Continuing the sightings at Hagerman…
We saw several Great Blue Herons (and there were probably more about than we happened to see. One of them was startled my something and I snapped a picture as it took off with its neck still straight out rather than folded into the tight S for longer distance flying.
There was an Osprey eyeing our cars from the top of the road we were on – the top of a dike between two ponds. My sister contorted herself through the sunroof to take pictures! I had a better vantage point from the backseat comfortably seated although I did catch the edge of the opening in one of the pictures. The osprey migrate through this area.
We saw a blob of white out in the lake and watched it as we got closer. It became two white blobs. Then we were close enough to see what it was: two American White Pelicans. They are well known for migrating through Hagerman. I used my zoom to get some pictures of the one that was awake and preening.
Somehow I decided that most of the ducks were mallards and too far away to photograph on the cloudy day but the one picture I took of a duck and looked at on a larger screen when I got home turned to be a Northern Pintail! I should have looked more closely at the ducks…but I would have needed to take a spotting scope and spend more time; I didn’t have either this trip. This is a wintering area for pintails.
Heading back to the visitor center – we saw two Turkey Vultures in a field. These birds breed in the area but may not stay for the winter. They are stay year-round in Maryland so I was surprised to see the range map for them showing that they are summer residents only in North Texas.
Back at the Visitor Center, we spent some time walking around the butterfly garden and I was surprised at how many butterflies were around. I took two pictures of Sulphur butterflies and discovered when I got home that they might be two different kinds: Cloudless Sulphur
And Clouded Sulphur.
Our visit to Hagerman was a great way to spend 2 hours on fall morning. Next time, I’ll allow myself even more time and do some hiking along with the auto tour.