My 2018 Flock Count

The World According to Doray

2018 was a great birding year for me. I traveled to some fun places and had the opportunity to find/see birds not found in Texas.  Year end total count was 214 species.  Although it may be slightly higher as I wasn’t always diligent in my recording keeping – something I’ll address for 2019.

Here are some of my favorite bird pictures:  Yellow-rumped WarblerOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA



White-throated SparrowOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


Golden-cheeked WarblerOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


Black-bellied Whistling DuckOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Spotted Harrier …


Birds of prey make their living in different ways; Kestrels are fond of mice, Peregrines are fond of pigeons, Brown Falcons are fond of snakes. Hunting technique are appropriate to the creatures hunted.

Harriers go about their business fairly low over open country with wings upswept. In Australia we have a couple of members of the guild, Swamp Harrier and Spotted Harrier. One prefers wetter habitats the other drier habitats.

The dry plains around my home seem ideal for Spotted Harrier but for all that they are only occasional visitors. I was looking for quail when I encountered this one, so was he probably.

Spotted Harrier

When looking for mice in the grass slow flight is an advantage. Kestrels and Black-shouldered Kites can hover. They are both smaller birds, there is only so much energy in a mouse and hovering is expensive. The equation works for the small birds but…

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Dale Cochoy, American Bonsai Guy

Adam's Art and Bonsai Blog

Shogyu Mujo-En…..

This was what American bonsai potter pioneer, and carving mentor, Dale Cochoy, called his bonsai garden. The last word, En, means garden, that’s the easy part.

Almost prophetically, the first two words mean….well, that’s a tough one. Like many words and phrases in other languages, the literal meaning isn’t the whole meaning. This is Dale tending his kiln during his last pottery firing.

On the morning of New Year’s Eve, I found out that Dale passed away. It was not unexpected, but it was still a shock. He wasn’t a good friend, I had met him several times at the Bsf conventions years ago and had interacted on Facebook and Messenger several times. I had no idea what he thought of me. But, reflecting and thinking about him these last days, I’m beginning to really understand what I think, and feel about him and his bonsai legacy.


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