For the last few days this week, I've been hitting all the birding hotspots along the coastal bend, and in town, traipsing the parks for the migrants. I tellya, in some areas 'hotspots' is the proper terminology. Everywhere I look a different bird is flitting around!! I can't keep the camera focused on them all at once. I'm thinking that this past week, and maybe into the next week, this is PEAK SEASON for migration. For the most part, Bud is being the hero of it all...he's staying home doing the yard work while I'm out being dazzled by the color. Birds everywhere!!! I am sure if I begin to list what birds have been spotted [not all photographed tho, sadly] I wouldn't even begin to name 'em all...
RUBY THROATED HUMMINGBIRD
CHUCK WILL'S WIDOW [a night hawk]
several species of SPARROWS
WARBLERS BY THE DOZENS
ROSE BREASTED GROSBEAKS
QUAIL [in the sea grasses along the park road]
ORIOLES of all kinds
HAWKS [some permanent residents, others migratory]
I'm still on my quest to find and photograph the yellow headed blackbird. People have reported them here in our vicinity, but I haven't seen any yet.
...just to mention a few species!!
This week was also a time [you have until the 26th of April] to enter all USA's National Parks for free. No entrance fees! This promotion is to get people out of the house and back to nature. I took advantage of it on Thursday morning. Just to find shorebirds and get to walk along the beach in quietude...before others are up and about and the shifting sands and surf became too busy for me...altho, I spent, for the most part, all day there. I got there early and left late in the afternoon. Walking and sitting on the picnic tables, enjoying the views of the sea...
The first permanent settlement on the island was located on the island's southern tip. This area was established around 1804 by a Spanish priest, Padre Nicolas Balli, after whom the island is named. Padre Island National Seashore separates the Gulf of Mexico from the Laguna Madre, one of a few hypersaline lagoons in the world. The park protects 70 miles of coastline, dunes, prairies, and wind tidal flats. The Kemp Ridley Turtles return here to lay their eggs and hatch their young annually, and the entire barrier island is always on patrol for turtle nests to nurture them in safe keeping from predators at the vast science laboratory on the park's grounds. If anyone sees nests/nestlings, they are to be reported. Otherwise we have a TURTLE PATROL that runs the distance hourly...
Before Spain, Mexico, the Republic of Texas and USA's possession, the Native Americans, the tribe called the Malaquites roamed the barrier island. The park's visitor center is called Malaquite Center; located on Malaquite Beach. The center facility has public restrooms, and a gift shop with a small display of the natural habitat of the island life.
Malaquite Beach just after Sunrise
This tree is somewhat of a landmark...years ago it was washed in from a huge storm mass and 'took root' in the sandy front of the beach and remained here for decades...it's now a popular perch for seabirds!!