Monday, March 18, 2013

Brazos Bend: Part 2

Without a doubt, the most numerous birds in the park were American Coots. There were scores of them at 40 Acre, Elm and Creekfield Lakes.

They have the most amazing feet, just right for walking on marshy ground and on lily-pads.

There were also plenty of Common Gallinlues (formerly Common Moorhens), their red face shields glowing in the sunlight.

Great and Snowy Egrets were fairly few and far between. We stopped to watch this Snowy as it ran through the shallow water, stirring up prey with its bright yellow feet. 

In addition to scores of White Ibis, there were several darker ones. I thought this might be a Glossy Ibis but the red eye shows that it's a White-faced. 

This was a White-faced Ibis, too.

The only ducks we saw on the lakes were Blue-winged Teal. The male below is in breeding plumage.

It is rare to visit Brazos Bend without seeing an Anhinga or two, and Friday's visit was no exception. This Anhinga was drying its wings after a spell of fishing.

All of the lakes had a few Pied-billed Grebes. They get their name from the dark band that runms vertically across their bills.

This one was doing a good job of scratching its ear, probably not the easiest thing to do well when you have webbed feet.

The lakes and and trees around them had good numbers of Double-crested and Neotropic Cormorants. The larger one on the right is a Double-crested Cormorant; the other two are the much smaller Neotropic species.

On our walks we passed several large colonies of Black Vultures.

Most Herons were conspicuous by their absence but we came across several Yelow-crowned Night Herons.

I spent a while watching this one fishing near the observation deck at Elm Lake. It was so focused on the task at hand that I don't think it even noticed me standing a few feet above its head.

Our final sighting was of another Heron, this time a Little Blue Heron stalking through the reeds and grasses at the edge of Creekfield Lake.

As usual, Brazos Bend hadn't produced any unusual species or sightings. However, we had enjoyed seeing the wide variety sof wildlife that make the park their home.

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