Saturday, January 21, 2012

Our Final Days in Texas: South Padre and Mustang Islands

Eric and I spent our last days in the Rio Grande Valley photographing tons of ducks, gulls, terns, and waders along the coast. We spent a morning each at the South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center and at the Port Aransas Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center farther north. At both locations the birds are rather tame and the birders and photographers are restricted by boardwalks as to not disturb the birds. It’s amazing how close the birds will come when they do not feel threatened by overzealous birders and photographers. At South Padre, there were ample opportunities to shoot a couple species each of gulls and terns, several duck species, and darn near every wading bird that occurs in the United States!

Great Blue Heron

Roseate Spoonbill

Roseate Spoonbill

Tricolored Heron
The mix of species changes a little bit as you head north and bird at the Port Aransas Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center on Mustang Island outside of Corpus Christi. The variety of waterfowl is really amazing at this location. All three teal species are extremely easy to photograph here as are the Northern Shovelers. The Brown Pelicans also provide awesome flight shot opportunities!

Brown Pelican

Brown Pelicans

Cinnamon Teal

Green-winged Teal
This is an extremely exciting place for bird photographers and I highly recommend these locations to all birders!


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