I left home when it was still dark. Getting out on the freeway, I headed over the harbor bridge [sill lighted in colored lights as is every night until sunrise], driving through Portland, Texas and continuing for about 30 miles to a little fishing village called Rockport-Fulton. I either leave home real early or later in the morning....for one reason: just before you get near the highway exits to Rockport, there is a curve on the highway...a blinding curve if you reach this area at sunrise. The sun hits your eyes and no vehicle sun-visors help. You're driving blind!! If you don't know this particular area, it can be dangerous at that time of day!!! This morning, the clouds kept the sunlight subdued. No problem-o!! Rockport and Fulton are two communities with no distance between them....two separate communities, hence Rockport-Fulton. This small area of the Texas coast is one of my favorite areas nearby. They all have so much going for them...museums, art, sealife, historical homes, great birding, state park just over the bay, antique dealers. And the friendly, congenial atmosphere all the way around is always like a warm welcome home which, for me, is a marvel in my estimation, considering today's times. While driving the bay highway, within the city limits, such a beautiful, beautiful, quaint landscape awakens your senses... of the bay, the palms, the sail boats and yachts moored, thatched cabanas...and so well maintained!! I would like to wake up each morning with this seen through my window.
Where I park my car to begin walking the beach pathway...
...Just after sunrise
In the Jealous Sky
At the end of the park's circular drive, there is an area that is well-known to birders! Here, they have cordoned off a large area to protect the Spring Nesters. Mainly you see Herons, Spoonbills, Ducks, Willets, Ibises, Skimmers, Doves, Terns, and Seagulls. This time of year, there are literally tens of 1000s of birds, mating. And soon the numbers are tripled-perhaps quadrupled with hatchlings. By the time I walked and got about halfway to the area, the noise of birds calling was deafening. I was on the hunt for the elusive vagrant bird!!
The nesting area has been changed quite a bit since last year at this time. Last year, the land was covered with silver-leaf sunflowers. This year, hardly a sunflower is seen...the town sodded the grounds and right now it's covered with wildflowers. With the rains, the flowers are quite high and finding this little vagrant bird is a challenge. Heck, even last year, with the sunflowers the bird was difficult to spot!!
I walked the area and circled around a couple of times, keeping my eyes to the fields. Nothing. I climbed the observation tower to scope out the small islands that are covered with nesting boxes for herons, egrets, and spoonbills. Those islands were busy with activity...the herons have their daylight hours filled with keeping their young's hunger sated!! Through my binoculars that is quite a sight to behold. The spoonbills and egrets [along with ducks and gulls] are still busy building this year's homes.
After quite a long time I climbed back down and walked some more, all the while watching terns, skimmers and gulls...stopping to scan the vast population of birds for the little black and white booger that seems to not be around at this particular time!!
An Osprey was busy feeding on its catch of the day!
Anyway, to stop gabbing [too many words, I know] - All along the way, I took photos...
I love bent Palm Trees!! - and Brown Pelicans on the old piers near "Little Island"
Area where the Gulls and other birds Nest - and A white Ibis in breeding colors
Signage on "Little Island" warning of Federal Bird Protection Laws - and gulls taking flight [a lone Caracara came flying in and the gulls took off in fear! Imagine the hundreds of gulls calling out warning to others...oh the ruckus!]
This is part of the new wildflower landscaping [last year this field was all sunflowers]. I'd like to call this Fields of Gold [one of my favorite songs by Sting! lyric line "You'll forget the sun in his jealous sky as we walk in fields of gold"]
Seagulls by the 1000s
Terns by the 100s
Black Skimmers by the 100s
I DID find one of the three vagrant [rare] birds! Got photos for my bird photography blog and will post them eventually. As mentioned above, Bud and I spotted the one that was here last year. This year, he brought some friends with him...three so far. Here is my post from my bird blog from last year, if you're interested in the rare bird....click here to see photos