Anyway, my heart’s desire this week has been to see roseate spoonbills, up close. Pink fluffy birds with long spoon-shaped bills, these birds are perfectly named. We saw spoonbills several years ago at Port Aransas, but they were far away, and merely pink smudges in the reeds. So a few days ago, we left early from Goose Island to drive 25 miles to the dock, where we boarded a ferry for a trip of approximately two minutes. Six ferries continually transport cars and passengers across the narrow channel. It must be cheaper than building a bridge.
Since our last visit to Port Aransas, a new nature preserve (Charlie’s Pasture) has been created. It’s 1200 acres of sand flats, salt marshes, and ponds, bordered by Aransas Bay. A beautiful mile-long boardwalk crosses the sand flats. We walked it late morning, birding along the way; by noon, it was so hot that we felt as though we were crossing the Mojave. Early morning or at sunset would have been a lot more pleasant. Nonetheless, we were rewarded with great birding—herons, egrets (including a young reddish-egret, which is white), a variety of ducks (pintails, redheads, shovelers), osprey, white and brown pelicans, caracara, and SPOONBILLS! Great views, and close up.
We stopped by every other birding hotspot in Port Aransas but returned late afternoon to Charlie’s Pasture to visit the spoonbills again, and were rewarded with even closer views. What a treat! Much better than pink fluffy marshmallow cookies.