Pam and Roy are here and this year they rented a cottage in Lamar. Their place is near fourth street, alongside the pond and do they have birds, (also two alligators one of which is huge and in th backyard of a house).
The attraction is a timed automatic feeder, and a dominant mated pair take control of the feeder! They keep away the eight immature whoopers, like our teenagers, a flock of smaller sandhill cranes, and even a herd of deer. All of these are well aware of the long sharp beak of the whooper’s They use the beak to rip apart blue crabs and there is a recorded case of one male whooping crane killing a feral pig that neared its chick.
Besides the whoopers dusk is filled with squawks as flights of tricolored herons, white ibis, little egret, and others all come in and land. As they fight each other for a preferred reed or tree branch they all raise a huge roar of squawks. Its lot of fun to hear such a raucous party.
Yesterday we decided to return to Port Aransas as Pam and Roy have not been there this year. As always, we started the birding by stopping at Leorna Turnbill Birding Center, and then driving to Paradise Pond, and Charlies Pasture.
There is a pair of whooping cranes that have taken possession of the area, (the whoopers are expanding their range), but they were not there and so we concentrated on the ducks, cranes, avocets, and other waders.
The usual blue wing and green winged teals, along with the northern shovelers dominated the water. The sun was just right, and we were able to see the blue,(the blus wing patch pictured is actually a female mottled duck), and green patches. A pair of black bellied whistling ducks paddled serenely along the water seemingly oblivious to all the other birds.
We next drove to paradise pong and it was pretty deserted but there were some Great Crested Fly Catchers. Now, if we could only find our life bird list we could see if it’s a new bird for us.
It was a nice day with family and a nice day for a picnic. We sat near by the ferry landings and enjoyed our lunch even though grackles and laughing gulls threatened to steal our lunch. Clear skies and stay well.