Lured by on-line reports of a Groove-billed Ani, I was exploring Hebert Road on the Katy Prairie at 8:30 a.m. Sunday. It was a beautiful morning: cloudy and cool with occasional drizzle. Quite a change from the weather we had from May through the end of August. Trees and utility poles long the roadside had Black Vultures, Red-tailed and Red-shouldered Hawks, Northern Mockingbirds, Loggerhead Shrikes and Scissor-tailed Flycatchers. Some of the fields were busy with Great and Cattle Egrets.
After a fruitless 15 minutes looking for the Ani at the site where it had been spotted on Saturday, I decided to check out Paul Rushing Park to see if more migrating shorebirds had arrived there. On my way, I stopped to grab a quick photo of a Crested Caracara.
To my surprise, the park was totally devoid of shorebirds (unless you count Killdeer, which were as numerous as ever). For the first time in months, I didn't see even a single Black-necked Stilt.
The weather was still cool and damp as I walked around the lakes.
Several groups of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks took flight as I approached the water, but one family group opted to stay put.
The only other birds on the water were three Pied-billed Grebes, four Mallards and a handful of exotic ducks.
Wading birds seemed to be limited to Great and Snowy Egrets until I noticed a Tricolored Heron standing on the handrail of a boardwalk. I chatted to it as I approached and it let me take several close-up photos.
By 10:00 a.m. the sun was breaking through the clouds and it was back to more normal Texas heat and humidity.