Thursday, February 19, 2015

Colleyville Nature Center: February 2015

A wide-open schedule today meant a chance to get out for a quick photo hike. Destination: the Colleyville Nature Center, which proved to be more difficult to find than I'd anticipated. My car navigation system didn't recognize the name, and my iPhone decided to become a miniature iPad today and lose the ability to receive phone service. I ended up stopping at the North Richland Hills Library so I could connect to their WiFi and get a street address. Turned out I'd only overshot the park by a few miles, which I was grateful for.

Little Bear Creek, Colleyville Nature Center
Little Bear Creek runs through the 43-acre property.  Like all bodies of water in North Texas, it's much lower than normal.

Female Mallard, Colleyville Nature Center
The center has nine "lakes," which are really ponds.  Semantics aside, they do attract waterfowl.  This lady Mallard wasn't as asleep as she first appeared.

Neotropic Cormorants, Colleyville Nature Center
Ain't no party like a Double-Breasted Cormorant party!  I'd first assumed from a distance that these were vultures and almost didn't bother getting closer.  Then one flew overhead and I recognized my mistake.

Neotropic Cormorant, Colleyville Nature Center
They took turns taking flight.  I stayed focused on one for a few minutes hoping to catch it leaving its branch, and was rewarded.

Neotropic Cormorant, Colleyville Nature Center
A pose like this gives the bird a fairly unattractive bird a pretty noble look.

Lesser Scaup, Colleyville Nature Center
The duck population was made up of more than just Mallards.  I thought I spotted Northern Shovelers and American Wigeons as well as this Lesser Scaup, who actually swam close enough to where I was shooting the cormorants for me to turn and get a decent shot of him.

Great Blue Heron, Colleyville Nature Center
A Great Blue Heron did some pond-hopping, always staying tantalizingly out of range of letting me get a really good shot.

Great Egret, Colleyville Nature Center
But a Great Egret did me the favor of a slow, gliding fly-by right over my head.  Thanks, Great Egret!

Red Squirrel, Colleyville Nature Center
Oh, hey there Mama Fox Squirrel.  I hope the babies are doing well!

Female Downy Woodpecker, Colleyville Nature Center
Since I finally got a Northern Cardinal shot I'm happy with, I'm going to make Downy Woodpeckers my next target.  I see them all the time, but haven't gotten a great capture yet.  You're on my list...

I spent about 2 1/2 hours wandering their three miles of trails.  It's an interesting little suburban oasis, pretty packed with wildlife given its proximity to development.  A satisfying sojourn, for sure!

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