On Monday, Dee and I spent three hours at Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge. Thanks to the 12" of rain that the area received last Thursday, the refuge ponds were in a much better state than they have been in for a long time.
As I have to lead 6 hours of teacher-training workshops in Houston tomorrow, let me just mention one of the highlights of the Brazoria visit here. Then I'll add more comments and photos later in the week.
One of the most common birds we saw at the refuge was the Black-necked Stilt. This has long been a favorite bird of ours; in fact, we've loved them ever since we first saw some in Hawai'i over 15 years ago.
Most of the Stilts we saw at Brazoria were fishing in the ponds but took to the air as soon as we approached. We then stood and watched as they circled us, complaining loudly about our presence.
However, one Stilt refused to fly when we parked right next to it. It shrieked at us but held its ground.
We looked around and soon found out why it didn't fly away: It was guarding a chick that was prowling around in the water nearby.
At first glance, the chick didn't look at all like its parent.
But when we looked closer, we noticed that the chick definitely had its mom's beak!
Not wanting to stress the parent unduly, we moved on as soon as I had grabbed a few photos.