The marshes at South Padre Island offer some fine bird photography almost anytime of the year, but mid-May is one of my favorite. Here is a sample of what was happening in the marsh earlier this week.
This courting male Red-winged Blackbird was all over the place.
A late afternoon fog bank gave the stilts enough shade to keep the eggs from baking while the pair poked about for supper. Their eggs should hatch during the Memorial Day weekend, but 4 days of bumper to bumper vehicle traffic will prevent all but the most intrepid wildlife photographers from recording it.
I didn’t get much time for photography this spring, but I did make two quick trips by myself to an isolated photo blind near South Padre Island. On a third half day trip to the island, a few migrant songbirds appeared, but things just weren’t the same with Covid 19 travel restrictions in place.
Here are a few images from those trips:
These were pretty much the only individuals I saw on those limited outings, so I’m thankful for those few hours in the brush. Let’s hope next spring brings more birds and free time for photographers to enjoy.
As a facilities planner and photo guide at the Santa Clara Photo Ranch in south Texas, I was able to access some of the blinds one day in early May. By then, most of the spring songbird migration was done, but bird activity was good that day.
The little Golden-winged Warbler above was the first of that species we’d ever seen at Santa Clara Photo Ranch. He was visible for only a few seconds, but we got a few captures.
Manzanita is somewhat rare in south Texas, but grows naturally in the Rio Grande delta near Brownsville. Since many birds and mammals are attracted to its drupes, I often carry fruiting branches from my garden to the ranch to use as perches.
When leisure travel is permitted again, the ranch will be open year round so check their web site (SantaClaraPhotoRanch.com) for schedules and other information.