Last night, I found out where the good ducks go when the sun goes down.
It was late, almost time for bed, when we got on the bikes and made for mysterious tunnels, winding moonlit trails tracing the creeks, and wide, never-ending circles around the lake.
We got lost a few times, but we eventually figured our way home after more than ten miles and and an hour had gone.
About twenty minutes into it, we found the secret sacred spot of ducky delight. There were over a hundred or so dark shapes moving around, the pitch of their voice suggesting black bellied whistling ducks. A few larger pale shapes wandered around near the middle of them by the edge of an isle, and I rather think these might have been my roseatte spoonbills from earlier in the week. This spot was not too far from the other, if you are the flying type.
Phone camera is not great for this sort of moonlight meeting, gonna try to find this spot again during the daylight armed with a decent camera and see what turns up.
Last week, our bike ride in which I was observing the birds took place, in part, along the Cinco Ranch Nature Trail. I have decided this is my new favorite place, and was excited about going there with my son and the dogs the other day.
It was not quite as restorative as I hoped, because apparently I am not the only person who has the bright idea to walk their dogs along there on a weekday evening. My dogs were annoying me, because they were getting overly excited about seeing their brethren out on the trail. Then, one of them (Breeze) took a bad tumble when missing the jump back into the truck. Also, on the way home, my son and I had a disagreement over his misbehavior and so therefore I was not in a great mood when I came home. He had to apologize to me later for us to make up.
But, a wonderful thing happened out there as well. I saw my first Roseatte Spoonbills of the year! This is my favorite bird of all. There were a pair of them feeding along the shoreline of the wetlands below the main trail on the way to the lake. I just love the way they feed. It is one of the reasons I like them so much, because it just makes me laugh when they scoop their heads side to side in the water so swiftly. On the way back, they were gone, but then I saw a lone one flying across the sky on the way home.
We also sat for a little bit on a bench near the big lake and talked about the goings-on of the water birds. My son got to ride his bike around and he was happy. I feel like we are going to spend a lot more time here in the coming months.
I have been really bad about not bringing the binoculars or slowing down to identify species lately, but that makes 74 for the year. Hoping to see some more birds Saturday at the Spring Creek Nature Center or on a return trip to the Arboretum.