“A wise old owl lived in an oak;
The more he saw the less he spoke;
The less he spoke the more he heard...
Why can't we all be like that bird?”
― Edward Hersey Richards




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...all in the game

What a weekend for a Denver Fan here at our house!! Especially Sunday. We left early to spend about 4 hours on the islands, birding. Before we left home, it had been quite foggy but cleared out. Just as we drove over Padre Island, we spotted osprey, white tailed hawks and peregrine falcons!! Yet, as we neared Port Aransas, Texas on Mustang Island, the fog was so thick, we could barely see in front of the car. The highway speed limit before hitting the town's limit boundary is 60MPH...we slowed down to 25MPH!! We crept through town and approached the street lights with much caution!! If someone was ahead of us, their brake lights were only visible just inches from our vehicle! A bit scary, but as often as we've been there, it was slow going, but we arrived at our first birding area safely. That was about 8 a.m.! And believe it or not, on a Sunday, with dense fog...there were several birders there already. We weren't the only crazy people out in such climate. We usually 'hit' three areas in the part of the gulf shores. We readied ourselves with our binoculars for each of us, put on our 'rain gear' to keep the dampness off us and we walked out to the boardwalk, pond, and elevated observation deck. With the cold winter temps, the cat-tail reed is dying off and a lot of the surrounding area that is more hidden in the summer is making for a larger area to observe. The first bird we came upon was a Cooper's Hawk in the entry-way tree. Ironically, it was in the exact same branch as the previous Sunday. Of course, the fog being so thick, I didn't stop to take any photos of it 'cause it wasn't all that visible...just a hawk 'form'.  But as  I turned to photograph the fog, I took a photo of the tree...and another copied image, I highlighted in white and clarified its form in the tree...enlarge the photos to view better.  To make an hour long story shorter, we saw mostly ducks. The fog began to lift once the sun started heating the atmosphere, and I was able to take more photos. But the highlight here in this first stop, was a bird I had yet to even spot, let alone, get photos of it!! Even tho, the camera IS waterproof, I still use a bit of forethought before using it in inclement weather. Way too expensive of equipment to ruin for just one special photo. Y'know? Okay, so the bird I spotted in the cat-tail was an American Bittern. I took several photos. LOL Once I started, I couldn't stop. We left eventually, and headed for the 2nd destination. Once there, we saw nothing much at all. Only dozens and dozens of Yellow Rumped Warblers. High up in the vegetation growth, three turkey vultures were sunning themselves. Bud and I didn't stay long here at all. The third and last spot is Charlie's Pasture North. This is a huge, vast salt flat and fresh water area that has a few miles of paths and above water boardwalks! After parking the car, we stepped up on the covered pavilion and viewed the lake before walking part of the path to the south. The fog, by this time, had disappeared, but the wind was still cold!! Here, we saw white ibis, shoveler ducks, roseate spoonbills, vultures flying above us, egrets, herons, mockingbirds. I sat on one of the benches that is on the pond's banks for a while in hopes of seeing a white faced ibis [muddy brown in winter, wine colored during breeding]. Didn't see any...except one. And that one was in the flock of white ibis. They too flew high above us and was not foraging in the water. Bummer. The following photos are of the weather we were in...the one with Bud's shoulder & baseball cap...there IS A LAKE in front...but you can't see it because of the low-lying clouds swirling around us!!  Here are some pics of the foggy morning breakdown...






Clear skies once again, I mentioned, we spotted a few birds at the last stop, but while at Charlie's Pasture North, Bud noticed a huge tanker coming down the channel heading out to sea. We walked a bit around the open fields to get to the channel's edge and watch it drift slowly making its way through the water. At the bow, I noticed three dolphins leading the ship's way through the channel [enlarge following images to spot the dolphins]---






Then, back home by noon and getting cleaned up to go out for a late lunch and watching the Bronco/Patriots game for the Championship Title!! I was elated with the outcome. And super happy that 'poor T. Brady' lost!! Boo hoo. lol Surprisingly, the Seahawks won. Well, not all that surprised. But watching highlights of the 49ers and Seattle, that was a messy, flubbed up game!! I predict another Bronco Super Bowl title!! ---And I'm a diehard Bronco fan, so don't take me wrong with Brady and the NFC Championship game later Sunday evening.   



