Friday, January 15, 2016

Outing No 73: Clappering and Bitterning

Morning didn't really break this morning, rather morning slipped in under a wet, gray blanket fog when we were distracted by our sleep. Lorna, Paul Prappas, Carolee Colter and myself - at 7:30 we mopped the water off the old Ridgeline Birdmobile, packed our assorted optics, and hit the high road to South Padre Island, Paul behind the wheel as I am still fighting off a cold/flu and I am kind of draggin, ass. Low.

Driving into the glare of a sun-up fog, the early trip was a little painful. As it burned off we made a side trip stop at a mudflat harbor for shorebirds, particularly Oystercatchers. Got them. Very birdy - see below.

We pulled into South Padre at about 9:30 and drove directly to the Convention Center where we deboarded the birdmobile. We strapped on our cameras and binoculars and hit the boardwalk. Honestly we didn't see much by South Padre standards - a flock of Roseate Spoonbills poking around in the water, but mostly just napping, a few Ospreys, Pelicans, etc. We went back up the road to the World Birding Center to try our luck there. Paul wanted to see a Least Bittern, a bird which I understand shouldn't be here now. Eventually we did get eyes on it, not enough for a photo for me, but Lorna and Paul did get a couple.

(Paul's photo) 

No matter, here some others I was able to take as we looked for the Least Bittern..

Paul eventually got his Least Bittern so we took a lunch break at Padre Brewing. Brewmaster Mark Haggemiller sat with us for a while, talking Minnesota, beer and food - he has had a same cook for 20 years. We had some of his great beer and seafood.

After lunch we checked out the beaches looking for more shorebirds.

On the way home we stopped at Estero Llano because ... well, because it was on the way.

At home Paul and I split a tall beer - a Surly Over Rated, and I finished the leftover chicken soup that Bill Mauck made for me to help cure my cold. Did it help? Maybe, maybe not, but the soup tasted fantastic. 

Started out cool, damp and foggy. Saw some beautiful things along the way. Finished sunny and 80 degrees. A great day. 

Be well, - Gunnar


Redwing said...

Loved reading about our day! Thanks Gunner. Had a wonderful time with you and Lorna. And lunch was first-rate.

Ian Harrison said...

Glad you didn't let us down! We were only saying yesterday it wouldn't be long before you made it to the brewery!

Hope your cold is on the way out.

Nothing like your weather but had our first snow last night. Will be giving the birds 3 meals today as breakfast is already nearly gone.