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Posts Tagged ‘night herons’

“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” – Martin Buber

 

American woodcock. The one we saw at Brazos Bend had a beautiful red belly but flew away too quickly for me to get a photograph. -- Wikipedia photo

 

Travels With Maggie

The best option I’ve found to dump the holding tanks in my RV when I’m visiting my son in Lake Jackson is Brazos Bend State Park. The compensation for making the 80-mile round-trip drive is that the Texas park, known for its alligators, is one of my favorite places to bird.

I announced my intentions of making the drive to my son, Lewis, asking if he would like to make the trip with me. He passed the word along to his wife, Karen.

“Mom needs to take a dump at Brazos Bend,” is how he put it, which suddenly became a standing joke among us.

Saturday, the two of them, also birders, joined me for the adventure. Arriving at the park, I renewed my annual Texas State Park pass, then took care of Gypsy Lee’s business while Karen and Lewis walked Maggie and watched a flock of cedar waxwings.

 

But this red-eyed fellow, a black-crowned night heron, posed nicely for me. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Ten minutes after I had put on plastic gloves, hooked up a sewer hose and pulled levers, Gypsy Lee’s holding tanks were empty and I was ready to join the birding party.

We decided to hike the Hoots Hollow trail near the park entrance. It was a good choice.

One of the first birds we saw as we entered the moss-dripping forest was an American woodcock. It was cause for great joy as the bird was a lifer for all three of us. It brought my list of species seen up to 699.

But the benefits of having to drive to Brazos Bend to dump didn’t end there. Just as we were about to exit the trail, I got my 700th species, a Swainson’s thrush. It had been quite awhile since I had added any new bird species to my life list, and to get two in one day was fantastic.

Our continued birding around Forty Acre Lake was also great. We ended the day with 57 species, our final one being a black-crowned night heron that posed for my camera.

The day left me looking forward to my next “dump.”

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