Friday, 26 February 2016

Late Afternoon

Today was a gorgeous day. This morning Skip and I went to Market Days at the Convention Center. After making our purchases, we went out the side door and wandered over to the butterfly garden.
This plant had bees and other insects all over it.
Here's a closeup.
Later this afternoon, we went over to the Birding and Nature Center. It was probably the lowest tide we've seen this year.

This snowy egret was wandering around the mud flats. It's easily distinguished from a great egret by its black bill and bright yellow feet.
We usually see this spotted sandpiper. It bobs its tail up and down while it walks.
The mottled duck is related to the mallard. It has bright orange feet and a blue area on its wing. Here, it was just stretching out after having a snooze.
Usually, all this muddy area is under water. The body of water is the Laguna Madre one of the few hypersalinated bodies of water on earth. It is the inland waterway down the southeast coast of Texas.
There were over a dozen black necked stilts working the mud flats.
The black skimmers were facing into the wind.
There were several royal terns as well. Here's one.
Along another section of the boardwalk, I spotted the elusive Wilson's snipe in the spot I saw one last year and again two days ago. It was really working this area digging its beak into the mud.
The roseate spoonbills were in their usual spot. I have lots of photos of them. I just can't not take a photo of them
We saw a flotilla of pied bill grebes out in the laguna. This solitary fellow was paddling around what I call the alligator pond.
Other birds seen but not photographed were the usual suspects: moorhens, coots, great blue herons, little blue herons, tricolour herons, yellow rump warblers, redheads, laughing and ring-billed gulls, Caspian terns, sanderlings, brown pelicans, willets and a not so usual suspect, a merlin.

We have had 27 uninterrupted days of excellent weather since we arrived. What a contrast from the crappy weather we had last year. Skip and I high-five each other every day we get up and the sun is out and the sky is clear.  Next week? The weather is forecast to be much the same.

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