This week we visited a couple of parks in the Corpus Christi area to check out the birds. And they were out in abundance! First up was the Hans and Pat Suter Wildlife Refuge on the shores of Oso Bay. This was a very productive birding spot with a pond, marshy areas, foliage and brush, and a boardwalk on the bay.
Walking along the boardwalk we were able to view a variety of ducks, coots, grebes, herons, egrets, and even a Great Kiskadee that we heard before we saw. This was one of the ubiquitous bird species in Belize that we always enjoyed hearing and seeing. Their vocalizations are very distinctive.
There were lots -- and I mean LOTS -- of individual birds as well as different species mingling on Oso Bay. Ducks of many varieties, pelicans, avocets, skimmers, various gulls, godwits, and other shorebirds. How I wish diverse humans could get along as well as our feathered friends!
There's also a mile-long nature trail through woods near the bay. We heard more woodland birds than we saw as we walked it, but Barry did manage to snap a photo of this Orange-Crowned Warbler.
We saw a lot more birds at the Suter site, but will save some of the photos for a summary "Birds of Corpus Christi" post at the end of our visit.
The second park we visited this week was Hazel Bazemore, a county park along the shore of the Neuces River. This park is a prime hawk migration area and birders count thousands of migrating birds here every year. Unfortunately we weren't here at the right time for that and saw no hawks. We were actually looking closely for Green Jays, as I'd seen on ebird that there had been some recent sightings in the park.
We got a lot of walking in looking for the nature trail, which was the very last thing we discovered upon making the rounds of nearly the entire 77-acre park! It could definitely be better marked. But in the meantime, we did some exercise, saw a few birds, and enjoyed checking out the river. It looked like it would be great for kayaking or canoeing. There was also a nice duck pond.
The highlight of the day was this Long-Billed Curlew sighting, another new one for our life lists. Definitely a cool bird!
Meanwhile, on the pond...
In the woods by the pond, we did spy another bird for our life lists, the Long-Billed Thrasher. It looks very similar to the Brown Thrasher we saw with some frequency in North Carolina, but is the common Thrasher in this area and time of year, and its eyes are more orange than the yellow eyes of the Brown Thrasher.
In our park "circumnavigation" in search of the nature trail, we noticed these llamas at an adjoining small farm. Cool!
We finally located the Nature Trail just when we thought we never would.
Unfortunately, despite looking hard, we didn't see any Green Jays! But stay tuned...we still have one more chance as we're heading to another park today.
Emily & Barry
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