Late Saturday morning we went to the Edith L Moore Nature Sanctuary in west Houston. On a good spring day - which Saturday was - there is no prettier place to visit. Plus there is the added bonus of an opportunity to see spring migrant songbirds. At the pond near the cabin, we had very good views of a Green Heron, standing absolutely motionless in the water.
The pond had Red-eared Sliders, too. These tend to be very skittish critters but the ones at Edith Moore are so used to people that they let you get very close.
Until the last few minutes of our walk, we saw very few birds: a dozen Cedar Waxwings, some Ruby-crowned Kinglets, several Yellow-rumped Warblers and a single White-eyed Vireo. (The latter was year bird #144 for me.) However, we did see our first Monarch butterfly of 2010.
Then we came across a small pond in a clearing that was hopping with birds. First up was a Black-and-white Warbler that was scuttling around in the leaves by the water's edge.
Then we were lucky enough to spend 10 minutes watching a pair of Hooded Warblers bathing in a tiny puddle among the leaves. The lighting was terrible but I managed to get a recognizable shot of one of the bathers.
A couple of Yellow-rumped Warblers tried to get in on the sene and the activity also brought in a Northern Parula. Like the Hooded Warblers, this was another new year bird. Back at the cabin, the feeders were drawing in common yardbirds, including a striking orange-variant male House Finch. The final treat was watching a Tufted Titmouse feeding a youngster.
If you live in Houston, you should really try to get over to Edith Moore during the next few weeks. A good time to go would be for one of the weekly birdwalks (Wednesdays at 8:30 from April 7th) which Jim Hinson leads every spring.