In late August, the breeding birds of South Texas have raised their young and became less conspicuous. Nevertheless, even though colorful bird species like the Altamira Oriole might not be singing as much, the wetlands and mud flats on the coast offer more than enough birds to look for and photograph.
One of those choice coastal sites for birding in south Texas is South Padre Island. Although it’s a great place to go birding at just about any time of the year, it’s especially nice during late summer and fall. On a recent jaunt to South Padre Island, I came across some shorebirds and a good number of resident species.
Although other shorebird species were around, many of the resident birds were presenting better photo opportunities so I decided to focus on birds like egrets, herons, and whistling ducks.
Whistling ducks show beautiful, striking plumage. However, they aren’t the only breeding duck species in south Texas. One of the other main nesting species is the Mottled Duck. This uncommon duck only occurs in the salt marshes of the gulf coast.
Overall, it was a pretty good day for taking pictures of herons. While egrets and some other herons have long necks and legs that give them a graceful appearance, there are also species with short necks and stout bills.
The three heron species shown directly above are fairly easy to see but the one below is a lot more secretive.
The Least Bittern is such a tough bird to see because it prefers to stay hidden in tall marsh vegetation. That said, South Padre Island and other sites in coastal Texas might be some of the easiest places to see this shy species.
The rich coastal wetlands of south Texas are always a good place to see and take pictures of birds. I wonder what will show up on the next trip to those coastal marshes?