Monday, 25 March 2013

Texas - Day 3

To day we headed off before sunrise to Aransas Wildlife Refuge to capture the mammals before the main part of the public arrived. Upon arrival we saw a small group of White-tailed Deer and a small Virginia Opossum. Unfortunately having got there before sunrise the light was to poor for photography. We then made our way slowly around the reserve in the hope of seeing any other creatures that may not be out later in the day but due to the high winds we saw very little wildlife at all and the reserve almost seemed empty.

After having a quick lunch at WhatABurger we headed back to the small pier that we had stopped at shortly last night. Here we saw a wide variety of birds including cormorants on the pier and a fly-by from Brown Pelicans.

Cormorants -  Phalacrocoracidae

Brown Pelican - Pelecanus occidentalis

Also at the pier all of a sudden we were joined by a large group of Skimmers which as my Dad described were like a "air show" constantly flying past, as one went past another came in from the side. This went on for around 10 minutes before most of them disappeared and left 2 behind which came and went until the whole group returned. At one time we believe we saw over 20.

Skimmer - Rhynchopidae

Skimmer - Rhynchopidae

At the pier I manged to fill 1 and a half 16GB cards!! We decided after about an hour that we both had enough images of skimmers and continued driving down the coast stopping every now and then for birds in small ponds or on telephone lines. 

Tricolored Heron - Egretta tricolor

Reddish Egret - Egretta rufescens

Tomorrow is the day of the Boat trip and hopefully will get some great views of the Whopping Cranes and some of the other birds which we have seen out on the grasslands.

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