“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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Supertanker? No...

It was raining and drizzly Monday, and the chances of seeing the scheduled supertanker come into the Port A's ship channel was highly unlikely. But, we drove there anyway. Our first stop upon arriving was the jetty at the channel; on the beach. Looking out to the Gulf waters, we couldn't see much of anything. The air was thick, the visibility was nearly nil beyond the end of the jetty. I got my binoculars and scouted out the horizon. While I saw very few ships anchored out there, there was NO supertanker!



The 1st high tide had passed in the wee hours of the morning, and according to Bud, they just don't bring ships into a channel in the dark! Too dangerous... so, they remain anchored out to sea, until daylight. I know I didn't miss the tanker come in at 1 a.m. [high tide]. We stayed in the small town, birding, while the tide was receding and then coming into high tide for the 2nd time in the day; around 12:30PM. We drove to a couple of birding areas in hopes of finding the elusive Bay Breasted Warbler that has been reported in Port A. I actually got a picture of the female!! I didn't know it until I got home and uploaded the photos from the camera card. That is a lifer [a new species] for me!!

Anyway, while there at the same area, I witnessed something that was very disturbing! This trait of the American Coot is now one that I will never forget. It's called tousling. 

From wikipedia:
    Chick mortality occurs mainly due to starvation rather than predation as coots have difficulty feeding a large family of hatchlings on the tiny shrimp and insects that they collect. Most chicks die in the first 10 days after hatching, when they are most dependent on adults for food.   Coots can be very brutal to their own young under pressure such as the lack of food, and after about three days they start attacking their own chicks when they beg for food. After a short while, these attacks concentrate on the weaker chicks, who eventually give up begging and die. The coot may eventually raise only two or three out of nine hatchlings. In this attacking behavior, the parents are said to "tousle" their young. This can result in the death of the chick.

I have uploaded the photos I took of the cruel act, but won't add it here on my blog. I know some may be curious, so if you'd prefer to see what I'm talking about, click here.  Be forewarned, it'll bring tears to your eyes.  Personally, I never cared much for Coots....they're EVERYWHERE.  I know, I know...it's nature. And nature can be heartbreaking and lots of trauma. I just don't need to have something like this etched in my memory.


After stopping for our two birding areas, we then returned to the jetty and waited for the tide...still scanning the horizon, I saw no supertanker. The sea was getting rougher, the winds kicked up. I walked the beach a bit, returned to the jetty where Bud remained, and sat down to watch a ship leave port to say a final farewell to us, as the dolphins led the way out... At one point, I got sidetracked and watched a brown pelican surf the waves while catching fish. We were getting hungry by 12:30PM so left and stopped at a Mexican restaurant, then, returned home.



Again, reading the news and the media online, yep...again, they lied to us.  They reported it [the ship] to be docked on May 22nd.  Once home again, I emailed the petroleum company in Ingleside, Texas and the PR informed me that it wasn't in port yet. I guess there is still some working out of planning and such...not the media's fault after all.   Maybe I'll get to see it ...who knows.

 Until We Meet Again...

39 comments :

  1. You managed to get some great pics anyway. I love watching ships. I enjoyed so much watching them go through the locks on the St. Lawrence. Always think about where they have been, where they are going.....

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    1. Oh me too. Tho I fear water, I love everything about the sea.

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  2. I didn't know that about coots. Thank you so much for not posting that online. And I do hope you get to see your supertanker, Anni! :-)

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    1. They're annoying birds anyway in my opinion...but I guess it's part of the survival of the fittest theory.

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  3. Hello, congrats on your warbler lifer. They are pretty. Wow, the Coots can be mean parents. Happy Tuesday, enjoy your day!

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    1. Now...if I could find the male...I'd be a happy birder!

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  4. What a pleasure being with you on your daily journey in life. However, not a water person, but do enjoy seeing the sights.

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    1. Glad you stopped by while I shared the morning LV

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  5. well after all this I do hope that super tanker gets to your area when you are ready with your camera. never heard of coots or of their behavior. just more proof how cruel nature can be... hamsters eat their young, found that out the hard way when my boys were little

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    1. 'The hard way'...I understand.

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  6. To me it would be amazing to see sea mammals...coffee is on

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  7. And...a mother cat will eat her newborn babies if a tom threatens to kill them. It is her way of "protecting" them. Been there! Hard facts of nature's bad behavior really hurt but it is also realistic.
    Hope you see your tanker in the upcoming weeks.

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  8. Oh no, I find it disturbing too that coots tousle their young, obviously to death.

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  9. Loved our walk by the water this morning.
    Mama Bear

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  10. I enjoyed the shots even though you didn't see the tanker. We are land-locked here, so I always enjoy your photos.

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    1. Come on down ... water's waiting!

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  11. From birds to ships to super tankers, you see so many interesting sights.Thanks for giving me a glimpse at some these things I would never get to see in my world.

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    1. Thanks Ruth...I enjoyed your friendship post also.

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  12. So this tousling is that they drown them? I have often heard of and seen baby chicks pecking their siblings to death, but not the mother! That seems so unnatural. Now I hate coots!

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    1. I agree Ginny...I never liked 'em much, but now there's a REAL reason I dislike 'em. Tousling, if you read or view my photos I shared on another page, shows you they grab 'em by the neck...and tousle them....sad to watch.

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  13. Too bad you didnt get to see the supertanker. You did get some great shots though. That is some pretty rough water

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    1. That is nothing...you should see the waves when there is a storm out there!! lol

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  14. Your picture of the owl on the left of your blog is beautiful. I'm not familiar with Coots or maybe I know them by another name. Most likely I don't know the proper name.

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    1. I only know them as coots. Thanks paula

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  15. You got some great pics, but I hope you do get to see the supertanker.
    Nature is so cruel sometimes. I hate that!

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    1. Me too...it is something I don't like to think about. But, nature knows best I guess.

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  16. The rough water doesn't seem to bother the Pelicans!
    Have a great day!

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  17. Looks like a challenging day out for the birds.....but I kinda like those unique days. Congrats on your lifer!!! That warbler would be a lifer for me as well!

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    1. I will hafta be satisfied with the female [rather it would have been the male tho]

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  18. Congrats to you on the lifer! Hope you get to view the supertanker soon.
    I wish you two a pleasant evening. xoxo

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  19. Oh Annie, thank you for sharing such great pics. Looks like it was a terrible and rough looking day. Love dolphins! Amazing creatures.

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    1. Thanks, Pam, for stopping by.

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  20. Oooooo, nature is cruel..... survival of the fittest I guess... Terrible thought, but if humans followed natural laws, maybe we'd be a better, stronger, humanity? Ugh, let's leave this avenue of thinking.....

    But I do love your choppy seas, even if the supertanker wasn't spotted.

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