I was out walking the dog before daylight, listening to the morning chorus of birds and frogs when far off, I heard a Great Horned Owl hooting. After another coffee and bagel it was getting light out so Penny and I headed out for another jaunt, this time with my binoculars and camera. Not much was moving – we seem to be overflown by migrants – until I took a side trail, noticed some movement, and spotted this owl. It was very large, facing away from me, but turned periodically to check us out. It was difficult, with the limbs and lighting, to get a decent photo but a great start to the day.
We had planned to go over to Port Aransas for the morning for some birding and after an easy drive and short ferry ride, were at the wastewater treatment facility – one of our favorite birding spots. The Leonabelle Turnbill Birding Center has hundreds of waterfowl that are used to visitors and just hang out on the facility’s ponds. Boardwalks and spotting scopes make this popular and very productive. Here are a couple of Roseate Spoonbills overhead (most are getting their breeding plumage).
We had Cinnamon, Blue-winged, and Green-winged Teal.
Ruddy Ducks in breeding plumage were eye candy for Vermonters.
Even this Common Moorhen looked pretty spiffy trotting along.
We took a drive down to the beach, just to see it again. I noticed a flight of about thirty Brown Pelicans flying very low coming up at us so I stopped the truck and grabbed a shot. As an aviator, I admire their flying skills and love to watch them in formation.
On the way home, we picked up some healthy lunches from "The Shack," a local barbecue place. Afterward, I felt a bit like this Black Vulture which I saw later on – fat, dumb, and in need of a nap.