Galveston Island: It's For the Birds!

Last month, I went on a birding trip to Galveston Island State Park. https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/galveston-island

I took a week off and headed down there on a Tuesday---Monday was Columbus Day and I knew the park would be super crowded on a holiday weekend. When I started out, it was raining in Longview because a cold front was coming through. As I drove south, I got ahead of the front and the weather was sunny and in the 90s. I walked along the free public beach to collect seashells and photograph birds until it was time to check in to the hotel.

Late that evening, the cold front arrived in Galveston. The next morning was overcast, raining, and 20 degrees cooler. I wasn't going to let the rain keep me from watching the birds. I drove to the state park and did some birding by car. The park was empty except for a young couple fishing and an elderly couple also birding by car. The birds were used to tourists, so I could put my car in park next to a bird, roll down the window, and get good close-ups. Later there was a temporary reprieve from the rain, so I walked down a trail.

One thing I was determined to do on this trip was to catch at least one saltwater fish, so I gave it a try the next day. There was a problem: I did not understand that 70 degrees in Galveston is not the same as 70 degrees in Texas. The wind blowing off the ocean made it feel much colder. I saw the locals wrapped up in coats, scarves, and hats, and wish I had brought warmer clothes. All I had brought were t-shirts and thin pants. I had a rain jacket with me so I had at least some warmth and protection from the drizzling rain.

Putting on my rubber boots, I was determined to catch a fish in the park's salt marsh. I was shivering. I told myself I would catch just ONE fish and go back to the warm car. I got that one fish, the gulf toadfish, and went back to my heated car.

My last stop before I went home was East End Lagoon Nature Preserve. http://www.eastendlagoon.org/ It's a small park, a saltwater marsh area dotted with palm trees and prickly pear cactus.

Despite the fact that it was chilly and rainy, I had a lot of fun and didn't want to go back home. I saw a lot of birds that are new to me, like the Roseate Spoonbill and Ruddy Turnstone. I saw a lot of coastal plants and identified them with the help of iNaturalist's Galveston County checklist.

I want to go back again in a couple of years. The state park's beach was closed due to renovations and won't open again until then. I was to see more birds and catch way more fish.

Αναρτήθηκε από cosmiccat cosmiccat, Νοέμβριος 10, 2019 0327 ΠΜ

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cosmiccat

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Οκτώβριος 16, 2019 02:42 PM CDT

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cosmiccat

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Οκτώβριος 17, 2019 01:41 PM CDT

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My first saltwater fish! This is a silly-looking creature that is mostly mouth like Pac-man.

I took more photos of this fish, but my phone ate them. Fish with banded fins and a mouth full of teeth

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cosmiccat

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Οκτώβριος 16, 2019 01:13 PM CDT

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Galveston, TX, USA (Google, OSM)

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Galveston Island State Park

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Χαλικοκυλιστής Arenaria interpres

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cosmiccat

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Οκτώβριος 17, 2019 03:45 PM CDT

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Galveston, TX, USA (Google, OSM)

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East End Lagoon Nature Preserve

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I was there the week before (that cold front came in just as I was leaving). I'm glad you were able to catch the fish and get warm. Birding in that area is always fun. Galveston has some stores, you should have, at least, purchased a sweatshirt. ;-) I enjoyed your post. Thanks for sharing it.

Αναρτήθηκε από charley σχεδόν 2 χρόνια πριν (Αναφορά)

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