Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Punch and Coffee...Dead on the beach

Here are the remains of our newly found friend, Punch, who floated ashore some night a week or so ago. She was a big old girl. I mean she really was old. Had a good life of many years, no doubt, eating tasty Sand and Speckled Trout and just rocking with the pod. Party time likely ended for her though with this last big cold spell that dropped the bay waters' temperature so low. Did I mention she was old? Her teeth were so worn down she was likely having to make a go of it off Moon Jellies. She had no major scars or injuries that I found but I was really not much in the mood to roll 'er over. I put the coffee cup next to her as sort of a size comparison and it was good coffee, but I guess after the picture I just sort of did not want it anymore and left it as an honor to her long (40-50 year) life.

Oh yeah, the Turkey Vultures are all worked up and can't wait for the aging process to kick in but that is slow going with dead dolphins....real slow. Just no good starting places. But the troupe sails in several times a day to check in. What's real strange is that all the gulls are freaked out by Punch. The Laughing Gulls especially. They won't even come close. A few Herring Gulls perhaps but that is about it. After this carcass ripens a few days I am gonna check her out after dark though the water is way too cold for the crab people.

This is the third dolphin that has washed into Port O'Connor waters since Christmas. Perhaps due to the cold weather, but who really knows?

Feb. 14, 2010 Aransas NWR

Birded at Aransas NWR this morning with Petra Hockey. A gorgeous morning. We had a huge flock of mixed plovers just outside of Austwell that had at least some Mountain Plovers. In the refuge itself we got the spectacular male Townsend's Warbler along with a Horned Grebe and many other nice birds. At the boat ramp on hwy. 35 we found waterthrushes and an Ovenbird. Since this is my very first blog post many of you might be curious as to what I look like. I was a bit younger then and was still wearing contacts but I have not really changed that much in recent years.....I hope to be able to improve my posts here in the future with your help.