Birding in Texas - Day 2

Friday, April 23, 2010

John and I are back in Texas on a birding trip. I've been twice before, the last time in 2003, John's third trip was in 2005. Day 1 was a travel day and we got in just before dark, so we didn't see much. Our first bird sighted was at the Houston Hobby airport - a great-tailed grackle. Other than many more grackles, we saw a few house sparrows on the first day - not much to get excited about.

Day 2 was much more interesting. We visited the Boy Scout Woods and Smith Oaks sanctuaries in High Island, the Rollover Pass area and Bolivar Flats.

I fell in love with Least Terns today - they're small, they're chattery and just plain cute. This one's doing a wing stretch. Photo taken at Bolivar Flats

Great-tailed Grackles are everywhere! They're also loud and annoying, yet amusing. Photo taken at the rookery in Smith Oaks, High Island

We saw 87 species today - one of them was a "life bird" for both of us - an American Oystercatcher. It was fair day for warblers - which is a big reason for coming to the TX coast in April. It's migration time and birds stop along the wooded areas of the coast to rest and refuel after flying across the gulf of Mexico before continuing northward. We saw 7 warbler species today.

Notable species for the day (in no particular order):
American Oystercatcher
Piping Plover
Red Knot
Black-throated Green Warbler
Northern Parula Warbler
Yellow-throated Warbler
Scarlet Tanager
Orchard Oriole

John took this photo of a stunning male Scarlet Tanager. We saw him in Boy Scout Woods on High Island.

I've posted more photos from Day 2 on Flickr.


Unknown April 24, 2010 at 7:40 AM  

What? No African Swallows?

PoozyBear April 24, 2010 at 7:47 AM  

Crud. Sorry, "Kathryn" is moi. Google keeps trying to change accounts on me.

Gail H. Ragsdale April 24, 2010 at 8:51 AM  

I live in a heavy bird area but would dearly love to go birding in a different area to see some I never have!

Erica Lea April 24, 2010 at 4:39 PM  

How cool! Love that Scarlet Tanager! Also love birding, so it's great to get to travel along with you:-)

AnnRan April 24, 2010 at 10:13 PM  

No Poozy, and there weren't any European Swallows either *snicker*.

But today we saw Dickcissels! No lie, that's really a bird species :)

Gail & Erica, thanks for your comments.

Melody Lea Lamb May 4, 2010 at 1:10 PM  

Wonderful, stunning, delightful account of your Texas birding Ann! Thanks for bringing us along.

Unknown May 4, 2010 at 4:35 PM  

Was that an unladen Scarlet Tanager? Love the upper Texas coast. It's been a couple of years for me, but must get back soon.
See ya,

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