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Got a good reason For taking the easy way out




Stir Crazy...

On a cold wintry day this past week, Bud and I were going stir-crazy being cooped up in the house during the near freezing cold snap. Rains hindered any plans to go birding. But after two days locked up indoors, we said "The heck with it...the roads can't be icy at this hour in the day"...so we hopped in and drove to the islands in hopes of finding a new bird I hadn't photographed yet. On the Texas Birding site where other birders post their experiences, I read that a Northern Gannet was seen along the Aransas/Corpus Christi Ship Channel's jetty. The wind chill was nearing mid 30 degrees, the sky was drab gray and no sun, the birds along the shore were a bit inactive. But still I ventured out on the Jetty in hopes of finding the gannet. It's a water bird that rarely goes inland, and quite elusive. Of course, I didn't find it. It was really too windy and slick and dangerous on the jetty to go any further without being washed into the channel....the gannet would be way out and probably needed a scope to spot it. I turned around and headed back to the beach where the gulls [last photo...brownish gull...herring gull] and terns with black skimmers were all huddled in a group to keep warmer [royal terns are the ones with yellow beaks and black feet - the black skimmers are the black ones with orange feet]
...


...finding no northern gannet we left the beach for Leonabelle Turnbull's Birding Center [aka Port Aransas Birding Center] but with the cold winds, we didn't stay too long before the temperatures began to plummet. We did witness a massive fallout of redhead ducks which I photographed and will share on my birding blog...1000s of them on the pond!! Also seen were moorhens, egrets, herons, cormorants, killdeer, one lone Tennessee Warbler, a couple of sparrows, grackles, grebes, green and blue teals, two roseate spoonbills and a few white ibis - probably more that I forgot at the moment. In the short while we were there, we spotted one lone white faced ibis in its winter plumage...VERY pretty!!! These are not to be confused with white ibis tho, they're entirely different. During the winter the white faced ibis is nearly black from a distance...but upon closer inspection the iridescent feathers are green and wine. During breeding season the wine becomes much more prominent and bright red/wine and the eye ring turns white...hence, the white faced ibis. This too I photographed and will share the images on my bird photo blog in the near future.

We headed back to the car. Along the pond's fencing I stopped to take a couple of fence images...


...along the walkway to the parking lot, surrounded on one side the water treatment plant/fenced in...the other side landscaped and tree lined. In one area, where the warblers/migrants are often spotted, there is a picnic table to sit on and watch for bird activity. On one particular day, several days ago, the picnic table was unoccupied except for this ...

...a praying mantis




65 comments :

  1. I admire your fortitude Anni and you got some great photos.

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  2. Wonderful pictures. I even like the praying mantis! :-)

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    Replies
    1. ...they're kinda creepy, but I couldn't resist

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  3. Oh my, you are brave!! Sorry you didn't get to see the rare water bird you were searching for, but perhaps another time. I always enjoy hearing about your adventures and seeing your wonderful photos! I haven't seen a praying mantis in years and year. Not even sure they live in Florida! Blessings!

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    1. ....this one was following me as I stood and walked around searching for a bird to photograph....I could feel him watching.

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  4. That reminds me, I have a funny story about a praying mantis. (Or several hundred!) Love these photos, to me they look almost summery! We're in the single digits here. Bleagh!

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    1. ...looking forward to reading about YOUR praying mantis.

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  5. that is just about the most awesome shot of a praying mantis i have ever seen...he is not all that handsome but the photo is fabulous. while i was on fur overload you were on feather overload with all those birds. the photo of the flower is gorgeous. and i love the barb wire over it. that duck is the only smart one, hunkered down to warm up

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    1. ....it's warming up now tho, that bird is probably finally up from its hunkerin' down. Thanks Sandra

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  6. You are braver than me, getting out in all that cold. But, the pictures you took were well worth it.

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  7. I love the first fence image. Sorry you didn't find your bird, but I bet you had fun trying.

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    1. fun....invigorating wind....okay, ya, a bit of fun. :-)

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  8. Other weather has been more wintry than not. But we can't be going stir crazy yet, winter has hardly been here, and it (Minnesota anyway) lasts far into spring's time. Cute capture of the praying mantis and of course all your lovely photos, especially the fence photo that we all need to collect every week right!

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    1. ...yep. Fences....gotta have fences for Ms. T

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  9. Wow those praying mantis shots are incredible. You always have such a gift for capturing nature's beauty.

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    Replies
    1. ...thank you for your kind comment!!!

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  10. Great photos! I really like the praying mantis.

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  11. I love to go to Galveston in midwinter to see the terns and skimmers. They are most cooperative and stay put so I can get a good look at them. Seems like we are getting midwinter temperatures a bit early this year! Poor little preying mantis must be frozen solid today.

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    1. it's warming up now tho. Thank goodness.

