Sunday, March 18, 2012

Aransas Pass OR Port Aransas?

 Before my week on Mustang Island I didn't know the difference between Aransas Pass and Port Aransas or if there was a difference!  Not only do I now understand that Aransas Pass is on the main land and one crosses the water on the ferry to reach Port Aransas which is it's own separate town;  but I also know the difference between Mustang Island and Padre Island.   Just to finish the loop,  one crosses a bridge from Padre Island back to Corpus Christie on the main land.  

Most of my time at Port Aransas was either eating really really fresh and delicious seafood or seeing many many beautiful birds.

The first birding stop was Paradise Pond.  A green and wet spot in the middle of town between a Mexican restaurant and a housing development.  It is the island's only freshwater wetland and a popular stop for migrating birds.
Even after almost ten years visiting Texas it's always a treat for me to see a cardinal.

Next up was the Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center.  It's next to the water treatment plant so always has a good supply of water.  The board walk and observation tower offer great opportunities to see different water birds and ducks. Having a super knowledgeable friend along was a bonus for a newbie birder like me.

We watched a solo brown pelican fishing for his lunch.  They often are in groups, but this guy was happy on his own and quite successful!

I can't even guess how many different varieties of ducks were there that day.  I do know there were three different types of teals and that was a coupe for one day!  This is a Blue Winged Teal.....

Some of the most fascinating to watch were the Black Necked Stilts.  It's fun to see their long legs when they are standing on the shore; hopefully you can get the picture from this shot.

The flock flew back and forth over the ponds but eventually landed on the water.

So that's a sample of only two of the birding areas in Port A.  I picked up a map for future reference and after the big rains forecast for the next couple days in South Central Texas that will replenish the wetlands I think another trip to this area will be on my planning calendar!

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