Wednesday, February 6, 2013

UTC 083: Nassau Bay Park

The Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail, Upper Texas Coast


I was not expecting much from this site because the map/guide stated this is "not a major birding destination", but is included as a respite for business travelers.  I was pleasantly surprised.  I saw a greater variety of birds at this park than the others I have visited so far this year.  In the photo above a great blue heron, two brown pelicans, several double-crested cormorants, and a neotropic cormorant  (the little one) seem to be harmoniously sharing a platform.    


Not quite as harmonious were the American white pelican and smaller ducks.  He tried several times to approach and they wanted nothing to do with him.  Seeing the size of that beak, I can understand why.  Was he hunting them?  A little internet research confirms he very well may have been.

The gold tones in the photo are a reflection of the sunrise.  I got up early and arrived at the park just as the sun was coming up.


Another pleasant surprise was the small flock of monk parakeets I found here.  I knew there were places descendants of escaped pets now breed in the wild.  I didn't realize one of those places was less than three miles from my home.

This one is dining on an acorn.
  

I also found and photographed my first warbler.  The yellow rump, yellow patch on the chest, and yellow crown revealed in a second photograph confirm he's a yellow-rumped "myrtle" warbler.  The audubon version has a yellow throat.

When I first arrived, there was only one other vehicle in the parking lot with the owner nowhere in sight.  As other people starting arriving I was asked, "Are you a photographer?" and "What kind of camera is that?"  They didn't exchange quick, pleasant greetings - they wanted to hold conversations.  I'm glad I live in a friendly town and won't complain, but I can't find birds and talk at the same time.  It was time to go.

Birds seen this visit:  American Coot, Mallard, American White Pelican, Ruddy Duck, Greater White-fronted Goose, Grackle, Rock Pigeon, Monk Parakeet, Great Blue Heron, Brown Pelican, Double-crested Cormorant, Neotropic Cormorant, Yellow-rumped "myrtle" Warbler, Laughing Gull, and Great Egret.      

This is a multi-use park with picnic tables, restrooms, fishing pier, enclosed dog runs, covered basketball court, and playground.      

I'm linking up with Wild Bird Wednesday.  Visit to see other amazing birds from all over the world or link up your own.

16 comments:

Brian Miller said...

so cool on the parakeets...i dont remember seeing them when we lived further south....pelicans are so cool too...love the light in that second picture...

Stewart M said...

These little "under valued" places are often much better than people think. I have three little wetlands near my house that are part of my regular patch - I dont think that they would ever make it into any guide books - buts its surprising what turns up.

Nice pictures.

Cheers and thanks for linking to WBW.

Stewart M - Melbourne

Gemma Wiseman said...

What a wonderful variety of birds in one place! I am really surprised about the behaviour of the pelicans! Our pelicans seem to be quite happy to hang with seagulls at Hastings on my peninsula!

Hanne Bente said...

Lovely pictures!
Thank you for sharing) Hanne Bente

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I love these pictures!!

Joanna Jenkins said...

These are lovely photos-- the golds in the second one are stunning!

Neil said...

Beautiful photos I like the Pelican one with the gold colour.

EG CameraGirl said...

What a super place to be a birder and photographer! I have never seen a pelican except in photos...so YES I am jealous. :)

eileeninmd said...

Sounds like a great outing with wonderful bird sightings. I would like to see the Monk Parakeets. I believe some were sighted in Maryland one year. Great post and I enjoyed the photos. Happy birding!

Nora at Island Rambles said...

love the colors in the second photo, but all are great..I am fond of your pelican shots..it seems the same here, people see the camera and even if I am quietly hidden and shooting, they run up and make loud chatter at me about some idiotic thing and hence the bird is gone.

Tempo said...

I really like that second pic with the golden hew across the water

TexWisGirl said...

beautiful golden light in that 2nd shot! and i like the conglomeration of fowl on the first platform. :)

Pam ;) said...

Glad you saw so many birds on your visit, Jen. Congrats on the beautiful warbler! Love the Monks and the rest of the menageries.

Debbie said...

Your first image is so special, like a tea party with a variety of guests! The second one also, so golden and beautiful!

Kerri said...

Looks like a great place for birding! I LOVE Pelicans....but that beak would be a bit scary to come close to :)

Marie said...

It looks like a lovely place! Funny that people wouldn't respect your need for quiet to do some birding! We went to a trailhead a week or so ago and had the same problem, but not people talking to us, just making lots of noise coming down the trail! I didn't get a photo of a single bird! :-)

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