San Antonio Botanical Gardens.

San Antonio was the inspiration for this whole trip I took.  Two of my awesome friends moved there back in September and I had been wanting to visit them since.  I opted to drive so I could bring my dogs since their dogs and my dogs were BFF's.  So that is why this trip happened.  The dogs were stoked to see their buddies (human and dog both).

The next morning my friends who wish to be referred to as Mystery and Enigma took me to the San Antonio Botanical Gardens.  Upon getting out of the car they pointed out a bird and asked what it was- I said it was a White-winged Dove.  This caused them to break into song and dance.  Funny I never realized that's what Stevie Nicks was singing in Edge of Seventeen.  Now I know.

The gardens were gorgeous of course, but more importantly they were filled with birds!  In addition to the WW Doves there were a couple of Northern Mockingbirds in the parking lot to greet us.

There was a small faux pond thing in a courtyard that attracted this young grackle and its mom:

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks are fairly common around the city and I saw my first ones at this same pond.

Pretty rad birds.  Next to the pond I saw my first Inca Doves too:

Rad, also.  Around the outsides of the buildings were several Barn Swallow nests with babies..

In another area of the gardens was a more natural pond with a trail around it.  Here Purple Martins zipped around while Green Herons lurked and the only Blue Jay of my trip made an appearance.  Best of all was a new thrasher- the Long-billed Thrasher.  Pretty cool since it only lives in southern TX and Mexico!

Also had my only Carolina Wren of my trip at this pond:

I saw several snakes on my trip- I found the swimming ones most disturbing...

The gardens had some mega fancy Purple Martin houses:

The birds seemed to like em.

The first time I posted this entry I forgot about this kingbird:

The yellow on the breast seems to go up higher than for a Western, and the beak seems fairly long too.  Thoughts?

Of course, the gardens weren't just all about birds... There were plenty of impressive flowers and plants to gawk at...

Good times!  Huge thanks to Mystery & Enigma for putting up with all of my birding ridiculousness!


  1. Handsome birds in San Antonio. Whistling Ducks are oddly stunning. I'm utterly transfixed when I look at them, but can't explain why.

    You got a lot of great shots here. Well done!

  2. UH LA LA...great finds!! The Whistlers are super looking, they remind me of the cedar wax wings for some reason, the dogs sure were having a blast!!! What fun. ITs hard to explain to non birders what the fuss is about eh?

  3. That thrasher is really cool! But that snake gives me the creeps. Thanks a lot, now I'll have nightmares... The kingbird looks like a western with the white outer tail feathers. I think Couch's would be further south but don't quote me on that. Cool dog and flower collages, I have to learn how to do that.

    1. Thanks Jeremy! I agree the snake is creepy. I use Picasa to make collages, but I'm sure there are other ways too.

  4. Great post! That Barn Swallow nest looks really cool; I bet it was be really fascinating to watch them build that.

  5. Another great post, Jen! I love the cute dogs! And all the birds are awesome. The Whistling ducks are so cute and I love the barn swallow shot. The Thrasher is cool. The flowers are gorgeous, what a great place to visit.


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