Saturday, April 2, 2016

Post Oak Park

I went out looking for more of Flower Mound's Nature today, making my first visit to Post Oak Park this morning. I'd passed the park entrance many times and noticed the small pond it included. Now was my chance to see what might live around that pond.

Pied-billed Grebe, Post Oak Park
First sighting was a bird I always enjoy -- a Pied-billed Grebe.  As with my past encounters, this one was lazily swimming alone.

Pied-billed Grebe, Post Oak Park
I captured an unusual expression when it looked almost directly at me.

Mallard Drake, Post Oak Park
This Mallard drake preferred to keep to the shaded section of the pond.  I watched and waited for him to glide into a patch of sunlight.

Smooth Softshell Turtle, Post Oak Park
I was delighted to find that beyond the small pond was a stretch of wetlands that led to yet another pond.  Turtles sunned themselves around its banks, including this smooth softshell.  I'm always surprised at how easily startled turtles are, disappearing into the water at the slightest movement.  This one was no exception, as shortly after this shot it noticed me shift and was gone with a slide and a splash.

Green Heron, Post Oak Park
As I returned to my car I stopped at the first pond to watch the grebe again, and happened to notice a somewhat large green bird perched on a small tree.  Upon closer examination, it turned out to be a Green Heron!

Green Heron, Post Oak Park
He flew around the pond from tree to tree, so I walked around following him hoping for a clear view.

Green Heron, Post Oak Park
Eventually he alighted on a branch that was fairly free of cover, and I happily snapped away.

Green Heron, Post Oak Park
Patience and persistence again won the day.  For a reason I'll never know, he hung out in the relative open for a while.  And I was the beneficiary.

Red-Eared Slider, Post Oak Park
The heron eventually decided he'd given me enough to work with and headed into denser trees where I couldn't follow.  So I was left with one last look at a Red-eared Slider before heading on my way.

Another pleasant surprise in our own neighborhood.  I can't wait to see what hidden gem I'll learn about next!

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