I began a series of articles on birds in Corpus Christi, and anywhere I visited last year that I called the Bird Brain Chronicles. When my mother died, I put things on hold, and never got started again. Today, I decided I needed to get back to taking pictures of birds again, which I did at the Suter Wildlife Refuge in Corpus Christi. Then, I did a bird brain thing and didn’t realize that I had changed a setting when I too full moon pics a couple of weeks ago. So, these pics aren’t as sharp as I expected they would be. If you were to talk with my wife, she would tell you I whined about the pics the whole time I was picking the best of the bad lot I took. Still, I’m posting these because the birds are beautiful and I’m trying to document the birds I see. Be gentle as you look at these pics!
As you enter the the walkway over the wetlands, there’s a holding pond and outlet to the bay. I’ve seen a number of different birds there, but I almost always see this beautiful bird, known as a Norther Shoveler. This one was swiming in the outlet area after leaving the holding pond earlier. The Shovelers were flocking in the holding pond. I had the chance to talk with a couple from Fort Worth as we both watched. I enjoy talking with other birders, although putting myself in the class of a birder might be overstimating my ability as a birder. I saw a few Northern Coots mixed in with the Shoveler flock, but didn’t get a good picture of one.
I love black necked stilts. Their legs are so long that they do look like they’re on stilts. There’s an elegance to their awkward walk that makes me smile. This was the first bird I really noticed when I got to the farthest end of the boardwalk. He was slowly walking through the shallows looking for his brunch. (Brunch, of course, being served after ten and before noon.) I looked away some other birds when I heard a couple of real bird watchers talking about them, and when I looked back, he had disappeared. I usually see a stilt or two any time I come to this refuge and quite often in other parts of the city. I think they’re beautifu birds.
These are the birds that I overheard a couple of real bird watchers talk about. They’re beautiful green wing teals. They must have been doing lunch because they swam together, ducking their heads under water for whatver food they could find. (No pun intended.) I took a lot of pictures trying to get a good view, and I won’t continue to beat myself up by saying that I messed up the settings on the camera. That bothered me because this was the first time I’d ever seen a green wing teal. I am reminded though, that even more important than a great picture is seeing the beauty of God’s creation in person. I continue to be amazed at the beauty and diversity of God’s creation.
If you know me, you know that I’d have a brown pelican in the picture mix somewhere. I love watching white or brown pelicans, but I’ve come to realize the beauty and variety among brown pelicans is amazing. I’ve often said that Steve Spielberg must have been thinking of these birds when he designed the flight patterns of the pteradactyls from Jurassic Park. This one was a little farther out in the water, but in some places they’ll walk around within a few feet of people.
As we were looking at the birds spread out in the bay, these little birds cae running up the shallows looking for food. An old guy like me got tired just watching them running around. They don’t look too small in this cropped picture, but they were tiny little birds. They were so fast that when I looked away, they disappeared and I saw them later way off in the distance. These were new birds for a life list, if I kept up with one. If you think about diversity and variety in the bird world, you have sea birds like pelicans and great blue herons who are large, and then you have small birds like sanderlings – all of those beautiful birds playing an important part in our amazing ecosystem designed by God. I have a few other pictures that I could share, but I’m going to stop tonight. I plan to share more pics, and I hope that I get the settings right in the future. Look around as you walk about this amazing world and enjoy the beauty of God’s world.