Saturday, February 18, 2017

Middle of Febuary already

Been busy putting down speed bumps and rumble strips to try and slow down the ever fast moving folks that are visiting the Refuge . The area is a fifteen mph zone and most of the traffic stops have been in excess of 45 mph .

The Male Shovelers are just so beautifully colored .

Lots of Coots with a few Teal and Shovelers mixed in .We call them {Cootillas} . As in a flotilla's

This piece of wood has become a favorite of mine to find sleeping ducks .Each time we pass the area there is always different birds on it .

Trying to catch an Otter running down the pond road is not very easy. We were trying to catch it while it was rolling on the warm road but it had it's own agenda

A quick run and jump and it was 50 yards into the pond and then gone .

The warm days bring out the Turtles .

The Raptors are every where now .

The Bald eagles are now all over the Refuge as they have followed the Snow Geese into the many ponds and moist soil units  on the Refuge ,
The weather has been a little wild here the last few days , but the clouds have been awesome,

We get the beautiful clouds and then a couple of inches of rain then the awesome sky once more

And of course the hawks are always present .

We love looking at the clouds and look to see what shapes we can see in them .

The ever present God rays .

So many little ones in the pastures that they almost out number the moms .Some times as we travel the refuges private areas the little ones will run along side of the truck and they will run with us for a mile or more with their tales in the air . Just so cute . Any excuse to run like all small kids .

We stirred up a flock of Pelicans while doing the salinity checks in the back areas of the Refuge where the public is not allowed . 

Always one our favorite shots . They have no oil glands so They need to air dry their feathers .

Mr and Mrs Shoveler are out looking for some eats .

Same board , different birds .

The Burrowing Owl has become the most visited area in the Refuge .

A tree full of Red faced Vultures .

An Osprey checking out the Owl box . Yes an owl lives in it .
And as February is quickly passing we are getting closer to our next move to Savanah Georgia NWR. A new adventure .

Sunday, January 22, 2017

It's still January

Just another day in the Refuge and all the things we see . Every time we travel the roads all through the many impoundments that  are here , and the amount of wildlife we see is just so awesome . There is never  day here that we don't stop and just watch as all of nature passes us in all it's beauty .

It seems that we are now having another baby boom as there are hundreds of little ones running around with their moms .

They re really cute when they are just a few days old , and if you notice this little one is surrounded by the larger cows . They do this to protect their young .

A few are not quite ready to run and jump and a dry spot on a sunny day is just so hard to pass up .

We have taken on a new project on the Refuge . Once a week we go around and take salinity readings in the many ponds and ditches and bayous to see how the water is doing.

Of course some of the areas we go through are cattle pastures and are loaded with the cow exhaust . On those damp days it is very aromatic .

A Cinnamon Teal on Shoveler Pond . One of those rare ducks to pass through here on their migration.

One of the many Ibis on the pond . They are just  so beautiful in the sun with their feathers all shimmering.

It was a bit windy the day I took this shot. All his feathers are blowing in the wind .

Another sunny day and this gator  just needed a head rest to soak up some heat .

We have baby Alligators hanging out in all the ditches all through the Refuge . They really are cute little guys .
Another Coot running away from us . They are really fast and a lot of my pictures of them are butt shots.

Can you count the sleeping  ducks . It was a little windy and with very little sun they tuck up , and   so you nap.

The weather here has been up and down. Two mornings ago it was 26 degrees here and now we are breaking high temp records .

I came out to put seed in our bid feeder and found a little Brown Snake taking a sun bath on our RV pad.

As we go through some of the out laying pastures to do the salinity testing we encounter many cows just wandering alongside the access roads .

Snow geese migrating into the Refuge

And on this dead tree we have a Cara Cara just looking around from his high perch . They are good a good size raptor .

But then came along a really large Hawk and the Cara Cara moved right off the perch as the hawk was a third bigger than him.

