We got up a bit early today and had breakfast and got ready to go to the Birding Center. We thought there would be another guided walk today, but when we arrived we discovered that the guided walk had been cancelled. So we walked around the boardwalks on our own.
This is a map that shows the layout of the boardwalks around the center.
Once again we took over 200 photos at the Birding Center, so I will just show you a couple of the more interesting ones.
These two White Ibises are having a bit of a squabble.
I watched this alligator for about 20 minutes as he lay in hiding watching his potential next meal. I am convinced that he was not hungry because the Pied Billed Grebe and the Tri Colored Heron passed within grabbing distance but the alligator never took the opportunity.
We watched the Pelicans fishing for their meal. It is starting to get foggy, that is why the photos are a little washed out.
We watched this Great Blue Heron fly in and land on a post.
This Great Egret was kind enough to stretch its wings for us.
After our visit to the Birding Center, we resumed our search for the elusive Pelican Sand Sculpture. Our sources told us it was in Andy Bowie Park so we paid the admission fee of $4.00 and went in to search. The guy in the booth at the entrance gate had no idea what we were talking about when we asked him where the sand sculpture was. It was very foggy at this part of the Island.
You can just see the tops of the nearby condo towers peeking through the fog.
We never did find the Pelican Sand Sculpture, so we will have to do some further research before our next attempt to locate it. Perhaps it fell victim to vandals and has been destroyed. We will give it one more attempt in the next few days to try and locate it.
We drove further North to Beach Access #5. I wanted to check out the laneway there to see if it would be suitable for using to drive our car onto the beach. A lot of the beach access points are not suitable for anything less than a 4 wheel drive vehicle, but I was told that at Access #5 it would be suitable for getting our 2 wheel drive car down onto the beach, and upon inspection by me, I found that it is hard packed sand and so we will come back here on a day when it is not foggy and go for a drive along the beach.
This is Beach Access #5 as seen on a foggy day. Not a good day for photos.
The seagulls thought it was a nice day.
The horse back riders seemed to be enjoying their ride along the beach despite the foggy conditions.
Back at our trailer in the KOA Kampground, we read our Kindle e-reader books till it was time to start the BBQ for dinner.
The fog set in heavy just before sunset, so there are no sunset photos this evening. I BBQ’d hamburgers for dinner. Now that I have had some practice, I am going to step it up a notch in a couple of days and BBQ some steaks. Tonights hamburgers were delicious.
We were worried that the fog was going to obscure our view from our patio of the fireworks this evening, but around 9pm the fog cleared and at midnight we had a front row seat to the firework display put on by the South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce. They anchor a large barge in the center of the bay to light the fireworks off from.
Our camera takes the worst possible photos at night, there are several dozen automatic settings and of course the ever intimidating manual settings, but I have never figured out or taken the time to learn how to take night photos, or more precisely, photos of fireworks at night. Anyways, here are a few samples of the firework show to ring in the New Year, SPI Texas Style.
HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of you from South Padre Island Texas.
To see all of our photos from today, you can click on this link to our FLICKR site.
Woke up around 8:30am this morning, there isn’t much chance to sleep any later because of the noisy Grackles that sit in the palm trees around our Airstream trailer.
We ate breakfast then hung around our trailer for the morning. After lunch we decided to leave the KOA campground and drive around the Island for a bit. We had to pick up some groceries, but we also went in search of a few Sand Sculptures that are scattered throughout the Island. The best known one is the one at the Visitor Center.
There is another one at the Police Station. This is a flying turtle.
There is one at a private residence. It is titled “Un-Litter”.
Another one at a private residence is titled “The Wizards Roost”
There is one that we were not able to find, it is a Pelican. We will keep looking for it over the next few days and hopefully find it.
Back at the KOA Campground on South Padre Island I lit the BBQ and and cooked dinner, then we walked over to the sunset deck to watch the setting sun. We sure have been lucky this year at seeing the sunsets. On our previous visit to the Island 3 years ago, it would always be cloudy in the late afternoon and the clouds would of course completely block the sunset.
To see all the photos from today, you can click on this link to our FLICKR site.
We woke up at 7:30am and had breakfast and got organized to go to the Birding and Nature Center for a guided tour. A group of us met our guide Ryan on the front deck. He talked a bit about the Birding Center and then led us on the walk. We saw birds that we had not seen before and it was great having Ryan along to tell us the names of the birds and tell us a bit about the birds and their habitat.
We took over 200 photos on our walk, I will spare you the agony of looking at all 200 photos and just show you some of the best photos.
A Redhead Duck
A Reddish Egret
A Snowy Egret fluffing its feathers
A Little Blue Heron
A Hermit Crab
A Red Breasted Merganser
Very rarely seen during the daytime, a Black Crowned Night Heron
A Common Moorhen
An American Coot
A Great Egret
A Pied-Billed Grebe
I don’t need to tell you what this is…
A Northern Shoveler
A Lesser Yellowlegs Sandpiper
After walking the boardwalks at the birding center we came back to our trailer and had some lunch. After lunch I relaxed, worked on my computer for a bit and read part of the book that I am reading on my Kindle. Karen went to the laundry room and did our laundry.
It is a beautiful sunny day, high of 25 Celsius.
We walked over to the sunset viewing deck at 5:30pm.
To see all of our photos from this evening you can find them on my FLICKR site.
We woke up around 8am, it is a beautiful sunny morning, the temperature at this hour is 14 Celsius. Going to be a high of 23 Celsius today under clear blue skies.
We ate breakfast and worked on our computers. We finished unpacking and organizing our trailer. At noon we had lunch and then we headed out for a drive North as far as the road will allow us to go.
The first stop is at the South Padre Island Visitors Center to look at the sand sculpture they have in their lobby.
We drove till we got to the road blocks across the road. I am unsure why the road is closed at this point because it actually does continue for another couple of miles before the pavement ends. We got out here, (Beach Access #6) and walked for an hour along the beach, watching the shore birds and looking for interesting sea shells.
People were fishing from the waters edge.
Lots of sea shells and someone took the time to make this heart out of sea shells.
We decided to go to the Birding Center, but I was wearing my sandals and needed to change into proper shoes, so we headed back to our trailer. Along the way we stopped to watch the horseback riders heading down to the beach to ride along the seashore.
Now that I have proper shoes on, we spent a couple of hours at the South Padre Island Birding Center.
The Visitors Center is brand new since we were here 3 years ago. All of the original boardwalks are still in place, but many new ones have been built. There is now an entrance fee, which is $4.00 per person per day, but we bought a pass that allows us to come every day.
Whenever we come here we wind up taking over 200 photos of the birds, but I will just show some of the better photos here.
A Northern Pintail Duck
An American Coot
A Snowy Egret
A Roseate Spoonbill
A Great Blue Heron
A Tricolored Heron
A Reddish Egret
Back at our trailer, I fired up the BBQ and then we went to the Sunset Deck to watch another spectacular sun set.
After the sunset, the BBQ was ready and I cooked some hotdogs, nothing fancy, but very delicious.
To see all of our photos from today you can click on this link to our FLICKR site.