Wednesday, 9 March 2016

A New Bird for Us and Top o' the Tower Tour

We went over to the Birding Center this morning thinking the tide would be fairly low - according to our interpretation of the published tide charts. However, the water was up higher than we've seen this year, due to the SW wind pushing the water from the Laguna Madre into the wetland. We took a quick walk around.
Roseate spoonbills
Blue-wing teal
Double crested Cormorant
Female redhead duck
The exciting bird for us today was the American avocet. We'd never seen one on the island before. Apparently a pair of them had flown in earlier today but we only saw this one.
I took a bunch of photos but the light wasn't good as it was getting ready to rain.
It really had its neck stretched out in this one.
Once back in the center, we decided to go up to the top of the tower and get a panoramic view.

There was a group of 8 great blue herons, evenly spaced, in the shelter from the wind against the edge of the first pond.
 The white spot on the left in the mangrove is a great egret.
In the foreground were what we think are dowitchers.
The Gulf waves were pounding on the beach. Here, I was looking to the northeast.
Looking due east are the Hilton Garden Inn - tall white building (with excellent lunch specials), La Quinta Inn, and Clayton's Beach Bar and Grill (lower building) which claims to the the biggest beach bar in Texas. The parking lot will be full of cars next week for Spring Break. The parking lot in the bottom half of the photo is the lot for the Nature and Birding Centre.
This is the view to the south east.  The Holiday Inn Express (red roof) is in the centre. The Sea Turtle sanctuary is the building with the blue roof on the left.
Looking westward, this is the view of the Birding and Nature Centre. That is the Laguna Madre - the inland waterway.
To the northwest is the sewage treatment plant. It can be quite smelly depending which way the wind is blowing. White roofs are the covered viewing areas of the birding centre boardwalks.
 Looking due north, the electric power station is in the foreground. The yellow building  beyond it is the Convention Center.
We then went down to the second floor and toured the static displays of flora and fauna of the area.

This fact was interesting to note. We certainly have seen a lot of them.
There was also an interesting video tracing the annual route of a peregrine falcon that had a tracking device put on it here on the island and was then released. The route took it to the western shore of Greenland for its breeding spot, then its flight all the way down the east coast and across the Caribbean Sea into South America where it spends the winter in central Brazil. Then it migrates back here in the late winter only to repeat the circuit the next year.

No comments:

Post a Comment