Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bolivar Peninsula


We got to the Audubon beach on Bolivar Peninsula at noon on Sunday and were greeted by hordes of mosquitoes and deer flies. We quickly covered all our exposed areas with lemon eucalyptus insect repellent and this kept the bugs off our skin, although the flies congregated in large numbers on our dark colored pants/shorts and stayed there throughout our walk.

Caspian Terns were hanging out around a pool just where the road opens up onto the beach. They were surprisingly tolerant of our presence, as were most of the birds we saw later.

The public section of the beach was quiet for birds but the pilings that block vehicle access to the Audubon beach were occupied by a pair of juvenile Yellow-crowned Night Herons.

The pilings that sit in the sea were occupied, too, in their case by Double-crested Cormorants and Laughing Gulls.

The tide was high and so most of the beach was under water. This may be one reason why the number of birds was fairly small. As always on Bolivar, though, there were enough birds and species to keep our binoculars and camera busy.

Pools above the vegetation line had a Great Egret, a Snowy Egret and a very handsome Reddish Egret.

Reddish Egret

The same pools had a range of shorebirds. For some reason, most of the latter were much less shy than they usually are and it was easy to get within good camera range of many of them.

Willets and Long-billed Dowitchers walked gracefully through ponds ...


Long-billed Dowitchers

while Piping and Semipalmated Plovers scuttled busily around.

Piping Plover

Semipalmated Plover

The sea’s edge had Black-bellied Plovers, Western Sandpipers and small flocks of Sanderlings.


A solitary Long-billed Curlew did not let me get too close.

Further out into the gulf, the waters were constantly patrolled by Forster's Terns and Brown Pelicans.

As we were leaving, we noticed the pilings were now occupied by a much less happy-looking Reddish Egret.

We finished our outing with lunch at Mario's on the seawall in Galveston. If you haven't eaten there, you really should try it. We think it's the best Italian restaurant we've found in the USA - and we spent ten years in San Francisco. The pizza margherita and rosemary roasted chicken are to die for, while the gelati are even better! The prices are very reasonable, too.


Birdwoman said...

Wonderful report. Beautiful birds. And that restaurant sounds like a "must visit" next time I'm in the area.

Jeff said...

Bolivar wasn't at its best but it's always worth a visit, isn't it?

As a big fan of real Italian (as opposed to Italian-American) food, I totally recommend Mario's.