Sunday, December 30, 2007

Aransas National Wildlife Refuge

I should probably not start this segment off with a snake picture -- but this was one of the first things we saw when we stopped at Jones Lake at ANWR. This is not your typical "snake in the grass" -- this is a water snake (Marc thinks this is a Florida Green Water snake). It's also curled up among old Cattail leaves. It had a friend stretched out nearby.

These ducks were also on Jones Lake -- I am almost sure they are Lesser Scaup -- a new one for the life list!

Heading up the path to the lake, I tried to get a picture of a little bird that was flitting all over the place. I was never able to get a picture, but on the way out I saw it well enough for an identification. It was a Ruby Crowned Kinglett. I've seen one before (at home!), but wasn't able to photo that one either. Instead, I caught this "white" butterfly, and my white balance went out the window! [Thanks to American Woman who identified this as a Great Southern White.]

We went up to the viewing platform, and saw lots of wading birds: Herons, Egrets, Spoonbills, and a family of Whoopers -- but the distance was way too great for pictures. So we headed out on the Auto Loop Tour.

We saw this duck in a little pond (probably a flooded hog- wallow) by the side of the road. It kept diving -- so I think it's pretty safe to say it was a "diving duck". However, when I looked at all the pictures in Sibley's it really looks like a "dabbler" (maybe Mottled or a Gadwall?).

Here's a close-up of the head. (Sorry, it's a really bad picture). If anyone has any ideas, please let me know. I'm leaning more toward a Gadwall, even if that is a dabbling duck instead of a diving duck.

Along the way, I caught this Eastern King Bird. Again, not a really great shot -- I apologize. I guess I'm just out of practice getting clear shots (that blow up well).

And finally, a Loggerhead Shrike. We have a lot in our area, and I don't normally photograph them, but this one was really posing, and I couldn't resist.


Sandra said...

Wow all I can say is those were great I even sent them to Jennifer and will show them to Charlise.

Anonymous said...

I think your little "diving duck" is actually a Pied-billed Grebe.

Stormy said...

Anonymous -- I think you're right. This is an old post (now) -- I think I have a better handle on Grebes these days. :-)