Tales From The Camping House

Tales From The Camping House

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Whooping Cranes!!!!

The sun did come out today! The winds died down and it was the beginning of a beautiful day! We arrived and loaded onto the boat for our 8 o'clock tour.

We are looking for Whooping Cranes on the shoreline of the Port Aransas Wildlife Refuge.
We began the trip and had to take another picture of the lighthouse with blue skies.

We were excited to see our first Whooping Crane! It was quite a distance, but we were able to get a good look with our scope and binoculars. The Aransas Refuge estimates there are approximately 245 whooping cranes there this year. (You can click on the picture to see the full size)

We continued on and saw this kestrel watching another whooping crane.

 And right next to it a little farther to the right was a Crested Caracara

We were able to see them closer and closer.  You can see the yellow band on the left whooping crane.  It is a radio signal device so its whereabouts can be monitored.

This isn't a great picture, but I was experimenting with digiscoping with my flip video and our scope. I did get a little bigger picture.

We even saw five at one time! The other bird in the background to the left is a sandhill crane.

We had a wonderful time and saw about 40 whooping cranes.

Later that afternoon, we went to the UT Marine Science Institue Wetlands Center and saw

a snowy egret on the left and a great egret on the right.

a blue heron

We watched for awhile when we saw this little duck catch a big fish.  He worked on getting it into his stomach

And he worked some more

But all along, while the duck was trying to eat the fish, this brown pelican was watching waiting for his chance to seize the fish....

The duck wasn't too happy, but went off looking for something else to eat.

It's so wonderful watching nature!!!

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