. Not today, Satan.
The truth is, I did something way more intense. I went Birding. Not just birding….BIRDING. Like, extreme birding!
My sister and I went on a Sister Birthday Birding Weekend Extravaganza together. Our birthdays are a week apart and we love to hang out together and take photos of birds and wildlife. So we came up with the idea of taking a Sister Weekend just to celebrate one another.
My sister chose the place…The Hill Country….and chose the Bed & Breakfast we’d stay at and the itinerary for the different birding spots we’d go to. Basically she planned the whole thing, I just bought the food and the alcohol. Pretty sweet deal if you ask me.
We stayed in the cutest Bed & Breakfast called The Wishing Well in Ingram, Texas just outside of Kerville. Their prices are really reasonable and the cabins have a fully stocked kitchen and lots of room to move around. The hosts even stock the fridge with basics so we could make breakfast for ourselves each morning and have a cup of coffee.
During the three days we were away we hit anywhere from 1-3 birding or wildlife spots each day. Some of the spots involved hiking and most days were out on the trails or in the bird blinds for 8-12 hours a day.
So it might be easier to understand why we were in bed asleep by 9:00pm each night (or even earlier) and up well before sunrise so we could get to our next destination to watch the sun come up and see the birds as they began to become active.
Friday consisted of
Crescent Bend Nature Park, Landa Park and Guadalupe River State Park. We saw Wood Ducks, Cedar Wax Wings, lots of sparrows and finch’s and of course Cardinals. I think I got this squirrel photo at Guadalupe River State Park. He was a ham for the camera and we enjoyed watching him play, eat, drink from the fountain and then lay down for a siesta. He did that circuit about three times before we left.
Saturday consisted of South Llano River State Park. Nothing more.
This place is enormous with four amazing bird blinds and we bounced around from one to the next and saw even more Sparrows, Cedar Wax Wings, we also saw a Black Capped Vireo, The Spotted Towhee, Tit Mice, The Vermillion Flycatcher, The Pine Siskin, Wood Houses Scrub Jays and much more.
Sunday we went to Pedernalas State Park and Mitchel Lake. We saw more of the same as we’d seen at the other places. We were really trying to hunt down the Golden Cheeked Warblers, but my sister the Back Yard Bird Nerd says it might still be a little bit early for them.
I enjoyed photographing all the wildlife and birds I saw over the weekend, but one of the high points for me was watching the Cedar Wax Wings swoop in like a gang of bikers and take over a water feature for about 3-4 seconds and then swoop away back up into the trees again. I enjoyed listening to their high pitched song and they are so quick that catching them in a good photo feels like you’ve accomplished something.
It’s just the tip of the Spring Migration iceburg here in South Texas, so I’m excited about taking more trips with my sister as the weeks progress and see what else we can see.
Did I mention that between the two of us, we took over 20,000 photos over three days? Yes, you read that right. We each took over 10,000 photos respectively so we will be going through and editing photos for a while. I’m sure I’m find a way to use them in future blog posts.
Right now, however I think I need a long hot bath and my own bed. I am exhausted and my dog missed me so we have some serious snuggles to catch up on.
Without a doubt, this weekend spent with my sister on our shared birthday celebration was the best birthday I’ve had….maybe ever. It was relaxed, no makeup, no expectations, no stress. Just me, my sister, our cameras and Google Maps.
Oh and lots of eating whatever we wanted. Because, everyone knows that calories don’t count on your birthday and they certainly don’t count on Sister Weekend!