Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Galveston Island

Monday morning I was up and driving along Stewart Road just after dawn.

The roadside was very quiet except for several Snowy Egrets and some Great-tailed Grackles.

I turned onto Settegast Road in the hope of finding Belted Kingfisher and Sandhill Cranes. I stopped to photograph a Great Egret and a Snowy Egret fishing a creek, both looking particularly beautiful in the morning light.

A Belted Kingfisher flew before I could get a photo but a nearby Red-tailed Hawk stayed a moment longer.

There were no Sandhill Cranes in the fields but, as I was leaving, a pair flew overhead.

Lafitte's Cove
Lafitte's Cove was in much better condition than when I was there last spring and there were plenty of common b
irds: Yellow-rumped Warblers, Northern Mockingbirds, American Robins, Savannah Sparrows, Green-winged Teal and a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. Good looks at a Common Yellowthroat and a glimpse of two Inca Doves added two more birds to my year list.

American Robin

Galveston State Park
The park seemed totally devoid of birds except for some flocks of Savannah Sparrows and this Eastern Phoebe.

Then one of the highlights of the trip: a pair of Sprague's Pipits, a life bird!

Sportsmen's Road
The rocky area at the end of 8 Mile Road had only a single bird, my first Reddish Egret of the year. So I wasn't too optimistic about Sportsmen's Road. However, I had gone only a few yards when I spotted a group of Roseate Spoonbills with a Tricolored Heron. (Both were new year birds.)

Tricolored Heron

The Spoonbills flew off when I stopped but a few moments later I came across a more relaxed
Spoonbill, fishing near a Snowy Egret.

Although the piers in front of the houses seemed to have mainly crowds of Laughing Gulls, there were significant numbers of Willets.

There were also dozens of American Oystercatchers. As I had previously seen only a couple of individuals of the species, this was an exciting sighting for me - and another new 2010 bird.

Then it was back to the Beachcomber Inn to pick up Dee and Alan for the drive to Bolivar and Anahuac.


Birdwoman said...

Wonderful pictures! You had a very productive morning.

Jeff said...

As you'll see when I blog the rest of the trip, the morning was the most productive time.

CE Webster said...

Great pictures--great morning!

Jeff said...

Thanks, CE. There were many fewer birds than usual that morning but still enough to produce some decent photos.