Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Before and After Hurricane Ike

On Wednesday, we had to evacuate Surfside because of Hurricane Ike, and so we drove home via Galveston, with a side trip over to the Audubon beach on Bolivar.

The beach was as full of birds as ever.

We were hoping to see Magnificent Frigatebirds on the ferry ride but had scores of views of Bottlenose Dolphins instead.

The hurricane came early Saturday morning and it was still strong when it passed over Cypress. However, we were lucky: We lost only some tree limbs and our pwer went out for just one day.

I posted a while back about how woodpeckers ride out storms by clinging to trees. During Ike, I was able to see one of our Red-bellied Woodpeckers doing just that. It hunkered down against the trunk of our elm and kept moving to whichever side was most sheltered.

We won't be going to Galveston or Bolivar again any time soon. The island was very badly hit and the peninsula was really devastated. Like us, Surfside got the "clean" side of the storm but even that was enough to cause a huge amount of damage. Ike had one good result, though. The public beach there was rather spoiled by 14 houses built years ago right on the waterline. Apparently, 10 of those houses aren't there any more!


Birdwoman said...

Thanks for the pictures and the memories. I'm wondering how the wildlife of Galveston and Bolivar and Anahuac fared during this storm. As for my own backyard, all seems well. I have not observed any lessening in the population or traffic at the feeders. Quite the opposite in fact.

Jeff said...

I suspect that the wildlife refuge at Brazoria may turn out to be the worst affected site in the long run. The marshland habitat there is probably the most vulnerable of any along the Upper Texas Coast.

Our feeders are attracting all of our normal birds, including several Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. Yesterday we also had our first-ever visit by a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher.

Isaac said...

That's pretty cool about the woodpecker. My ruby throated hummer somehow managed to survive Ike, too.

Jeff said...

Hi, Isaac.
Unfortunately, it seems that a lot of birds weren't so lucky. Reports from the coast suggest that resident birds hunkered down in place - and then were drowned by the sea surge.
Further inland, people have found a lot of birds were killed when the trees they were sheltering in collapsed.
What worries me even more is the havoc that Ike probably caused among land-based critters.
On a more positive note, it seems that snakes coped very well!