When we got up this morning the sky was still grey and cloudy and there was a fine mist of rain still falling. It has been almost two weeks with clouds and rain in this area of Texas but this afternoon all that changed!! The sun came out!!!! Wow, it has been a long time since we saw such a beautiful day. The clouds parted and there it was, a beautiful fall sky. The temperature was just perfect…..just a little crispness in the air. You just can’t let an opportunity like this pass you by so Mike and I decided to take a drive through the refuge and just enjoy the day. We had heard from some of the locals that the Peregrine Falcon had been spotted in the refuge and we wanted to try and get a look at it.
We saw the Semipalmated Plover. This is another new bird for us and a great example of why refuges such as Hagerman are so important. These birds, as well as other shorebirds, are being threatened by habitat loss. It has been an education watching the refuge prepare the area for the arrival of the migrating birds. They have taken several areas adjacent to wildlife drive and flooded them to make a marsh environment. They prepared the farm fields by getting rid of unwanted plants and then cultivating the area for tall grasses(wheat and mung beans) for winter food. We saw more American Avocets, or the same ones, who knows?? There are more and more Mallards arriving and it seems the American Coot is growing in population. The American White Pelican is still in the area and of course the graceful Great Blue Heron and the Snowy Egret and the Great Egret We are not sure we ever saw the Peregrine Falcon but there is always tomorrow.
We drove through many of the back roads of the refuge and just enjoyed the beautiful day. The trees are just beginning to turn their fall colors and this only added to the beauty of the day. What a peaceful place! Fall has always been one of our favorite times of the year. You just feel so