Friday, January 22, 2010

Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge

After leaving Bolivar beach, w
e headed east along the peninsula. Although a lot of rebuilding is going on, the destruction caused by Ike is still very evident, particularly around Rollover Pass.

We weren't very lucky with birds at Anahuac NWR but it was good to see that the refuge has been largely cleared of hurricane debris and is recovering well.

While we were having a picnic lunch by the ruins of the Visitor Center, we were entertained by the sight and sounds of thousands of Snow Geese crossing the sky.

A Red-tailed Hawk add
ed to the show.

The pond on the left of the road had scores of Egrets and White Ibis, as well as many White-faced Ibis.

The loop road turned up very little except for a few Savannah Sparrows.

A Peregrine Falcon and many Northern Harriers were all too far away for photographs.

On our way out of the ref
uge we came upon this rather mysterious bird.

It was clearly a hawk, but which kind? After posting photos and asking for advice on BirdForum, I was eventually persuaded that it was a Krider's Red-tailed Hawk
. Very different from our typical Red-tails. However, in our area Red-tailed Hawks vary so much in coloring that it's difficult to know what a "typical" one looks like! Compare the bird above with this one seen earlier on our trip.

Red-tailed have been very abundant this winter. So far, I've seen at least one every day in January. We saw a total of 31 on our trip to the coast.


Birdwoman said...

You've noticed the abundance of Red-taileds, too? I wondered if it were just me. I see and hear them almost every day over my yard now. I'm used to the constant presence of Red-shouldered, but these guys are a bit unexpected.

Alcester nature photography. said...

Great pics of the Hawks.
Cheers Colin.

Jeff said...

I definitely think there are more Red-tailed around than usual, Birdwoman. Roads on the prairie are lined with them and we hear a lot at home, too.

Jeff said...

Thanks, Colin. I'm getting plenty of practice photographing hawks at the moment.