Monday, April 19, 2010

A Day of Tough Choices

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Yesterday was a day of tough choices. Given the weather, we were pretty sure that High Island would be very busy with spring migrants. Going there would probably produce an exciting morning's birding and add lots of birds to our year list. However, we knew it was going to be one of our last chances of seeing the nesting Bald Eagles in Baytown and seeing Bald Eagles is always a thrill. If we spent the first part of the morning in Baytown, we might miss a lot of the action at High Island. So what should we do? As our primary interest in birding is watching birds rather than seeing how many species we can rack up, we opted to start off in Baytown. And it was worth it.

The Eagles

The female Eagle was clearly visi
ble on the nest.


Then one of the chicks popped up and spent some time looking around.


We even got to see the adult ripping off pieces of something at her feet and feeding them to the other chick.


We hung around for a while, hoping in vain that the male would return to the nest, before driving on through scattered showers to High Island.

High Island


I knew it was going to be a good day at High Island when I saw a pair of Inca Doves as soon as I got out of the car in the parking lot near Boy Scout Woods. I love Inca Doves!


We spent the next hour wandering the woods, which were very busy indeed with warblers and othe
r migrants. I'll report on these tomorrow but here's a photo of one of the birds we saw.

Young male Summer Tanager

Then we had another choice to make: Stay and hunt for migrants in Boy Scout Woods or go to see the rookery in Smith Oaks? We decided on the rookery and drove over to Smith Oaks.

There we were faced with another dilemma, because the woods were again full of spring migrants including many warblers. We opted to have a quick picnic with the birds in the woods and then to walk to the rookery to watch the antics of the nesting waders there. I'll put up a report and photos on Wednesday but the photo below gives a little taste of what we sa
w.

Roseate Spoonbill

Overall
Although we kept opting to watch birds' behavior rather than to look for different species, I ended up adding 11 birds to my year list. Not at all bad! Overall, though, the best part of the day was watching those Eagles. What amazing birds they are!

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5 comments:

Birdwoman said...

You made some very good choices.

Jeff said...

I think so, too. I get more pleasure from watching birds over an extended period than just glimpsing even uncommon birds for just a few seconds here and there.

Sudeepta said...

Very very nice wild life photos its very rare to see. Thanks for sharing.
Welcome to Centex HuntClubHog Hunting

Jayne said...

Wonderful photos. You had a good day!

Jeff said...

Thanks, Sudeepta and Jayne.