The Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail
Central Texas Coast
CTC037: Aransas NWR
I went to Aransas in search of Whooping Cranes, which I found at Heron Flats. There is much more to see than the cranes, though. The refuge is home to 400 different bird species, not to mention the other mammals and reptiles, including alligators. Near dusk, I saw several deer and a family of feral hogs.
It was a cold weekday, the constant mist and wind making it feel even colder than the 38 deg C which was the high for the day. The only other people on the Heron Flats Trail were a couple from Philadelphia, PA who had driven down in search of warm weather and birds. Well, at least they found birds.
The Ruby-crowned Kinglet is an extremely active, tiny bird. I only got one shot before it was gone. I don't know if I'll ever get a better photograph because I've never seen one sit still for more than 3 seconds.
I spent a long time trying to determine whether I'd captured Greater or Lesser Yellowlegs. I finally decided they are both here. The one in the back on the right is smaller and has a shorter, straighter bill than the two birds on it's left, whose bills are longer and slightly upturned.
I love the Northern Pintail's pointy tail feather.
I think the American Avocet looks more elegant in it's black-and-white winter plumage than in the summer, when it has a cinnamon head and neck.
Date of visit: 2/7/2014
Time of day: Mid-afternoon to dusk
Temp: 38 F
Conditions: Cold, misty, windy
Species identified (21): Whooping Crane, Snowy Egret, Tricolored Heron, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Roseate Spoonbill, Lesser Yellowlegs, Greater Yellowlegs, Rusty Blackbird, Least Sandpiper, Pied-billed Grebe, White Ibis, Northern Pintail, Ring-billed Gull, American Avocet, Great Egret, Great Blue Heron, Reddish Egret, Long-billed Curlew, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Northern Mockingbird
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