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2021-01-15 and 16 At Breeze Lake

Anhinga - Anhinga anhinga
Loading up on rays from the early morning sun. My first morning capturing bird image in camp at Breeze Lake, Brownsville Texas.

Last spring, while on my way through Texas and the COVID-19 pandemic was taking a grip on our nation and the rest of the world, I’d been boondocking in my RV. By that I mean I was sleeping wherever I could park. My RV being a van can fit into a typical parking space without drawing much attention. Some nights were peaceful, but others were not. Walmarts typically welcome RVers and travelers, but often local hotrod enthusiasts find it amusing to go rip-roaring on nearby streets until the wee hours. There are concerns about ne’er-do-well low-life types who justify the victimization of others, but there are interventions to mitigate those risks. When COVID-19 pandemic measures became a factor in all our lives, I decided boondocking might not be such a good lifestyle. I looked for a RV Park to settle in for a while, rather than the once-a-week stays I’d been doing to recharge and discharge my holding tanks, I felt a more long-term base of operations would be wiser.

With a little research, I found Breeze Lake Campground on the outskirts of Brownsville in an area called Reid Hope King. There I landed in a community of kind and generous folks, who treated me like family. When I returned to Texas this winter, I knew where I wanted to headquarter. I reserved a spot for a month and relieved myself from the rigors of the road.

My camp here is within striking distance of some of the best birding Texas offers, but the property has its own bird attractions as well. Before beginning my investigation into nearby Texas hotspots, I wanted to capture images of the avifauna in camp. At the southern boundary of the compound is a resaca, or shallow oxbow lake left over from when the Rio Grande meandered over this wide flat delta as a free river. I met a host of spring birds here on my previous visit, and while exploring this winter, I found Anhingas (pronounced an-HING-a). I’d never met these long, slinky, cormorant-like birds before and I knew I had to try gathering some images of them.

I could characterize the gallery below as a study in Anhingas, but I tried to capture a few of the other players around camp too. This collection shows the birds I successfully captured during three brief sessions last Friday and Saturday. These birds were Anhinga, Black-Bellied Whistling-Duck, Common Gallinule, Double-Crested Cormorant, Green Parakeet, Great Kiskadee, Merlin, and Yellow-Rumped Warbler. Other birds I saw, but have not yet photographed (or photographed well), were Caspian Tern, Eastern Phoebe, Vermilion Flycatcher, Tropical Kingbird, Ring-Billed Gull, Laughing Gull, Osprey, Cooper’s Hawk, and Muscovy Duck.

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