Posts Tagged ‘muscovy duck’

“It is better to travel well than to arrive.” Buddha 

This Muscovy duck wasn't shy at all. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Bird Talk

“Want to go to Texas City with me?” My son, Lewis, asked yesterday.

Giving nary a thought to the writing and other items on my busy day’s agenda, I said: “Sure.”

While the trip was a business one for my son, I knew that there would still be plenty of opportunities to see birds along the way. Lewis is as passionate about bird watching as his bird-watching mom.

Besides, road trips are my thing. Nothing makes me happier than watching life through a vehicle’s windows, especially knowing one can stop at any time for closer looks. While I once had to hit an older son just to get him to stop and let his mom go to the restroom, Lewis has always been as eager to explore the roadsides as me.

The first stop on this overcast, foggy day was at an RV park near Angleton. I had been looking for a place to dump my holding tanks and this was a possibility. While we weren’t in my RV today, I still wanted to check out the possibility.

It turned out not to be an option, but the long driveway into the park passed by a field full of killdeer, meadowlarks and mourning doves.


The waves rolled in from a horizon made invisible by the fog. I had my son stop along the Galveston Sea Wall so I could try and capture the day's mood. -- Photo by Pat Bean

And the park grounds turned up some Muscovy ducks, a Mexican species that’s beginning to be seen more and more of in North America. The ones we saw this day, although free to fly away, clearly preferred domestication.

They swarmed Lewis in hopes that he would have food to give them. I stood back and took pictures, enjoying the iridescent sheen of their feathers and the bright red nodules on their faces.

Back in the car, we drove on to Texas City. After my son had taken care of his business, we took the long way home through Galveston and over the San Luis Pass toll bridge to Surfside, birding as we drove.

Laughing gulls and brown and white pelicans were the seashore’s primary occupants along the Galveston Sea Wall. At LaFitte’s Cove, a small birding sanctuary in a residential section south of Galveston, the shallow pond area was full of ducks, teals, ibises, yellowlegs, coots and sandpipers.

“A good day for ducks,” said the one other birder we passed.

Indeed it was.

It was also a good day for a road trip. While I do so love sunshine, this day’s mist and fog added a hint of mystery and magic to the day’s drive – and 57 different bird species.

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