Monday, November 23, 2009

Wednesday at Port Aransas

Wednesday morning we drove out to Port Aransas to visit their Birding (and waste management) Center. OK, they share a parking lot -- but it's really a nice place. When we were coming in, we were told there was a lot of Red Headed Ducks -- but if they were, they were in a huge group at the far end of the pond.

There were a lot of Teals (both blue- and green-winged) and a lot of turtles, but other than that, not a lot of the birds we usually see. In this picture, you see a couple of Ibis, a lot of turtles, and a bunch of "brown" ducks -- they might be redheads, but I couldn't tell.

We did see one Spoonbill flying over (too quick to get a picture), and there was some sort of heron off in a corner "dancing" around, but I could not get a clear picture of that one either.

However, of the pics I got of some of the birds, this is my favorite: a male Blue-winged Teal in his breeding plumage, among rippling water with stray feathers and a great reflection.

This is a Ruddy Duck, whose breeding season is March to August. You can see that his blue bill is almost back to gray (no, it's not all mud).

I took a pic of a Ruddy at this same place back during the summer. Who knows, it might even be the same duck! But you can see that he is much brighter and his whole bill is blue!

We often see Nutria at Port A -- this time, we only saw one and he was a small one. They are often considered pests in many parts of the world (like Louisiana). I wonder if they're edible? (Marc says they're pretty nasty -- they're like rats.)

Fall trip to Fulton, TX - Tuesday

Well, we finally made it back to the coast to see our favorite coastal birds, and whoopers. We got up early in the hopes of catching the afternoon birding boat tour, but they didn't sail on Tuesday afternoon, so we drove around a bit. I took lots and lots of seagull pictures, but they're pretty much all the same, so I'm not including them here... We did get some interesting shots, though:

In addition to the seagulls, I took several pics of Brown Pelicans -- my favorite sea bird. This is a good shot of an adult coming out of his breeding plumage. I think this was taken by the Convention center, where Marc likes to feed the gulls.

As we drove further down Fulton Beach Road, almost to the Kontiki resort, we saw this interesting trio of birds:

From left to right, a Snowy Egret, a White Ibis and a Little Blue Heron.

Here's the view from the back. It took us a while to figure out the ibis, as he had his bill tucked under his wing!

Across the street from this location are two ponds, which will usually yield an egret or heron. This one was standing at the side farthest from the road when we went by, but on the way back, he had moved closer to the middle, and was giving us a showy walk. Not sure whether to call this "Walk this Way" or "Walk Like an Egyptian". Either way, with his neck jogged to the side and his toes curled, he makes an interesting sight.