Monday, May 21, 2012

Bird Search, Continued

After the spectacular first afternoon of birding on the Bolivar Peninsula near our campground, we really didn't know whether to expect more of the same later in the week, or just count our blessings for having seen it.   Turns out the latter.    Every day thereafter, the water receded more and the shore/water birds became more and more scarce on our little road.

However, we did have some very good birding over at the Anahuac Wildlife Refuge where we investigated two new areas for us.  They were both wonderful places and we'll be including them in the future.   We took one of our days to claim as our Bird-a-Thon day and wound up with 98 different species.  Had we really worked the day, I'm sure we could have accumulated at least 20 more species.  But, being the sleepy heads we are, we didn't get up and going until about 8 a.m. and we didn't even stop at the wooded areas in High Island on our way home for the day.  After we got home, we found out that had we worked just a little harder, we just might have had a chance to be the winners of our local Audubon chapter's bird-a-thon competition.  Oh, well.  
American Bittern 

One doesn't normally get excited by grackles, but this one just shimmered in the sunlight.  It was also odd to see it apparently "fishing" in the canal.  I've never seen them do that before. 
Tropical Kingbird 
One of the very good birds of the day was this Tropical Kingbird. 
Common Nighthawk
Another treat was this nighthawk.  I've seen them before, but this is my first picture of one.  
American Avocet
A couple of days before heading home, we stopped on the east side of Rollover Pass and went out to the spit.  Among the thousands and thousands of birds out there were at least 250 American Avocets!   Oh, what a sight to behold.  The formed a thick line and fished in their unique way, swinging their upturned beaks back and forth through the water.  What a magnificent sight to behold. 

Nesting Roseate Spoonbills
At the rookery in Smith Woods, the roseate spoonbills were busy pairing up and courting, but no nest building was taking place.   Now, the great egrets were already on the nests, as were some cormorants. 
Great Egret in breeding plumage 
The egrets in breeding plumage are just wonderful with that lime green patch on the face.

American Alligator
This fellow presented a concert of numerous bellows.  He was obviously in competition with another fellow on the other side of the little rookery island.  In fact, the other guy sounded like he could be even bigger than this one.  

Throughout this entire week, my dear, sweet Hubby allowed himself to be generally ignored and left alone so that my Birdlady friend and I could simply immerse ourselves in birdwatching.  It was a wonderful week and, from the rumors and whisperings I'm already hearing, this trip may be on the agenda for next spring as well. 

Y'all take care. 


  1. This is one trip I wish I had made! Great photos. I love seeing Roseate Spoonbills.

  2. I love that little Kingbird balancing on the stick!

  3. Such awesome sightings and photos! How fun! And nice of hubby to take a backseat briefly!