Rockport, Texas has many great birding areas and one always cited is the Beach Park. It’s long sandy beach with lots of grassy picnic areas. It also is the protected nesting site of hundreds of Black Skimmers — that graceful bird known for flying low over the water, lower mandible skimming for small fish and other goodies.
|Black Skimmers on the go|
I’ve not been to the park since dogs are not allowed and every time I’m in Rockport, I have Penny with me. Today, I brought my bike and left the dog in the truck and pedaled in for a little birding. Hundreds of Laughing Gulls filled the air with their raucous calls as I passed by and up ahead, I saw a gaggle of Black Skimmers circling and landing. There’s a nice observation area near the roped-off nesting site and I took a bunch of photos of the birds whirling by. It was quite a spectacle.
They’ll start nesting next month and I’m sure it is quite a sight to see the chicks and their parents up close. Perhaps next year we’ll stick around a little later.
I saw a Long-Billed Curlew, a Pied-Bill Grebe, a Willet, a bunch of American Avocets, Herring/Laughing/Ringed-Billed Gulls, and a number of other birds during the short bike ride. It’s a place I will get back to another time.
The Laughing Gulls, now in their plumage, just are characters. Here’s a lineup from the walkway to the observation platform. They laugh — and tend to make you chuckle as you see and hear them. (Originally posted March 31, 2011)