Coyote Mercury

words, birds and whatever else by James Brush

Weekend Birds and Snake

The birds are singing a bit more and thus calling to be found. This mockingbird on one of the neighborhood trails especially so. He let me get pretty close before he took off, leaving me with perhaps my best mocker photo.

On Sunday R and I went to Hornsby Bend. On the river trail, we got a good look (and lousy shot) of this Crested Caracara perched high above the Colorado. We could hear, but not see, Blue Jays screeching at him from the nearby trees.

On the drive out, we had to stop for this Western Diamondback Rattlesnake, taking its time crossing the road.

After 20 years in Texas, this is the very first rattlesnake I’ve actually seen (heard lots of them, though). Strangely enough, the previous weekend, my brother was telling me he had just seen his first ever rattlesnake.

Halfway across the road, it stopped and started rattling. Not wanting to run over it and thus deprive the caracara or one of the many hawks swooping around the area of a tasty meal, I eased the car around it, but not before taking a few pictures.

Hopefully, it will be another 20 years before I see another one.

On the way out, with hawks screeching overhead, I spotted this Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, one of my favorite birds. I took his picture, figuring this might be the last one I would see until April.

Of course, I’ve seen quite a few on the way to work the past few days, but they’ll be heading south soon.


  1. That first rattler is always scary to really see. I saw my first in heavy brush, shortly before my dad shot its head off right in front of me. We didn’t let the birds eat it, though, since we also made that experience my first snake stew.

  2. After living in Texas for most of my life and spending every weekend of my youth in a lake cabin in west Texas, I saw my first (live) rattler right here in Austin – on the walking trail around Dick Nichols Park. I also saw my second and third rattler in the same park. Thrilling, yet a bit scary. I wish I’d had my camera!

  3. Heather, I’ve never tried rattler. How was it?

    Milaka, Amazin what one finds in the city isn’t it? I saw my first scorpion in a parking garage on 6th Street.

  4. I think it must have tasted like chicken. Only chewier.

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