Monday, January 31, 2011

Aransas National Wildlife Refuge - 2011

Aransas NWR... How gorgeous is this? Waaaayyy out in this picture was actually two Whooping Cranes!

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This is the last of my posts from my recent trip to Texas. It has been a depressing day so I figured a little reminiscing of this trip would do me some good! Just a short drive from Corpus Christi, TX, Aransas NWR is just one of many places in the area that require much more than just a few hours to bird properly. It is, in short, one of many Texas birding locations that I would consider my favorite. Well, actually, every stop we made in Texas was my favorite. So, what made this stop so special? Birds, of course!

The target bird for the day was the Whooping Crane and the Whooping Crane was the first priority. After a quick stop to the visitors center, we made a trip to a location where two Cranes had been reliably seen. Thankfully, they were on location as I had hoped. Next, it was anything and everything. Highlights were everywhere you looked. They included: Northern Pintails (tons), Snow Geese (tons and a life bird), Green-winged Teal, Blue-winged Teal, Lesser Scaup, Redhead's, Crested Caracara's, American Kestrals, Sandhill Cranes, Eastern Phoebe's, and Bufflehead's to name just a few. We even saw three more Whoopers!

My time at this location was short but it just gives me one more reason to go back. Perhaps this November for the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival!

Great Egret... if this bird wasn't present, the experience would not be complete.

Pine Warbler

Ducks and Geese... Mostly Snow Geese and Northern Pintails... this raft of ducks stretched forever!

Alligator Pond... actually one of the best stops. A fantastic diversity of ducks were present in a very small area... as you can see for yourself!

Alligator... at Alligator Pond!

Royal Terns... this was not taken at Aransas. It was actually taken in South Padre but since I had to get my 250 pound body on the the ground to take this picture I wanted to be sure and share it! The sun was almost down but for the lighting I had, I like the picture!

2 comments:

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Chad, sounds like you had a great time in Texas --seeing lots of wonderful birds... I love that last picture you took from ground level... NEAT.

Have a good day.
Betsy

Kelly said...

Glad you got your Whooping Crane!! I've been thinking about the Rio Grande festival too. I'm trying to convince Rick he's a birder and really wants to go there...and if he really wants me to I'll go there with him! :-) By your list, it looks like this trip was great!

Indiana State Bird

Indiana State Bird
Northern Cardinal