Sunday, July 08, 2007

King Ranch

On Saturday, we took a tour of King Ranch -- a very little bit of it! It was very interesting -- the largest ranch, still owned and run by the original family.

This was my last chance to see the Green Jay -- but I was disappointed. The day wasn't a total waste (from a birding perspective), however. On the tour we saw two Crested Caracara in a tree. A third was on the ground. Of course, when we stopped the tour bus to take some pictures, the two in the tree flew off. We didn't notice the third one until we were leaving. It was a bit smaller than the other two, so I'm guessing it was a juvenile (though juvies are not always smaller in birds of prey).

It was challenging to take pictures on the tour bus -- and many of the shots I took did not come out well. We saw several wild turkeys, like this tom. One was actually displaying, but I was unable to get a shot of that one.

In addition to the turkeys, we saw an egret rookery, with some tri-colored herons and a spoonbill thrown in for good measure. I might have seen a black-crested titmouse, but I'm not sure. The one bird we were able to add to our life-list was the Groove-billed Ani -- unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of that one either. On the grounds of the residence we saw a pea hen, and later a peacock -- they like to get on low branches so their tails can hang down.

Since the King Ranch is a working ranch that specializes in cattle and quarter horses, there were plenty of both around. I did not get any shots of the Santa Gertrudis or Santa Cruse cattle, and the longhorn shots I took did not come out well. However, this beautiful foal is a lovely picture of a future quarter horse.

1 comment:

american woman said...

Thank you so much for sharing these great pics. I also am interested in your camera information as a digital SLR is on my wish list. It looks like a great trip