Monday, February 2, 2015

Village Creek Drying Beds

Overcast skies are forecast for the next few days. So despite freezing temperatures through the morning, today seemed like my best option to get out and shoot a bit. I chose a close destination, and another one from the Great Texas Wildlife Trails -- the Village Creek Drying Beds in Arlington.

Northern Shoveler and Green-winged Teal, Village Creek Drying Beds
The beds are actually an inactive sewage treatment plant.  The less said about its past, the better.  But at present, it has a number of ponds that provide habitat for many waterfowl.  I saw these Green-winged Teals hanging out with a Northern Shoveler in a seasonal lagoon before I even got to the man-made bodies of water.

American Coot, Village Creek Drying Beds
Most of the waterfowl were typically skittish, and had no interest in letting me get close enough to get a decent shot.  Coots are made of slightly sterner stuff.  Or they're less observant.

Village Creek Drying Beds
Most of the ponds are separated by just tiny strips of land.  While the waterfowl were uncooperative, these trees and their reflections were unable to get away from me.

Sparrow, Village Creek Drying Beds
I'd like to get better at distinguishing between the different types of sparrows here.  Especially since they seem to be more willing than pose for a portrait than other birds.

Red-Winged Blackbird, Village Creek Drying Beds
I never had much luck shooting Red-winged Blackbirds back in Colorado.  But I was happy to get a decent look at this one.

Sparrow, Village Creek Drying Beds
When ya gotta scratch, ya gotta scratch.

Feral Piglets, Village Creek Drying Beds
I was fortunate to meet another photographer there who'd been on site since sunrise -- Randy E. Crisp.  Check out his stuff on Flickr -- some really gorgeous wildlife shots, especially his macro pics.  He spotted this litter of feral piglets on a tiny island.  We kept our heads on a swivel looking for Mama Hog, but never did see her.  Randy speculated that she may have fallen victim to some illegal hunting which unfortunately occurs here.  Bad news for the future of these cute little buggers, if so.

Black Vulture, Village Creek Drying Beds
Black vulture resting in the midday sun as I left.  I fortunately had a few shots left on my memory card to stop and capture him.  Like my earlier visit to LLELA, the highlight of my day was a fortuitous and unexpected encounter with an accommodating subject that let me follow it around for a while and use most of the space on my card.  But it wasn't an armadillo this time.  Details to come!

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