The Progress Editor
The Annual Choke Canyon Birding Festival at Three Rivers, held on Saturday, Feb. 6, boasted more birders than last year.
“It turned out to be a perfectly beautiful day. What an awesome blessing from God,” said award-winning wildlife photographer Sylvia Garcia-Smith.
The birders gathered at the gymnasium in the Calliham Unit and were greeted by hot cinnamon rolls and coffee before they set out on their first tour.
Texas A&M professor Miles Phillips returned this year as a guide and lecturer, as well as Garcia-Smith, who gave a Power Point presentation on the “Birds of the Coastal Bend.”
There were several new guides and presentations for the festival birders, including Paul Jaure, park interpreter, Jennifer Owen of Rockport, regional interpretive specialist, and Anthony Yanta, falconer from Beeville. “The birders were very impressed with Yanta. They loved the fact that a falconer came over for a demonstration,” Garcia-Smith said.
“Many of us were able to photograph several buffleheads (black ducks with white heads), orange crowned warblers (drab-green birds), blue-gray gnatcatchers and osprey,” continued Garcia-Smith.
The booth was managed by Claire Barnhart of the Barnhart Q5 Ranch in Berclair and Wilfred Korth, land manager of the Coleto Creek Reservoir, Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority. They showed photos of the 2009 Coastal Bend Contest and encouraged visits.
“It was a grand day to be out birding, photographing and hiking all at once. Don’t ever hesitate to enjoy God’s creations,” Garcia-Smith declared with a smile.