March 2, 2006 - Heron Flats Trail in Aransas NWR

The Heron Flats trail is 1.4 miles long and the 0.3 mile Rail trail intersects it.  The first thing we saw was wildflowers:

and butterflies:


Then we hit the slough:

Here we found alligators:

We were told in the visitors center that the alligators would be out since it was a 75 degree day. 

We did see Roseate Spoonbills in the distance:

We were much closer and have better pictures of Roseate Spoonbills when we visited Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge in November 2005.

In the distance we thought we might be seeing Whooping Cranes, but were told the cranes are in small groups of one to three and we could tell these were smaller birds.  We could see them better in the binoculars, but these are Black-necked Stilts:

We also listened to and saw this Northern Cardinal (same bird in both pictures):

Another wildflower and a yucca going to flower:

Then we startled a snowy egret and a little blue heron which finally landed close to each other:

We saw cuckoos, some other smaller birds, but didn't get any pictures.  We scared a couple lizards, they were also gone before the camera was ready.  The trees and plants on this trail are also interesting.

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