Saturday, February 20, 2010

Mr. Red Pouch.

And in case you have not noticed, the red pouched Brown Pelicans are coming into their own already and fast .....Things are heating up ....Of 26 adult birds noted, 5 that had at least some red coming in already though I suspect this trait is becoming increasingly shared between the two morphs (?). Maybe soon a bird with a completely red pouch will be hard to find....Or does this color hold true from one generation to the next between the two forms? For the newbies, I guess I state that the red-pouched form of Brown Pelican is not native to Atlantic or Gulf of Mexico waters, coming instead from the west coast years ago...Too much history thereto get into but you can read up on it elsewhere.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

On the Oyster shells

Your looking at a scene that will soon be history in Port O'Connor as the rich take over all the water front property and the poor man can not make a dime at real work.

Here is a pile of oystershell outside of Clark's Seafood packing house. Not active today, but when it is, there are birds all over it. Oystering has been slow going this year and gets slower by the year with all the imports, fuel, labor costs etc. Especially bad this year due to the influx of fresh (unclean/silty) water into the baysafter the drought. And most oysters that are being dredged are from San Antonio Bay instead of Matagorda!
Were the guys shucking today, the shell would be rolling off the conveyor steadily and the grackles, gulls, willets and turnstones, especially the turnstones would be all over this pile seeking nuggets of oyster flesh. One day I stopped here and counted no fewer than 61 Ruddy Turnstones working the pile! And for the very briefest of moments once I thought I had a Black Turnstone pop up and over the top of the pile still in its darker winter plumage that was a bit darker than normal. Oh man! Would a Black Turnstone have made Texas birding history or what!. Yep, these are the places I bird. Not the fancy pants birding parks like Bentsen or Smith Woods. Just the old stinky fish docks and muck holes. Something will show up someday. Heck a lot of times this is where I find California Gulls.