Biking birdwatcher Dorian Anderson snaps a self-portrait at the Texas border. Anderson's mode of transportation is parked against the Drive Friendly sign. Photo courtesy Dorian Anderson
Biking birdwatcher Dorian Anderson snaps a self-portrait at the Texas border. Anderson's mode of transportation is parked against the Drive Friendly sign. Photo courtesy Dorian Anderson

Dorian Anderson, the biking birdwatcher from Boston who visited 'Ding' Darling NWR in early March, is still pedaling and still birding. Almost two months and 118 species removed from 'Ding' Darling, Anderson finds himself in West Texas.

Anderson's website continues to be as remarkable as his journey with tons of pictures and detailed accounting of his exploits, both good and bad. His goal is to see as many different species in 2014 without motorized transportation—a Big Year on a Bike. It's just him and his bicycle, and that's bound to produce a lot of moments.

Presently Anderson is in what may prove to be the most difficult section of his travels—the ride under the beating sun across the desolation and emptiness of West Texas on Interstate 10, a road that seems to always be wet in Florida and never wet in West Texas. The heat is bad and a set of rumble strips along the shoulder suddenly turned Anderson's ride into what he called a “living hell.” That sent him into a rant on his website that is worth the read. He was H-O-T in more ways than one.

Anderson knew the West Texas ride was coming. It is all part of his master plan that put him where the birds are at the right times. When it comes to that, no part of Anderson's yearlong ride was more important to the species count than being on the Gulf Coast in Texas during the spring migration. It was during the crush of migrating spring warblers that Anderson hit his high point so far.

Black-throated Blue Warbler by Dorian AndersonThis big moment in Anderson's Big Year on a Bike came at Sabine Woods in Texas, but it started in Miami. Just before riding to 'Ding' Darling, Anderson heard a Black-throated Blue Warbler while tracking a La Sagra's Flycatcher. He stayed with the flycatcher and after some time saw the bird. He failed to follow up on the Black-throated Blue, and he found later, to his chagrin, that it is an East Coast migrant and that he likely wasn't going to see it later on.

He was already celebrating at Sabine Woods. Black-throated Green Warbler posed (Anderson's photo is above left) to become bird No. 300 for the year. Alone, on his bike and happy, Anderson pedaled away and five miles later saw a small bird in a bush. It was Black-throated Blue for No. 301.

Anderson's big find at 'Ding' Darling was Magnificent Frigatebird, bird No. 243 of the year. The list is now at 361 species. Check out his website, and we will keep you updated from time to time.

Island weather

Not much to talk about here except how great it is. Today's high under total sunshine will be 87 degrees. That is what it looks like through Saturday before a 20-percent chance of a shower enters the forecast on Sunday. It was 71 degrees at 6 a.m. today on both Sanibel and Captiva islands and The Weather Channel at santivachronicle.com says the overnight lows for the next five days will be about that.

Beaches

It couldn't be more perfect. The waves are knee-high with low tide for shell collectors coming to Sanibel beaches at 1:13 p.m. High tides today are 7:47 a.m. and 5:51 p.m.

The sunset on Captiva today is at 8:04 p.m.