Saturday, January 29, 2011

Farewell to Goose Island

We leave in the morning for Falcon State Park after eight days here at Goose Island. It’s finally shorts and T-shirt weather and we’ve enjoyed getting out to walk, bike, and run. Penny has become pretty well-known with her running alongside the bike. Lots of little yappy dogs here which tend to drive her (and me) a bit nuts.

The first morning we were here, the roar of airboats awoke us about 4:30 A.M. It was the last day of duck season and all the good old boys were out. It calmed down considerably after that although guides take out anglers about every morning -- with the resulting racket.

The birding has been wonderful -- and we’ve met several interesting folks. Last night we went on an owl prowl -- which turned out to be a walk along an oyster shell filled trail through the puckerbrush with Mary and fifteen others -- but no owls. The night sky through the trees was quite something -- these Texas nights can be quite spectacular.

This morning, after coffee, scones, and wifi downtown, we went to say goodbye to the whooping cranes. Three flew over as we approached and later, as we watched, a male from the group of three that reside there drove the newcomers off.

We met a guy today with a Bates sweatshirt so we had to query him -- and learned that he and his wife moved down here from New England about five years ago. He’s a photographer -- shooting birds and and scenery -- and loving living in Texas. I’ve seen the temperatures for this area in the summer. Mary and I, while enjoying the area a lot, have too much Yankee blood in our veins to move south. However, getting down here for part (or most) of the winter is enticing.

Falcon Lake got some bad press six months ago when the guy was killed by “pirates” on the Mexican side of the lake. That story always has had a phony ring to it -- no debris, no body -- so it will be interesting to hear the local version of the story. We hope to erect and launch the kayak but will be staying close to the U.S. shore for many reasons. I think it’s likely safer than it was when we were there last year.

Temperatures down there are forecast in the low 80’s just as the rest of the country is getting ready for another big storm. One side of me feels guilty -- but I suspect as soon as I see a Green Jay and three types of orioles, I’ll get over it.

Seriously, we will be thinking of our friends/family dealing with this tough winter.

Take a look at my latest post on the birds of Goose Island.

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