Monday, August 10, 2009

Galveston and Brazoria

On Saturday I got up ealy and birded the Sportsman's Road area again. The section at the end of 8 Mile Road was busy with fishermen and the only birds were a couple of Great Egrets.

Sportsman's Road had a good selection of waders and many Cliff Swallows.

Tricolored Heron

Cliff Swallow

The utlity poles along the road also had this White Ibis.

The pond at Settegast Road had dried up since my last visit (two weeks ago) and the only bird I saw there was an Eastern Meadowlark.

Laftitte's Cove was still dry and almost equally quiet. However, flowers were everywhere and were attracting lots of butterflies.

Just as I was leaving, I got a glimpse of a Great Horned Owl.

Later in the morning we met up with our friends, Carlos and Macarena Aguilar, and visited Galveston Island State Park.

Galveston Island State Park

Common Buckeye

Most of the park was empty of birds except for a few wading birds here and there.

We went up to Sportsman's Road, which was not as busy as earlier but had a few big wading birds plus a group of Marbled Godwit.

Marbled Godwits

We had lunch at Brazoria NWR, which is really suffering from the drought. The pond near the Visitor Center had almost completely dried up.

The other ponds were also almost totally dry, too. The few remaining patches of water had only a handful of Black-necked Stilts and Sanderlings, while elsewhere we saw only a couple of Eastern Meadowlarks.

One of the Black-necked Stilts

The Salt Lake was little better but I did spot a Seaside Sparrow. (Bird #262 on my year list.)

It's certainly going to take time, and a lot of rain, to bring the refuge back to anything like its normal state.

Back at home
We arrived home to find a young House Finch sitting on our bookshelves, no doubt brought in by our younger cat, Tiger. I managed to catch the bird and released it outside, where I hope it will survive. We thought we'd weaned Tiger off hunting birds but obviously we haven't been totally successful. We would keep her indoors but she really hates being inside. We found her as an abandoned kitten from a bayou six years ago and she's very much an outdoor animal.

BTW, our back yard had four Ruby-throated Hummingbirds yesterday: three females and a male. I hope a lot more will be migrating through over the coming weeks.


Birdwoman said...

Your pictures are wonderful as usual, but it is almost physically painful to see how dry it is. We can only hope for a wet autumn to restore things.

Jeff said...

I was really surprised by how dry Brazoria. I thought it might have gotten some rain recently but obviously it hasn't.

alan said...

I know so little.....but now I'll start looking!