March 14, 2014 Goose Island, Texas

Whooping crane
Whooping crane

Whooping Cranes and New Migrants

As always, click on any image for a larger, sharper version.

Up before dawn again hoping for a colorful sunrise, but it just wasn’t to be, so I drove down to the point on 12th Street and parked there to await daylight.

Great blue heron greeting sunrise
Great blue heron greeting sunrise

Just as the sun was breaking the horizon, a Great Blue Heron flew in and set up camp on a post just 40 feet from me as I was getting ready, setting up my tripod and camera.

Great blue heron greeting sunrise
Great blue heron greeting sunrise

Normally, I just can’t get excited about this bird, as I have a million shots of them already, but there was something about the lighting from an orange sun still just kissing the horizon, and I got off more than a few shots as I waited for the cranes to fly in.

American golden plover
American golden plover

While shooting the heron, out of the corner of my eye I saw some movement in the grass quite near my setup. In the dim light, I couldn’t make out what it was, but I knew it was a bird I had never encountered before.

American golden plover
American golden plover
American golden plover
American golden plover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turns out, it was an American golden plover, one of the world’s most ambitious flyers. This small bird nests in the Arctic, then jaunts down to southern South America to spend the winter! His stop here in Texas is just a refueling stop , usually for just a few days, before heading much farther north.

Long-billed curlew
Long-billed curlew

As the light grew stronger, I noticed another stranger, though certainly not as unusual as the plover, over in the cow pasture, quite near the road, a long-billed curlew.

Whooping crane
Whooping crane

I really didn’t have any luck with the whooping cranes today, but I did finally finish up processing yesterday’s bonanza of whooper shots, one of the best days I have ever had with these birds.

Whooping crane Dad chasing off Junior
Whooping crane Dad chasing off Junior

 

Whooping crane Dad chasing off Junior
Whooping crane Dad chasing off Junior

 

Whooping crane attack
Whooping crane attack

 

Whooping crane attack
Whooping crane attack

 

Whooping crane landing
Whooping crane landing

 

Whooping crane
Whooping crane

 

Whooping crane in flight
Whooping crane in flight

 

Whooping crane in flight
Whooping crane in flight

 

Whooping crane
Whooping crane

 

Whooping crane
Whooping crane

 

Whooping crane attack
Whooping crane attack

Late afternoon I took a trip into Camper’s Clinic in Rockport to make an appointment for an oil change for the motorhome and see if they know anything about the windshield wiper problem on the Workhorse.

Great blue heron greeting sunrise
Great blue heron greeting sunrise
Long-billed curlew
Long-billed curlew
Whooping crane in flight
Whooping crane in flight

 

 

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