Monday, June 28, 2010

Great Morning at Brazos (1)

We took a visiting friend to Brazos Bend State Park yesterday and couldn't believe how empty it was: In our first 75 minutes walking around 40-Acre Lake we met only 4 people.

Perhaps because there were so few visitors, the birds were much mellower than usual. For example, an Anhinga on the fishing pier let me get within 3 feet before it croaked and threatened to fly.

One of the high spots of the visit was the number of Purple Gallinules. We saw six adults (and two chicks) at 40-Acre and another at Creekfield Lake. All of them were in the open and were remarkably unconcerned by our presence.

The only one that kept its distance was an adult accompanied by two chicks. It was behaving rather oddly in that it constantly kept its wings outstretched.

We wondered if the Gallinule was raising its wings in an attempt to provide shade for the chicks. However, later in the day I saw another Gallinule behaving in the same way although it had no chicks to protect. So perhaps raising wings is a way either to keep cool or is part of the Gallinule's hunting technique.

Talking of hunting, we also got to see a Little Blue Heron catching a snack.

This particular Little Blue seemed to be having rather a bad hair day.

I have a very busy day of work today, so I'll have to leave comments on the rest of the trip until tomorrow.


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