Sunday, February 18, 2018

Anahuac National Wildlife Preserve

entry sign to Anahuac featuring picture of roseate spoonbill birdWe wanted to do some wildlife exploring as part of our anniversary in late January.

Our plan was to visit the Houston Audubon Sanctuary located a few miles further up the peninsula from our campground. Oooops. We discovered it wouldn’t open to the public until Mid-March. (Tip: They also charge a small admission fee so be prepared if you go)

open water, cord grass and reeds in a salt marsh on a clear daySo, route change time! About a half hour further was the main entrance to the Anahuac Wildlife Preserve, operated by U.S. Fish & Wildlife.

Free admission, nice gift shop and over 35000 acres of preserve. We even found a very nice book about salt marshes that we sent to our grandkids. (Hope they like it!)
alligator sunning itself
We got there mid-day, (probably not the best time to go), and spent a couple hours driving one of the small loops.

We got to see egrets, ibis, moorhens, shoveler ducks, spoonbills and others, as well as an alligator that was sunning himself close to the road. There was also a very nice boardwalk on the loop that a went out into a section of the marshy pond. And that was just one small area that we took in.

large white egret standing in water
It made for a lovely day and some challenging fun getting photos. I think some birds are quite camera shy!

We look forward to getting back there, this time with picnic lunch in hand! (note to self…don’t forget to pack food for day trips!) We'd like to spend more time there exploring some of the other areas of the preserve, and maybe see other critters that inhabit that area.

While I wouldn’t consider myself a “birder”, we are finding our feather friends fun to watch and photograph…even for a ”lazy photographer” like myself (See my Nikon D5000 gear review post for what I mean by that 😊)

Hope you enjoy the photos below, and if you’re interested in the book we found, here it is on Amazon:

a moorhen bird walking in grass
Check out those chicken feet on a moorhen!

duck swimming in salt marsh waters
I like how this shoveler duck's bill is reflected in the water

white ibis flying in blue sky
I barley got this ibis flying off.

duck flying up out of reeds
This duck did not want his photo taken!

small bird perched on a blade of reed grass
I think this little one finally got tired of flitting away from me

vulture flying
Vultures. God's animal sanitation department

large turtle sunning itself in the reeds of a salt marsh
What's a marsh without turtles?

several large pink spoonbill birds among reeds
These spoonbills were pretty far away

several ducks swimming
Saw lots of ducks!

pelican flying in a clear blue sky
Fly pelican!

pelican swimming in water
Easier to photograph them swimming!

man walking to visitor center buildings
Chris heads up to the visitor center

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