Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Brazos Bend in Late December

Just before the end of December we took our daughter and grandsons down to Brazos Bend State Park, mainly so that the kids would see alligators.

It was a cold, gray day and so we visited only 40 Acre Lake. Apart from some Cormorants and American Coots (below), there were no birds out on the water.

Worse still, there was only a single alligator in view, and it was far out from the path.

A Great Egret was munching on a crawdad but this, too, was so far away that the kids could hardly see it.

A Snowy Egret was rather closer.

A solitary White Ibis was grazing in the wetland area beside the path.

Nearby was a single White-faced Ibis.

A Blue-gray Gnatcatcher was one of only a handful of songbirds that we saw.

As we neared the end of the trail around the lake, I was beginning to regret that we'd come to the park. However, a visit to Brazos Bend always turns up at least one exciting sighting and this visit was to be no exception. The kids were very excited when we came across a large alligator resting on the edge of the path. 

They were even more excited when the gator stood up and walked slowly across the path and slid into the lake.

After our lakeside walk and a picnic lunch, we went to the Visitor Center. The volunteer staff there are always great with kids and this time they let our grandsons handle two baby alligators and a large Speckled Kingsnake. This more than made up for the comparative lack of wildlife around 40 Acre Lake.

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