Saturday, 23 March 2013

Texas - Day 1

First full day in Texas and first park. The first on the list is Brazos Bend State Park with a large amount of bird sightings throughout the year and a large number of alligators it was a must!!

Upon arriving at the park we headed down to the nearest lake, 40 Acre lake, after a 50 feet walk towards the lake we found ourselves under the tree canopy which was alive with the sound of Cedar Waxwings and running on the floor were Fox and Grey Squirrels collecting and eating seeds.

Fox Squirrel - Sciurus niger

After a looked at these fascinating creates we walked to the edge of the lake were we had a close view of a Great Blue Heron and a then just before the pier sticking out onto the lake was out first alligator.

American Alligator - Alligator mississippiensis

After a few minutes photographing the alligator we moved onto the pier, keeping one eye on it at all times, and looked out over the lake. Around the edges we saw 1 Rosy Spoonbill, 1 Great Egret and a Cormorant along with a many more.

A Reassuring sign to welcome you to the lake

Walking around the west side of the lake we found a number of alligators laying by the edge of the path to keep us on our toes as we made our way round. We also saw a large array of different bird species my favorite of these was of course the Northern Cardinal but the one that stood out the most was the Great Egret which towered above all the others.

Great Egret - Ardea alba

All around the lake were turtles, they seemed to infest the lake and overwhelm all the other species in numbers, even the coots!!

Slider Turtle - Trachemys scripta elegans

After a walk around the first lake we headed to the Elm Lake and whilst we only walked around half the lake before heading back, we saw 2 snakes (Broad Banded Water Snake, Yellow Bellied Water Snake) Green Heron, Great Blue Heron, Tricolored Heron, Little Blue Heron, White Ibis, White-faced Ibis and a few Anhinga. 

Yellow Bellied Water Snake - Nerodia erythrogaster

The only two lizard of the day were seen on 40 Acre Lake.  The smaller one of these anoles quickly vanished into a bush.

Brown Anole - Anolis sagrei

One of my favorite shots of the day of a Little Blue Heron sticking his tough out at me, clearly in disgust to my pointing a lens at him.

Little Blue Heron - Egretta caerulea

All over the park the trees were covered in Spanish Moss, dangling from the trees and often covering the floor below. 

Spanish Moss - Tillandsia usneoides

After our walk around Elm Lake we stopped for a our packed lunch before heading down to our next hotel for tonight in Angleton, Having checked in wedrove down to San Bernards NWT. Where we were disappointed with not only the weather which was now overcast but also the lack of birds. Even when using the car as a hide and moving slowly down the road we managed little photography, However nearing the end of trail we were on Dad spotted a Caracara up in a tree. We moved slowly into position as to not to disturb the bird and started to snap away, not the best of images due to the angle but the sheer size and colors of the bird more then made up for this. 


After this amazing sighting we left the reserve and headed back to prepare for our journey tomorrow to our next location down on the coast. 

1 comment:

  1. Lovely photos! I hope you had a good time in my home state! Just a quick ID correction. That is actually a green anole (Anolis carolinensis). They can change from green to brown.