May 18, 2016

Birding Nature Center :: Feathered Wings

The boardwalk through the wetlands at Matagorda County Nature Birding Center leads to a bird blind.

However, we found that the thick vegetation provides plenty of cover on its own. 

We had to be careful though, because some of those vines are Poison Ivy! I'm happy to say that neither one of us came home with a rash.

From the boardwalk we were able to observe a pair of Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks. I like the preening action in this photo, though all that swamp muck (technical term) seems to be defeating the purpose.

From swamp to open prairie, there were all kinds of birds to see and photograph.

John heard it first and I zoomed in quickly for a shot. It was a cute-as-can-be Black-capped Chickadee. This is where the new zoom lens came in handy. I never could have gotten this shot without it.

And just because it's so cute, here's another picture to enjoy.

Along the edge of one of the ponds on the property was a Yellow-crowned Night-Heron. I had to look this one up in the bird guide book, since John is at work and I couldn't remember what he told me it was. I don't think he got as specific as Yellow-crowned, though he was right on with Night-Heron.

A nest in a fig tree was easy to spot. A female Northern Cardinal was sitting on eggs (we assumed). I hope to go back soon and find babies, though I might need a step ladder to get a good look.

By far, the real birding treat of the day was seeing a Great Kiskadee and its nest! It's a rare occurrence for these birds to be this far north. We think this one is a male, hopefully of a mated pair, and that he is perched near the nest to guard it. We never saw the female. Maybe she was in the nest incubating eggs.

I guess nest guarding can be a real bore sometimes, because we caught this guy sleeping on the job. Yes, he was snoozing away with his head down and his eyes closed. His closed eyes showed up better in some of my other shots, but they were too blurry to share.

I hope you enjoyed the feathered wings portion of our nature hike in this beautiful place.


  1. Another series of amazing photos.

    Glad that you and John managed to avoid the Poison Ivy.

    1. Me too, Nancy. I was worried I might have brushed up against some without realizing it.

  2. Tracy this looks like a wonderful place, I love the photo of the black capped chickadee, the larger birds are wonderful too, Frances

    1. It is wonderful, Frances. We've been to other places like this that are more well known and haven't seen half as much beauty and wildlife as we saw here in one afternoon. The Chickadee is my favorite, too.

  3. Replies
    1. I like how it's left to go wild. That's probably due mostly to lack of help and funds, but I prefer it that way.

  4. Wildlife sanctuaries are special places, indeed!

    1. This one is especially nice, since it's close to home and very few people seem to know about it.


Thank you for reading and taking time to comment. I am encouraged by your kind words!