GO BRONCOS !!

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32 comments :

  1. I've seen the American Bittern once, in Oregon, through a scope. He was so far away and blended in so well with the reeds, there was no way I was getting a photo. Good for you!! These are very secretive birds from what I've read. I'd call that a successful birding day.

    Go Broncos!!! :)

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    1. Yes...successful and an unexpected thrill to see a 'new' bird!!

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  2. So glad you got some great pics despite the fog. That was some crazy stuff here, too. And yes, Denver deserves to be in the big game!

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    1. Foggy, then nearing 80 degrees...and now a freezing prediction? What next, huh?

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  3. Congrats to your team the Broncos. The fog sounded bad, at least for sighting the birds. But, you did pretty good considering the conditions. Love the dolphins.. Have a great day!

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    1. ...it wasn't fun driving in it, but once out of the car, I loved the fog. Yes, I am always thrilled to see the dolphins guide the way for the ship's captain.

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  4. The fog made the pictures look dreamy and congrats on your team winning.
    Either way, sounds like you had a great time, and that counts :-)

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    1. ,,,we DID have a good day, thanks.

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  5. Glad you made it safe and sound in that fog! Sounds like a good day was had in spite of it. Yay! The Broncos and Seattle were the ones we wanted to go to the Super Bowl.

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    1. ...indeed the entire day was good. Thanks Cheryl.

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  6. Sometimes the fog can be a hinderance but it does give some amazing pictures.

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    1. ,,,you are so right...fog is a phenomenal part of nature!! There is danger with it, but oh so beautiful.

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  7. Congrats to the Broncos!!! Thank you for sharing these photos and your day birding. Glad you had a safe trip and that's great about the American Bittern! Have a good evening, Mildred

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  8. You sure had a full and fine foggy day! If you say there was a lake, I will agree, OK but what fog!

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    1. LOL...yep, a rather LARGE lake at that.

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  9. What a foggy day! In spite of it, you got some great bird pictures. We aren't football fans, so we didn't care who won. :)

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    1. We aren't much of football fans either...just the Broncos!! Me, more so than Bud.

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  10. Always good to see your team make it tot he Superbowl.
    I never like driving in heavy fog.

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    1. ...driving in it can be really scary...especially the 'unknown' factor lurking behind the mist!

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  11. Go Seahawks! I'm so glad we got to the Superbowl, and I am also a Broncos fan, so you know, I can't lose1 :-)

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    1. ...the 'oobie doobie' bowl!!! LOL

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  12. We were happy the Broncos won, too!! Love the dolphins and the red tanker!!

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    1. ...oh, for me, seeing dolphins in the 'wild' is a huge thrill.

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  13. Last summer Hubby and I stopped at a little area that's known for Eagle watching...but unfortunately we didn't see any. A few weeks later I was hanging out on our porch and what did I see, an Eagle...who had decided to move into the tree across the river! Probably the coolest bird I've seen so far.

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    1. My yes....eagles are so magnificent. I agree. And to have 'em in your own yard so close is even a BIGGER plus!

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  14. So glad you made it safely. The fog was terrible here this morning too. We had to fight the oil field traffic going to burn pear.

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    1. I know just what you're saying with the 'oil field traffic'...we have that too if we're in that area during the week!! Sunday is the day we venture out that way. LOL

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  15. We'll I thought of you when "we" won! You had a great day all around. I love the fog photos but driving must have been a chore!

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    1. I know it was hard on the nerves!! Both the driving and the game. LOL

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  16. Congrats to your team winning! The fog lends a haunting effect to your pics. Love them!

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