It is a short drive for us to go view the whooping cranes in Lamar, Texas. We only have to cross the Copano Bay bridge and then turn right to reach the bay front. From there we drive past the duck hunting club building and reach a small pond.
The pond is occupied by some birds but also contains a huge alligator that waits for any unsuspecting birds or birders.
The people who live in the house have to put up with the gator and with all the birders who often stop to photograph both. They have posted no parking signs along their property line. Good luck with that, (if you want you can park around the corner and walk back to see the birds).
A little further and you reach a huge open field where you can see more another pair of whooping cranes. Each adult pair occupies about a square mile of territory and does not suffer with letting other pairs into their territory.
Sand hill cranes also flock to the field and try to get close to the whoopers food source but they quickly leave when the larger whooping cranes threaten them, (adult whooper cranes stand five feet tall). There is also a small pond in the field which contains snowy egrets, black belied whistling ducks and rosette spoonbills.
You may also see night crowned herons, but we did not on this day, and of course the ever-present turkey vultures. All in all, it is a great place to see the whooping cranes. We do plan on taking a ride on the bird boat, the skimmer, after we have gotten our covid shots. Another option is to drive out to the Aransas Wildlife Refuge, which was created to protect the whooping cranes. We usually do that each year.
Our count for the day was eight whooping cranes, numerous sandhills, rosettes, and black belied whistling ducks, We also saw the one alligator. Not too shabby for a two-hour time frame. Clear skies