We see these Cormorants almost every day and they are just a joy to watch , as they are water fowl with no oils for their feathers they need to dry out after every fishing trip . We also have a belted Kingfisher on the left back pole and a little Blue Egret on the rear right side. This salt water barrier has become their favorite spot .

What makes watching them so fascinating is their synchronized swimming under water when they fish. That's why I can rarely get a picture of all six when they are swimming.

The little burrowing Owl has become quite an attraction on the Refuge . It has come back to same place now three seasons in a row and folks come from all over he area to try and get a picture. What's really funny is if you stay in you vehicle it will stay outside the burrow . If you get out to get a better view it runs back into it's burrow. The burrow in in that same cow pasture that I walked through to do one of the salinity tests.

One of the big Hawks hanging out on one of the few water wind mills still standing on the Refuge . It's no longer used as they were all replaced with Solar pumps after Hurricane Ike .

As the Snow Geese arrive on the Refuge the Birding traffic increases every day . It's hoped that in another few weeks there will some 50 thousand here or maybe even more. The migration has been very slow this year as it was very warm to the north until just a few short weeks ago. We know that has changed and the geese are finally moving south.

Well as the season progresses here, we now have five RV couples here at Anahuac in our little community and it makes for a lot social time with our pot luck dinners and game nights. Throw in a fire or two in the evenings and there just isn't enough time left for much else . Glad we are retired . LOL                                                    G

Sunday, January 8, 2017

It's 2017

There are lots of wild pigs all over the Refuge right now. This one had two little ones with her but I couldn't get a picture of them.  When I stopped the car to take the picture they scurried under the fence                                                                                                                                                                                             

Just one of those god pictures .                    As you go through this blog the dates on the pic's are sometimes all over the place . Just the way I picked them out . There just for the joy of taking and posting them.

The Hawk migration is in full swing and there are all manner of Hawks in all areas of the Refuge . The Refuge system in this region has once again grown . The Refuge acquired another large section of the Gulf Coast with the purchase of Sabine Ranch . The land had gone up for sale and the refuge managed to out bid a developer with the help of several partner organization's to save the area .No more refineries or home developments in this area , just beautiful wetlands for the critters .

A Snowy Egret stepping out along Shoveler Pond . It has been nasty cold here the last several days with lows in the 20's . To dang cold for here .

How many ducks can sit on a piece of drift wood in Shoveler Pond ? There are literally thousands of migrating ducks resting up before they move farther south .

A big Blue hanging out .

We had a few days in the low 80's and all the Turtles came out to sun themselves .

Even the Gators were every where on those warm days ,

We had snakes all over the roads trying to warm up the other day .Not really sure about this one but by it's actions I believe it's a Mississippi Green Water Snake .

A little out of order but you get the idea that we went from the eighties to the twenties in a weeks time .

Just striking a pose

A Diamond Back Water Snake just looking at me as I take his photo

This guy had a real attitude and coiled up and jumped at me several times . As you can see there are no shots of that as I was moving back rather quickly  . These Yellow bellied Water Snakes are known for their bad tempers .

A American Bittern hunting along side of the Refuge Road

We watched as it had just  finished eating a mouse and now enjoying the day .

It almost looks like the Ibis is herding the Whistling ducks as they cross the road . There were more ducks on both sides of the road. These were all the baby ducks I had posted pictures of in the summer and now they are gathering to get ready for the flight further South.

I'm just so beautiful . A Cormorant striking a pose for me .

Do I need to groom some more . It appears all my feathers are in place .The  Coots are just a neat little duck .

A Muskrat grazing on the lush grass along the pond road .Yes there are other animals  on the Pond other than birds .

                                                                   Time to move on . Just too much attention for one day .                                        Well it's another year on the road and it has been an up and down journey . Most of our health issues are behind us and we are looking forward to new adventures this year . We will be leaving here in May and going to Savannah Georgia to the Refuge there for 14 weeks and then back to Pea Island . Looking so forward to moving around again. Hope you all had a Great New Years Eve and hopes for a really awesome one to come.  G