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2020-03-16 Aransas NWR Day 2

White Ibis - Eudocimus albus
This flock of White Ibis put a smile on my face when they flew overhead and dropped into the marsh beyond my view. It was my second day at Aransas NWR on Monday. It was only a half day there, where I mostly spent my time at Heron Flats. The cranes that eluded me on Sunday gave themselves to me on this morning, as did some other nice birds.

“Wow” hardly seems sufficient to describe my morning! I stayed in Austwell Sunday night and I was only 12 miles from Aransas NWR and I was able to achieve an early launch time. I arrived at the reserve as it was still dark. I parked by the Heron Flats Trail and walked out to the platform hoping to see the outline of tall white birds nearby. I saw none, so I walked back to the RV to take a nap.

When the day brightened up I walked out to the platform to capture some scenery images, and I saw cranes working the grassy marsh not far away. So I walked back to the RV and gathered my long lens gear and hiked out on the marsh trail to get as close as possible. I was lucky the birds were walking in my direction. The 460 foot gap (measured with Google Maps) between me and the cranes would have been better at the 100 feet I’d have liked, but it was a damn sight better than the one mile view I experienced Sunday.

The cranes weren’t my only treat this morning. I met Tricolored, Great Blue, and Little Blue Herons. There was also a delightful moment when a flock of White Ibis flew over low, allowing a series of image captures.

I signed up for a boat tour for Tuesday morning. Several people I spoke with recommended the “Skimmer” and her captain Tommy Moore, so I drove at midday to Rockport Texas where I planned to spend the rest of the day resting and processing pictures. (You’ll learn later that the universe had other plans for me and my time.)

The subjects I captured at the reserve this morning were American Coot, Neotropic Cormorant, Double-Crested Cormorant, Dowitchers, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Osprey, Pied-Billed Grebe, Royal Tern, Tricolored Heron, White Ibis, White-Tailed Deer, and Whooping Crane.

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