MALAQUITE BEACH

Beach and beach birds kept our attention yesterday. Also, no signal. So, we are at the library doing a quick blog. Thirty mile drive to get here at Aranas but we’ll be looking around the town, tool

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The beaches here so different from Pacific beaches. All dunes. We took a walk with a ranger and he says they are a natural dune “prairie.”

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Volunteers here keep the beach clean and I picked up this mass to toss away and he explained to us that this mass is made of all  once living creatures. What looks like a yellow wire is actually a piece of whip coral. Feather kelps and twigs and shell worms. I was pretty amazed, but, it still is ugly. The birds like it though, and flies lay eggs in it for the birds to feed on. Same goes for jelly fish.

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And, this white jelly fish wasn’t much to look at either. Nature in balance is a fascinating process I might add.

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This is a type of clam shell that is very fragile. Still, it buries it’s point deep in the sand and predators grab it and get a mouth full of fragile shell. The clam feeds on plankton.

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Sanderlings are common here and constantly move. It’s hard to get a picture of them.

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This is a herring hawk. We saw many of them flying. This was the only one we saw on the beach.

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Two volunteers took us on a ride about the area to see birds. He also pointed out this debris washed up on the National Shore here from a hurricane. Old buoy’s that have rusted and broken loose, mostly. But, sometimes they find tanks of chemicals other hazardous materials.

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One major fresh water pond was loaded with ducks, several types but mostly redheads. I didn’t notice my camera was out of adjustment (off settings) and my pictures during the tour were mostly out of focus.

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We were told the name of these beautiful striped ducks, a male and female. But, it is enough to juggle cameras out a car window, pick out the breed from the bunch and get a decent picture. My brain was all thumbs.

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This duck is a somewhat blurry spoonbill.

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And a blurry redhead.

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Our guide drives right onto the beach. In Texas, a beach is considered a public road and all road rules apply. Thus, no ATV’s are allowed on beaches which is a blessing in my opinion.

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This unusual bird moved very quickly, but I got a look at its face.

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This is a type of tern or plover.

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We moved on to Laguna Madre, the inland side of Padre Island and watched the pelicans dip and play. They, like most birds, mate for life.

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But, these two look like identical twins.DSC00937 (Copy)

This is a laughing gull.

We returned to the motorhome, had dinner and then went for a night walk on the beach.

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The sun had already set and turned the foam on the beach pink.

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This blue heron also looks pink.

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This little buck watched us warily from the dunes above. What a nice day.

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