First encounter with an American Avocet
Yesterday I spent the day traveling to Texas to go meet a friend and enjoy some wildlife photography. I was up before the crack of dawn and at my parents house to drop off my dogs by 7:30 am. My dad brought me to the train station where I began my journey by train to Manhattan, then walked two blocks to take a shuttle to Laguardia Airport. My flight from Laguardia to Houston went really well and we landed early. When I arrived I was extremely lucky to catch a ride from the arrival gate to the gate of my connection departure. I say lucky because there must have been at least a mile between the gates. I got there and had over an hour to goof off to wait for a flight that wound up being delayed by three hours. I wound up chatting and making friends with two of the other passengers which was really nice. All three of us had common interests in photography and rv camping. Having nice people to chat with sure did help make the time go quicker until we got on our flight to our destination in McAllen, Texas.
Because I arrived late last night, my friend and I slept in a tad bit later than I originally expected. We took our time getting ready and having coffee before we headed out to Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge. Santa Ana was really pretty as there were many hiking trails to choose from. Some went through the wooded/thicket areas and others were more open. There were ponds and lots of birds around and I got to see the Rio Grande River and Mexico from one of the trails. Sadly, I had no opportunities at photographing birds as they mostly hid in the thicket or were perched in areas of bad light. We walked almost four miles there and I was totally in love with all the lizards that were running around throughout the trails. Some were very tiny, while others were a bit larger. They were all so cute and fun to watch. It kept reminding me of how I watch chipmunks run around my campsite in the Adirondacks. We also had a nice opportunity with a beautiful little fox squirrel who was eating and posing. This was my first time ever seeing a fox squirrel and I was impressed by his beautiful orange coloring. His behaviors seemed similar to squirrels I see in NY, but his coloring was different and impressed me.
After Santa Ana we took a little break and then eventually made our way to Las Palomas Wildlife Management Area. I really liked Las Palomas as it wasn't as large of a location and there were all kinds of ducks, herons, wading birds and shorebirds. Apparently alligators can also be found there, but we did not see one. We saw all kinds of birds that I've never seen before as well as a few that I have. I'm probably going to have to look up and try to figure out what many of the birds were. There was a wader bird in particular that I really liked because it had a pretty color pattern and a unique bill. Since there were other birders there at that moment, I was able to ask what type of bird it was and one of the ladies said it was an American Avocet. So, here it was my first time seeing an American Avocet and I was thrilled. I thought it would make for a nice blog photo.
Now it is time to relax as tomorrow is going to be another fun filled day out and about.