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..
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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.