Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Choke Canyon State Park

After a very gray morning at Goliad State Park, we were pleasantly surprised to see the skies clear as we pulled into Choke Canyon State Park.  You can see them retreating in the distance behind the sign.


There is one word I can use to describe this park - wildlife.  Both the living kind . . .

White Tailed Deer
And the not.  This Catfish on the shore of the lake was huge!

Catfish
We saw more creatures than I was able to get photographs of, but what I did get makes me smile.

Great Egret
It didn't start out that way.  In fact, for the first half of our hike I only got pictures of the bird houses hung along the trail by who knows whom.


And a few nests like this one.


But on our way back down the trail to our car the woods came alive.

Blue Gray Gnatcatcher
Long-Billed Thrasher
Of all the birds we could have spotted, we had actively tried to find this guy.  He is a Green Jay and in the United States is only found in Texas.  Weren't we lucky?  I know it's a terrible shot, but focusing on moving creatures through layers and layers of branches and leaves is not something I have mastered.

Green Jay
Here he is from the front, though blocked a bit by a branch.  You can still see his tropical coloring.

Green Jay
Harris's Hawk
Ever since Breck and I visited South Llano River State Park I have had an intense desire to see wild turkeys. We spotted these guys after I shot the hawk above on our way out of the park.  Their feathers were so beautiful.  I loved how this one was checking me out under the fence.

Rio Grande Wild Turkeys
Then off they walked, strutted.  I hope we can see more of these beauties on future trips, but in the meantime I can check this bird off my list of "Wanna Get A Picture Of."

Rio Grande Wild Turkeys
The first creature we saw when we arrived was the deer pictured at the beginning of the post, but it was not the only deer we saw.  This gorgeous buck thankfully stood statue still for me to get a good shot.



Oh, and there was a lake, too.


This is a park to go back to.  Maybe next time we will do the bird walk with an Interpretive Park Ranger to learn more about the birds and their habitat.