Wednesday, April 2, 2014

McAllister Park

If this doesn't convince folks to pick up after their pets, I don't know what will.  Eeeew.

I'm linking up with this week's Signs, Signs,   "a weekly meme of interesting, funny, ridiculous and unexplainable signs".

The sign and other photographs in this post were all taken at McAllister Park in San Antonio.  A couple of weeks ago, I headed to the Texas Hill Country for a group hike.  After four hours at Enchanted Rock, I was driving home and decided the day was too beautiful to waste.  Mid-afternoon may not be prime birding time, but it's rare to not find any birds.  If they didn't want to pose, I could find something else to photograph.  I picked a spot on the Heart of Texas Wildlife Trail and made a pit stop.         

In spite of being a little weary from my morning hike, I found myself wandering at least another four miles along the park's trails.  They were very wooded and didn't feel like a city park at all.  The playgrounds and soccer fields were crowded, but I only passed the occasional jogger or walker otherwise.

I noticed something about the people in this park.  Other places, people chase my birds away.  Here, they waited quietly until I got my photograph.  Then they proceeded down the trail without having frightened my subject or put themselves into the frame.  What a very pleasant surprise.  

The Northern Cardinals were happy to be photographed.  They seem to be active all day.  I'm not sure if there are more of them, or if they are easier to find with their bright colors and constant vocalizing.

I was reading a Facebook page for rare bird sightings and was surprised to see much excitement about a Cardinal found in Canada.  It's easy to forget that the birds I see every day are not so ordinary to others.  It's sad to read of the debate over whether it was an escaped caged bird or had migrated on it's own.  People cage these birds?  If it's not criminal (it is here in Texas), it should be.    

The males get all of the attention, but I think the female is quite lovely.

There were quite a few kites flying in the empty soccer fields.  I found Nemo!  

Heart of Texas Wildlife Trail - East
HOTE 090
Date of visit:  March 16, 2014
Time of day:  Mid-Late Afternoon
Temp:  65 deg F
Conditions:  Sunny with occasional wind gusts
Species Identified (5):  Northern Cardinal, Great-tailed Grackle, American Goldfinch, Black Vulture, Carolina Chickadee


  1. A pretty place for birding, love the Cardinals..The kite is pretty. Have a happy day!

  2. well that's a yucky thought! beautiful photos!

  3. Beautiful park nice people sweet cardinal....we didn't have them in the Northwest, where were from originally and they still thrill me even tho I see them a bit oftener now. Oh and that sign ought to make dog owners think and grab a poop bag.

  4. I wish they had some signs like that around here. No one in Berlin picks up after their dogs and it's gross!
    Your cardinals are cute too. I miss those colorful birds.

  5. I like the GULP at the bottom of that sobering sign.
    I also love your shots of the cardinal couple.

  6. Eeewww is right! Ugh, I wish people would pick up after their pets. The cardinal photos are delightful. :)

  7. the sign made me laugh! :) the trees and shadows in the 2nd shot are beautiful! what a nice place!

  8. That sign really brings the point home doesn't it? Great photos, loved the close ups of the birds and that colorful kite.

  9. Scary sign! I do wish ALL dog owners would pick up after their dogs.

  10. Beautiful birds Jen....and such a bright fun looking kite...

    But, I must ask you for your permission to copy that dog poop sign so I can place it on my sidebar!! Let me know if it's okay. Thanks in advance.

  11. Those photos are gorgeous! Wonderful to see the totally clean way!

  12. That's a very original sign Jen. I'd be interested to know if it works. Over here there are doggy walkers who pick up the poops and then leave the bags for someone else to pick up, usually an unpaid volunterr or a local authority worker whos wages they pay through taxes. Often the bags are thrown in trees to hang on branches for evermore.

    Enough gripes. I remember seeing lots of Cardinals in Ontario Canada so can't think what the excitement is about.

    Your lovely pictures remind me what a gorgeous bird it is but what a hell of a grip it has on fingers with that huge bill.

  13. looking like you're off to conquer all the birds in Texas Jen --- love those cardinals and as you say the female is equally charming

  14. Cardinals are beautiful ~ Wonderful shots ~ thanks for your lovely comments ~ xoxo

    artmusedog and carol

  15. Beautiful cardinals and a great shot of the kite!

  16. What beautiful birds the cardinals are. Here we mainly attract just black birds - and the occasional Hoopoe blown over from Morocco!

    That kite is spectacular too.

  17. I've always felt sorry for caged birds, too.

    Thought about you as I went on my first birding trip to a blue heron rookery. It was fascinating to see them nesting high up in the trees on an island along the river.

    That "was" a nice surprise to get respect from the park goers as you were getting shots of the birds!

  18. nice to see the cardinals in the wild and not on feeders. :)