“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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It's Mating Season ....

It seemed that all the locals had the same idea Bud and I had. The island highway was busy. And all the birding hot spots, once arriving in Port Aransas, were crowded. We all had been waiting for the Spring Break to end so we could enjoy the area to ourselves. LOL We stopped at three areas, Leonabelle, Paradise Pond, and Charlie's Pasture North [the salt flats]. At Leonabelle's there was a bit of fun bird watching while we were there....two Green Herons were in a courting ritual. And naturally, the morning light wasn't good for photography, but I managed to get one calling to his potential mate, and part of his displaying once he perched on a branch. These two images show their breeding plumage. In the non-breeding season, their legs are pale green/yellow and the rusty breast and bluish green is much more muted. Normally, the body feathers are smooth...today, he was displaying his crown feathers AND spiking his body feathers!!



In the uncrowded area, near the end of the boardwalk, I happened to catch him chasing his potential spouse...



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On to Paradise Pond. This area used to be one of THE BEST birding spots on the South Texas Coast. Not so any more, sadly. Just adjacent to the pond, on the back side, there was a massive destruction of the vegetation. Trees cut out, plants uprooted. Now, it's barren ground and a developing low income housing right off the pond banks. Too bad. When leaving, hidden in the bush, I spied a pretty wildflower..






- - -

And then, along the ship channel, to the pavilion where the trails veer off in opposite directions. Charlie's Pasture North. These trails and boardwalks twist, and wind, and meander through the salt flats. If it's dry weather, there isn't much activity. But still a good distance to walk. Wet season, the flats are filled with fresh water and the birds are everywhere. Yesterday, I spotted TWO Scissortailed Flycatchers!! A sure sign of Spring's arrival!!



...and literally, hundreds of American Avocets flying in to the now partially filled flatlands.



53 comments :

  1. Aww, I would love to witness a heron chasing a potential spouse! I hate when building/fencing or other destruction takes over what was once a favorite hangout of mine..Makes me sad...Love these photos :-)

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    1. Thanks Lisa...it's disheartening to see all this 'destruction' going on. Another habitat lost for the wildlife.

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  2. Never fear Anni mom said she wanted a Pallas cat too. But I put my paw down...there is only room for one diva here in my palace.

    AND speaking of NatGeo Wild...you should be the photographer at large for them. Your pictures are out of this world gorgeous and your timing to capture each one doing something special if purrfect
    Hugs madi and mom

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    1. Oh, that Pallas cat is just too awesome!!! Thanks M&M

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  3. mating season can be fun and loud.. i am so jealous of all those different owls you have seen. i have only seen one owl in the wild and had no camera then. hope he caught the potential spouse.

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    1. I've only seen a couple of owls of different owl families Sandra. I think you're looking at the header? As I posted directly below that header image,......those are all from my 12 month calender!!

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  4. The last encounter I had with an owl was at least a couple of decades ago... I'd been to visit a friend and had decided to head home. On the hilliest, twistiest part of the road a HUGE white owl swooped down, nearly hitting my windshield.

    Is it bad that I checked my knickers when I got home... just in case. LOL

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    1. I know what you mean....rofl

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  5. Fantastic Anni, always love visiting and seeing your bird photography, the scenery and the flowers. What a great area you live in. Those scissortail flycatchers are so pretty. I have never seen them before.

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    1. The scissortails show up each Spring with 'blooming' colors for breeding!! Thanks Denise.

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    2. Thank YOU Anni, it sure is a pretty bird.

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    3. Glad you enjoyed it Denise.

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  6. Beautiful images of birds,flowers and the area in general.

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  7. I've never seen a scissortailed flycatcher. That's one impressive tail

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    1. They are amazing looking birds to be sure.

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  8. Just a wonderful selection of images. Thank you.

    All the best Jan

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  9. What an awesome selection of photos. Your birds, and flowers are always beautiful.

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    1. You're kind Brenda, thanks!

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  10. I am thinking that I may be coming to Texas this year. I have to put a plan together, but I need to find some birds over there:) Love your treks around the area. Sorry to hear about the hotspot in bad shape. I've noticed that in Tucson as well. Poverty housing is the worst!!!

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    1. Come in April or early Autumn for South Texas anyway. You'll spot MANY Texas Migrants [the feathered kind that is]

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  11. Still a great selection of photos, even if it was a bit crowded. Sad to hear about the development.

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    1. Thanks Michelle....and yes, sad.

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  12. You should hear my yard
    Enjoyed this thank you for sharing

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    1. Thanks Martin....yes, those birds can get noisy this time of year.

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  13. What a fantastic place to walk though. I really like the look of those scissor tailed flycatchers.

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    1. It's a very pretty and quiet area as the birds love it near the pond. But sadly, much less feathered population these days. I too like the look of the scissortailed.

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  14. Oh, wow, I think you got some great captures.

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  15. A wonderful place and great photos.

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  16. You got some beautiful photos!

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  17. Hello Anni!:) You have a lot of choice places to see all these wonderful birds. The Heron put on quite a display, wish I could witness this for myself one day. I would also love to visit the salt flats of Charlie's Pasture, what a great place for seeing all the new arrivals, such as the Avocets and the Scissortailed flycatcher,... both beautiful birds. Lovely post, but I was sorry to learn about the loss of vegetation in this area.

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    1. I've had such mixed emotions on the 'destruction/construction'. I keep thinking more loss of habitat, yet, hopefully, the human side of it all will take it upon themselves to make amends when the building is all complete.

      Thanks Ms. S!!!

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  18. I would like to see an avocet. I like that Heron! We have a lot of wet land losses here.

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    1. Come on over Nora, I'll show you were to find 'em all!!

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  19. Pretty shots, Anni. The birdies are chirping up a storm in the birdie bush in the backyard right now.

    I suspect shenanigans!
    ~

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    1. It's dark o'thirty here, too early for shenanigans in my part of the world. hehehehehe

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  20. beautiful blue sky reflected into that water. thanks for the fence, too.

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  21. Feel like I have had my morning walk. Amazing presentation and narrative of a story happening all around. We feel the birds in our back yard and enjoy cardinals, chick-a-dees etc. Just common birds but God's handiwork. No herons here.

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    1. Oh Cardinals are one of my favorites. We have a Mr. and Mrs. that is frequenting our feeders right now.

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  22. Great photos, Ms. Anni!
    I have an old bicycle computer made by a company named Avocet.
    Little did I know that it was the name of a beautiful bird, until I visited you today. So, thanks.
    Have a Happy Day!
    Peace :)

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  23. Neat fences and great nature shots!

    Happy Weekend coming to you ~ ^_^

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  24. You are so lucky to live near this lovely area. So many great birds and the boardwalk and it's fencing is quite nice. That Scissor Tail bird was super cool.

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    1. Thanks for the visit and complimentary comment once again Ida.

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  25. seeing hundreds of Avoets wouldbe am amazing sight to see Anni.. Have a HAPPY EASTER.

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  26. I always love your bird photos and the little flower is beautiful too. Of course I am SO envious of your owl photos in the banner. That is my hope....to see an owl on one of our hikes this year. We hear them...! Hugs, Diane

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  27. Glad to see your scissor-tails are back, Anni. Ours haven't' arrived yet. Last year five flew in on April 9th, so I'm expecting them anytime! Have a great week!

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