2020-03-16 Monday Afternoon In Rockport

Great Blue Heron - Ardea herodias
Big birds serious about nesting. My second day at Aransas NWR on Monday, was only a half day, so I drove south to Rockport where I would board a boat (the Skimmer) on Tuesday to see a whole new side of the reserve. In exploring the town I saw the ever-present Laughing gulls perched on a fence line. After stopping I noticed I’d stumbled onto the Rockport Rookery, an 8+ acre site the city purchased from the Beasley family.

I drove to the city of Rockport after leaving from my second day at Aransas, and prepared for the boat ride I’d signed up for, which launched from nearby Fulton Beach Tuesday morning. I had a late breakfast at JJ’s Cafe near the Walmart and was planning to spend the night there, but I wasn’t getting good cell reception (hence my internet) so I started looking around for a different place to stay. While doing so I sent my broken 400mm f2.8 lens off to my friend Jerry in Albuquerque who has a camera repair shop nearby that should be able to fix it. It was doing me no good having it with me, and in the condition it was in. It cost me $140 to ship it with insurance, but the old lens has been a good friend. It would cost $12k to purchase the latest version with vibration reduction technology, and the glass would not be better than my now long-in-the-tooth lens.

After shipping the lense, I continued exploring Rockport. I found a roadway next to Little Bay with a wide pullout that looked like a splendid place to stay for the evening. I thought I was done taking pictures this day, but laughing gulls who I’d seen all around the area we’re perched on a split rail fence and posing nicely. I hadn’t captured images of these birds yet, and I had to take some pictures. Then I noticed that the trees behind the fence we’re full of Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets building nests, so more pictures had to be taken.

While photographing the nesting herons and egrets, a young lady pulled up and set up her camera and tripod nearby, and started taking pictures of the same subjects that I was focusing on. We had a conversation about our cameras and later she was able to tell me the story of this land where the rookery is. As she explained, the land was once owned by her grandfather and was passed down through several generations since his passing. Eventually it got sold to the city of Rockport and they made it into a reserve. This outcome apparently would have made her grandfather very pleased, as he was a very conservation oriented person. The young lady was Cissy Beasley.

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