Monday, February 26, 2018

Aransas National Wildlife Refuge - Austwell, Texas

Aransas National Wildlife Refuge - Austwell, Texas

The Aransas National Wildlife Refuge is a 114,657 acre protected area situated on the southwest side of San Antonio Bay along the Gulf Coast of the U.S. state of Texas. It is located in parts of Aransas, Refugio, and Calhoun counties near Austwell, Texas.  Because they are still in post-hurricane Harvey recovery, they weren't charging admission when we went, but the regular cost is relatively cheap ($3).

You've likely visited a natural and mostly undisturbed place that you consider special. This place is special and is one of those places for me. It is a beautiful place set aside for wildlife to thrive and for humankind to appreciate.

This protected area is one of the places the Whooping Crane migrates to each year. It summers in Wood Buffalo National Park, Alberta Canada where it breeds and raises its young. But in the winter they migrate to South Texas to teach their young the migration route and to fend for themselves.

In the winter you have the unique chance to see one of the rarest birds in North America, the Whooping Crane.

(Photo credit: The Audubon Society)

Whooping Crane (above)

There are also Alligators, Bobcat, Deer, many different species of Ducks, Duckbill Roseates, Egrets, Pelicans and every other kind of bird you can imagine.

Duckbill Roseate (above)

The park features two viewing platforms so that you can view the marshes and hopefully spot some birds. One of the platforms is 40' tall and the other is 20'. You get a great view from here and we actually got to see a family of Whooping Cranes. in the marsh and flying.

These were Whooping Cranes but we only had Cell phones for photos

Dense Old Growth Live Oaks (over 500 years old)

Lurking and waiting

There were Vultures everywhere (damn they make a guy nervous, especially when they start circling around above us as we walk along the path).

All the Ducks in a Row

Desert on the Bay

Lots of Fish in San Antonio Bay

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