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.)