Saturday, 30 March 2013

Texas - Day 8

Having arrived in Port Aransas only yesterday we were now packing to head to our final destination  Lake Jackson for our last night in Texas before heading back to the UK. We got up early and had a quick breakfast before heading to the Birding Center and Paradise Park on the island.

At the Birding Center we spotted Teal, Avocets, and Shovelers, Cinamon Teal and Ruddy Ducks along with many more. One of the Ruddy Ducks on the lake was in its mating colors, which meant its bright blue beck stood out.

Ruddy Duck - Oxyura jamaicensis

Green-winged Teal - Anas crecca

After leaving the Birding Center we headed to Paradise Pond, which was more of a patch of wet mud, again caused by the drought which is effecting wildlife. Although not so much a pond anymore we did spot a few butterflies flying through the tree tops and Yellow Crowned Night Herons perched grooming themselves on the branches.

Yellow-crowned Night Heron -Nyctanassa violacea

From the pond we headed to the beach, in the hope of seeing some different species of sea birds. As we drove down to the car park we were confronted by around 30 Brown Pelicans all flying together and straight towards us, a great start! We parked up the car and walked down towards the waters front, on the way passing what at first looked like a load of Laughing Gulls but on closer inspection we found that they were Royal and Sandwich Terns small Sanderlings running in between them 

Laughing Gulls Calling - Leucophaeus atricilla

As we headed down to the waters front itself we spotted more Sanderlings running in and our of the sea as the tided came in and a pair of Turnstones which were feeding off a piece of washed up drift wood.

Turnstone - Arenaria interpres

Sanderlings - Calidris alba

Sanderlings - Calidris alba

As we went to leave the beach we noticed some Willet sleeping while standing on one leg. As we moved in closer they woke up and started to not run but hop away, which instantly made us laugh. We started to think after that something was wrong with the birds and they only had one leg each but as we moved in again they put their other foot down and stood there looking at us before running off again.

Willet - Tringa semipalmata

Heading away from Port Aransas we started our journey towards Lake Jackson. To split up the journey slightly we decided to take a quick stop at San Bernard National Wildlife Refuse, which we visited earlier in our trip. Here we again headed to the Bobcat Walk, around the boardwalk  and then halfway around the first of the larger lakes that can found on the reserves. From here we spotted a number of large Alligators.  Having seen what they can do we were both holding back a bit when it came to getting close to any of them, even the smaller ones. From the walk we also spotted White Ibis, Black Winged Stilts and what seemed to be a mass meet of Coots whose numbers had to be well over 100!!


From here we headed to Lake Jackson and Cherotel Grand Mariner Hotel, for our final night in Texas!! :(

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