Saturday, 20 February 2016

Birding Two Days Later

Just outside the condo yesterday, this colourful fellow (great kiskadee) was making a lot of racket.
Later in the afternoon Skip and I popped into the Birding and Nature Centre yesterday just an hour or so before closing time. There was the normal amount of activity.

We usually see a spotted sandpiper.
I just can't not take photos of these beautiful birds every time I visit the centre. I like the shots with a reflection.
There are always yellow-rumped warblers flitting about.
There was about a dozen black neck stilts that took flight just as I was trying to get a shot of them wading together.
Tricolour herons do a very interesting dance when they're fishing. I'll shoot a video one of these days.
 About halfway along the boardwalk, I took this panoramic shot. Visible is the continuing boardwalk (almost a mile of it) through various habitats. The taller building to the right of the water tower in the centre is the 5 storey Birding and Nature Center.

In another spot, this tricolour heron was hunched down, soaking up more of the sun's rays.
A couple of birders pointed this green heron out to us.  They aren't as common here as the great blues and tricolour herons.
We then saw this great blue heron with this very wide fish halfway down its gullet.
It spent several minutes trying to figure out it was going to eat the whole thing.
Here, in this rear view, you can see how wide the fish was.
For some reason, there were large groupings of various birds - willets, roseate spoonbills, white ibis (not visible in this photo).
Just as we were exiting the boardwalk, we spotted a Wilson's snipe wading in a little waterway. It hid behind some grasses before I could get a picture. For me, that was the bird of the day and the first time I've seen one at the center this year.

The yucca palms are really starting to bloom in the Rio Grande Valley. This one is always an early bloomer beside the parking lot.  Those spines are REALLY sharp.
One has to be very careful when trying to get a macro shot of the waxy blooms.

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