Early this morning as I walked down the road to feed Star, I saw these meadow larks (Sturnella neglecta) sunning on the barbed wire fence between the house and arena pasture. I walked quickly back up to the house, grabbed my camera and took a few shots. The larks are skittish and I did not get close, but I edited the ‘Early morning landing’ above as the sunlight pierced the feathers, creating an illumination that I saw only when I enlarged the picture. Fascinating.
The photograph below captures the small flock on the fence. When I came back to the house after feeding Star I looked out the front window and saw that the flock (or another group) had come around to the front of the house and was feasting on insects and seeds on the front lawn. You can click on the ‘Larks on barbed wire’ below and obtain a larger image. I did not get a picture of the flock at the front of the house.
I have noted that birds are singing more here at the ranchito since the weather has warmed and rains have come. I saw my first Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) a few days ago perched on a T-post beside the road to the barn. I have a goal to photograph the bluebird this year. I have seen as many as eleven bluebirds bathing in the runoff water from the horse trough.
Notes, corrections and additions:
To disclose my identification of the ‘meadow larks’ above, I have to add that my confidence in typing the above birds as meadow lark is fairly high, but with a bit of doubt about western or eastern. When I got the Peterson’s guide open and starting reading about the meadow lark, there are at least two varieties, western and eastern, and I will have to look closer for the signature attributes. The white edges on the tail (seen in the first photograph) are specific signatures for the western variety, so I go with that identification. Besides, this is west Texas.
I will look again in the morning at the flock, pending their reappearance.