Monday, May 05, 2008

What a Weekend!

As planned, we drove down to Winnie on Saturday to spend the weekend birding High Island, Anahuac and Bolivar. And what a weekend it was! We saw 86 species in less than 24 hours. It'll take me a couple of days to do a full blog of the trip but let me post some highlights now.

High Island

Migrants were all over Boy Scout Woods and the rookery at Smith Oaks was a mass of birds and nests. Bird of the day for me was a Bay-breasted Warbler, a lifer.

Roseate Spoonbills at Smith Oaks


We spent Sunday morning at Anahuac - more migrants and another life bird, Stilt Sandpiper. Plus lots of other birds, including four each of Least Bitterns and Purple Gallinules, and 19 alligators.

Purple Gallinule at Anahuac


The Bolivar beach sanctuary was wild and windy but had quite a few interesting birds, including lots of American Avocets, 6 tern species and two white-morph Reddish Egrets.

White-morph Reddish Egret Fishing at Bolivar

A Really Big Surprise

Back home, I had just started downloading photos from the trip when I noticed an odd bird through my study window. It was standing boldly on the fence and ripping apart an orange that I'd put out to attract orioles. Olive back, yellow breast, white belly. White spectacles, too. Could it be ...? Yes!!! A Yellow-breasted Chat. A bird I've been actively looking for at the college over the past two weeks, and another lifer. Unfortunately, I couldn't get a photo but only a quick video clip, shot through a dirty windown and window screen.

As I said, what a weekend! It added 3 life birds and increased my 2008 list by 22 to 184 species.

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