The Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail, Upper Texas Coast
I visited Challenger Seven Memorial Park, named in honor of those who died in the space shuttle explosion, during a break in the rain early Sunday afternoon. Black vultures perched atop light poles greeted me. They are beautiful in a macabre sort of way. I do appreciate the service they perform.
At most sites I've visited alone so far, people have approached to chit-chat. This time it was a park official. At least he had some useful information to contribute.
"If you were here 45 minutes ago, you would have gotten some great photos of deer," he said.
"I'm more interested in birds."
"Oh, well you need to drive down this road and around the curve where we have some viewing platforms."
I parked where he suggested and soon heard a commotion. I looked just in time to see a hawk on the ground, clearly attempting to capture something. When I got close enough to the tree to which I'd seen him return, I discovered a pair of red-shouldered hawks. Neither was eating, so it's possible their prey got away.
There was only one bird hanging out at the viewing platform I visited. A snowy egret was busily hunting for a meal. He almost seemed to be shivering. Then I realized it was because he was shuffling his feet, trying to stir up something edible from the bottom. I've never seen one do that before. Every once in a while I'd capture a glimpse of bright yellow feet, confirming his identification.
I didn't get to spend very much time at the park before it started raining again. There were more viewing platforms and a nature trail I didn't explore. The forecast called for possible severe weather (lightning, hail, strong winds), so I didn't think it wise to stay. I did see more birds than I expected at this time of day. Two killdeer were among a large flock of starlings, and some caracaras were scratching and pecking at the earth almost like chickens - both new birds for my checklist.
Birds seen this visit: Great Egret, Black Vulture, European Starling, Killdeer, Northern Mocking Bird, Eastern Bluebird, Snowy Egret, Red-Shouldered Hawk, Crested Caracara, Laughing Gull.
I'm linking up with Wild Bird Wednesday. Please visit to see more beautiful birds from around the world.