South Cape May Meadows – Part 2

Continuing about South Cape May Meadows

There were snowy egrets in many places we went

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As well as osprey

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And shorebirds.

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The cliff swallows were very active as dusk neared. They look very similar to tree swallows in silhouette but are easily distinguished if their color can be seen.

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A red winged blackbird was making its mating calls in some reeds near us….the breeze swaying his perch.

As we neared the end of hike there was oystercatcher on a nest. This one had even less protection than the one at Two Mile Beach. I was zooming in as much as the light would permit so we weren’t close enough to alarm the bird…but it was watching us very carefully.

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The moon was visible about the wetlands as the light shifted to dusk.

The lighthouse at South Point was visible from the trail too.

And then I couldn’t resist some sunset pictures…stopping for a few seconds several times as we continued hiking back to the cars.

It was a great way to end a day that had started with wake up at 3:30 AM and in the field by 5:30. So many habitats (forest, beach, wetlands) and birds…all in one day!

South Padre Island and Bay Cruise – Part 3

The last part of the field trip was a cruise on the bay. The first ‘sight’ was a lighthouse with scaffolding around it as we neared the dock on our bus.

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Then we were off and looking for Peregrine Falcons under the bridge. We spotted several but there was only one that was positioned for pictures.

There were mud flats with Laughing Gulls,

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An Osprey surveying the scene, and

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A Great Blue Heron walking awkwardly in the mud.

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There was an island that provide roosting sites for Great Blue Herons (7 of them in the foreground) and Roseate Spoonbills (8-10 of them in the background).

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This is the best picture I got of the Roseate Spoonbills as we cam around their side of the island.

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Brown Pelicans, Double-crested Cormorants, and laughing gulls were groups on the sandy beach.

What birds to you see in these two pictures? So you see the Green-winged teals (2 males and a female), Black-Necked Stilt (2), Great Egret, Laughing gulls.

As we headed back to the dock, there were Double-Crested cormorants on pilings we were passing

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And a Laughing Gull settled on the highest point of our boat.

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There were so many Brown Pelicans. It’s thrilling that their numbers have recovered from the brink of extinction caused by pesticide pollution!