Perils of a bad neighbor!

One of the things we rarely worry about these days are neighbors.  Having a mobile lifestyle means everything is temporary including the folks in the RV site next door, which does have its pluses and minuses.   We enjoyed great neighbors at the RV Park in Phoenix this past fall, and we lucked out parking next to equally fun neighbors for the month of January here in Rockport, Texas.Copano Bay

A recent visit to my favorite birding center reminded me that not everyone or everything is as fortunate.  We’ve all heard stories about feuding neighbors, but what about living next door to a Hannibal Lector?  I’d imagine that to be scary AND dangerous.  Just ask Connie the Common Gallinule.  There she was, strolling the neighborhood in search of veggies, fish, or whatever when she saw movement in the water.


Common Gallinule
He’s got his eye on the prize!

AlligatorInitially she didn’t seem concerned, and continued about her business of foraging the neighborhood for food.  I stood on the boardwalk watching as Mr. Alligator slowly crawled out of the watering inching his way closer to Connie.  Concerned I was going to watch the circle of life unfold in front of me, my heart started beating as I softly said out loud, “run, little birdie, run”.

Common Gallinule

Fortunately, she caught on to Hannibal Alligator and high tailed it outta there.  A couple of weeks ago, another roosting neighbor wasn’t so lucky.  A favorite with all the local photographers was this precious beauty.

I took this photo last year of everyone's favorite tri-colored heron
I took this photo last year of everyone’s favorite tri-colored heron

This sweet Tri-colored Heron liked to stroll the waters near the boardwalk.  She wasn’t bothered by all the camera clicking and attention from the observers and some even said she almost seemed tame.  She was the perfect model and beloved by all the photographers, several of which witnessed her untimely ending.  Such are the perils of living next door to a bad neighbor.  Is he bad, or merely hungry?  He looks pretty badass to me AND hungry!Alligator


A sad loss to this diverse neighborhood as Hannibal turned sweet Tri into an appetizer.  I’m glad I wasn’t there to see it.  The thought still bothers me.  The two alligators that live here at the birding center were rather active during my hour-long visit Monday morning.

Resting and watching
Resting and watching

A year ago I visited the Leonabella Turnbull birding center several times in the month of December (2014).  This year I visited mid-January (2016) and I noticed fewer birds.  Was it the time of year or were Boots and Bags to blame? (and yes, that’s what the locals named the alligators)

black-crowned night heron keeping an eye on Boots and Bags
Green Heron keeping an eye on Boots and Bags

Although my visit to the birding center didn’t provide the photographic birding experience I had hoped for, it was an interesting visit none the less ……. and I returned home in one piece with all my body parts AND my boots and bag 🙂