Monday, January 6, 2014

An Out-of-Town Visitor

Teri and I headed over to the Inks Lake National Fish Hatchery, which is just five miles from our park. In the past this has been a good place to see waterfowl and other birds along the river.  A friend had let us know that a Long-tailed Duck had been reported there recently, so we hoped to see that bird as well.

We arrived at the fish hatchery and started walking along the edge of Inks Lake. We saw a pair of Osprey overhead as well as some Ring-billed Gulls and Forster's Terns.

Osprey with Ring-billed Gull in the Background
A single White Pelican was flying down the treeline along the lake, and several Vultures were out looking for a snack.
White Pelican

Black Vulture
Black Vulture - Love the White Legs!
We made our way up to the fish ponds, finding most of them empty.  Only a few had water, and we didn't see a single duck anywhere.  We noticed two photographers had set up next to one pond so we headed that direction.  Sure enough there was one bird on the pond, and it was the wayward Long-tailed Duck. This duck is normally found on the east coast, so having this one sitting on a pond near Burnet, TX was a treat.

Long-tailed Duck - female
As we left we saw one of the workers aerating the water in a pond using a tractor and a large agitator. I think that they were probably testing it as the ponds don't have fish in them now and they usually need to aerate only in hot weather.  It was fun to watch though!

Aerating a Pond


  1. Do you remember when your visitor used to be called an Old Squaw?

    1. I do! I guess it was decided that name was disrespectful to Native Americans?

  2. We saw one in Virginia...nice sighting where you are.