The area around Rockport is very birdy. There are fields and woods, pools, lagoons and what looks like ocean but is, in fact, Aransas Bay. After visiting Aransas we did a little explore and found a few nice and productive spots. At the creek in Rockport we came across a few Mottled Ducks and a raft of Redheads with a couple of Canvasbacks in there for good measure. There were many private piers strung out along the waterfront but one, called Pelican Pier, held more birds than the rest put together.
Here are a few birds from the pier area.
We lingered for an hour or more, taking advantage of the late afternoon sun and just really enjoying being so close to so many birds. Aside from the big stuff there were frequent visits from a Black Skimmer. I wanted to get the classic skimmer feeding shot but it had other ideas and kept plunge bathing. Every time it came in the Laughing Gulls would panic a bit but then soon settle down when they realised it was just a daft looking bird that is neither a tern nor a gull. At one point a Royal Tern dropped by to bath.
The creek was a popular spot for fishing Caspian Terns and they would cruise right past the parking lots giving terrific views.
We don’t see many Laughing Gulls in Québec so I took the opportunity to photograph a few.
American Coots are not as dull as they at first appear to be.
A few of the American Avocets in the area – all waiting for summer.
Herons and White Ibis were common and tame.
Out along the back lanes it was easy to find Loggerhead Shrike.
This Couch’s Kingbird was a tricky ID – Tropical Kingbird is now fairly common in the Rio Grande Valley and probably are going north. You have to hear them to sort them out, more or less, thank goodness for ipods!
Although we saw many Roseate Spoonbills only this one wanted to be moderately famous.
So that wraps up the Rockport area – a birding location we’d certainly like to return to sometime and spend more than two days there. Next up will be the Rio Grande Valley and a welcome return to dodgy record shots in some cases.