Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Aransas Wildlife

Aransas National Wildlife Refuge looks like it is close to Goose Island State Park which is six miles from Fulton/Rockport. It is really a 30 mile drive to the Visitor Center. The Refuge is located along the Gulf Coast of Texas but to access it in a car is a long drive. Both Goose Island and Aransas have large wonderful trees in large wooded areas and are greener. That might sound strange but it is unlike LRGV which is drier and without the large trees. Some trees were leafed out and others were not. There is potential for many  warblers and other migrating songbirds, but not on this trip. We saw firsts: wild hogs in the swampy low lands, Pyrrhuloxia, a large cardinal like finch and two Whooping Cranes.  The cranes were far away but we could ID them with our scope. A treat for me was watching two Yellow Legs running, chasing and dancing/fighting.  It was either a mating ritual or two males determining who would mate.

Greater Yellowlegs Fighting or Mating Ritual
Part of the Ritual, Both were repeated at least twice.
Saw gators in a pond near where the wild hogs were running.
The photo is more scary than I remember.
The Whooping Crane looks like a white Big Bird. 
The only 2 Whooping Cranes in site that day.  There is a 40 foot tower which is a
series of gradual ramps.  The look out is over low wetlands and a long length of
shore. In the distance we saw hundreds of cormorants flying just about the ocean.
With the cormorants were white pelicans, just like in their breeding grounds in MN.
Grazing Whooping Cranes


  1. Love the yellow legs picture! Must have been amazing to see.

  2. It was awesome, almost as good as the green-wing teal at sunset. But the thing is it is hard to figure out as it is happening. The spoonbill bathing was another, we should have used our video to really capture it.