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  12. You do indeed have a gift for capturing nature's beauty, Anni!! And the praying mantis shots are terrific! It's always worth getting out of the house for a little while once we've been shut in by the weather!! Hope you have a great day!!

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  13. I also like that fence image. Nice to see those colors along the grey fence.

    Mersad
    Mersad Donko Photography

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  14. Mom and I are really glad you and Bud braved the cold snap to snap these gorgeous photos. What a wonderful photo of the praying mantis!!
    Hugs madi and mom

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  15. With all those birds and the variety,I have a feeling,I wouldn't even notice the weather. Sounds like a dream come true to me. Thanks for sharing these pictures.

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  16. still some warm-weather critters and blooms out! ours have been hit by freezes and snow this past week. even the whistlers moved out this morning.

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    1. ....cool...not for you, but that means they're heading my way now.

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  17. Anni, aren't they just the strangest looking bug, and appropriately named. Looks like the birds know when it's time to keep warm!

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    1. ...finally tho, it's warmed back up and I'm a happy camper again.

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  18. Glad you were able to get out and find some birds even if you didn't the exact one you were looking for.

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  19. You did get some great shots and that Praying Mantis....yikes!

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  20. your praying mantis is well camouflaged in the grey colour.

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  21. Amazing captures, Anni! Wow. I am glad you are surviving the cold! And thriving!

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    1. ...reminds me of the song "I will survive". Thanks Ann

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  22. Love the Tern shots ans the sleeping Gull also the Praying Mantis

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  23. Beautiful shots of the birds in this wintry day, and that praying mantis is just awesome! I am looking forward to a trip to the Texas coast again in January for a birding adventure around rockport. Loved that time last year!

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  24. The Canna behind the fences is an interesting and fine photo. How neat that you got shots of the praying mantis. I haven't seen even one at all this year. You are quite a trooper venturing outdoors on your quest.

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    1. ...if only the bird would have been spotted.

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  25. The praying mantis's coat tails are beautiful. What an amazing photo.

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  26. oohhhhh that fence with the orange flowers is gorgeous. a very nice variety od images today!!!!

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  27. Great photos...love the praying mantis...

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  28. Love the bird pic at the bottom of the collage. Living flowers?? Lucky you. How beautiful! and I hope the praying mantis is praying for warmer temperatures for us northerners. lol

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  29. I like how the birds tuck their heads under their wings to keep warm.

    The flower is so pretty and the praying mantis looks like he may be frozen to the concrete.

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  30. Thanks so much for commenting on my post before heading out to bird this morning! :-) I am so behind too...was trying to get a lot of the birders posts under my belt yesterday close to noon when I had a call from our grandson that he was sick at school. I usually p/up Tues, Wed, Thurs at 4 but this changed my whole day. :-) Didn't get any sewing done yesterday and didn't get back on the computer till this morning. Your birds look COLD. You had such a nice variety of finds, and I love the pictures of the ones you shared, plus the fence selections and that great preying mantis! :-) I had no idea a palo verde wasn't a tree! I think they are so beautiful but hate the way they spread underground pushing up suckers that are almost impossible to eradicate! I know the two that came up in my front yard are connected underground because we keep getting the suckers along that line. I think they'd take over the whole yard if we let them! :-) Two is enough. I hope the verdin do switch their nest site to the front yard palo verde that is larger next spring. Have an awesome day!

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  31. Beautiful photos.
    I think it's so amazing how some animals, especially insects, are camouflaged so well. How this animal cock! and also the beast sheet.

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  32. Hi there HA!
    Lovely photos.
    If I may have favorites - the 'gulls in air' are awesome.
    Say, is that an old fashioned PetroMax Lamp? Way cool!
    Peace :)

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  33. Great post. It was brave of you to get out in less then stellar weather and so worth it. Such nice shots of the different gulls. Those orange beaks stand out and I liked the one at the bottom of the collage. Nice fence shots, that bright orange flower is so pretty. Also enjoyed the praying mantis, never seen one that particular color before.

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  34. Beautiful captures. I love the sleeping gull.

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  35. As I read through the list of birds you saw, I was just amazed. So many!! And so many beautiful photos. I applaud you for braving the elements and getting us bird-deprived souls some nice shots to enjoy.

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  36. It was well worth it to get out as you captured some great shots. Love the Praying Mantis and the flower.

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  37. I had to put my sweatshirt on just to read this. ;) You are a brave, determined bird watcher, and your perseverance paid off big time. The Herring Gull is quite pretty, I've not seen one so dark. Maybe the mantis was praying for food at the table?

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  38. I love the terns and the gull. The flowers are very pretty too.

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  39. I like all your pictures and I even took a closer look at the praying mantis - because I've never seen one before :)) And the prettiest one is the first fence picture. You can name it "beauty and the beast" :)) Wishing you a very fine weekend!

    ツ Knipsa

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  40. WOW! Those praying mantis shots are awesome!

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