Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Baytown Visit

Sunday morning we headed down to the Baytown Nature Center, mainly because I wanted to look for Hooded Mergansers, Northern Pintails and Night Herons.

The weather was pleasant at our home in Cypress but was much cooler and windier once we were south of I-10. It still surprises me how often the weather in Houston varies depending on which side of I-10 you happen to be!

Perhaps because it was Superbowl Sunday, the Nature Center was almost empty of people. Unfortunately, there weren't many birds around either. In an hour the only water birds we saw were two Mallards.

In the absence of ducks, we had to be satisfied with lots of views of Brown Pelicans, Snowy Egrets and Great Egrets.


There were several Great Blue Herons but no Night Herons.

The only shorebird we spotted was a single Greater Yellowlegs.

We came upon large flocks of American Robins everywhere we walked. There were some smaller flocks of Red-winged Blackbirds, too, some perched in trees and others bathing at the edges of ponds.


At one pond the Blackbirds were bathing by Savannah Sparrows and Yellow-rumped Warblers while a couple of Swamp Sparrows looked on.

 Swamp Sparrow

The best sighting of the day came when an Osprey flew over carrying a fish it had caught. As is the norm with Ospreys, the bird was carrying the fish with its head pointed forward so as to lesson the air drag.


Overall our visit was a little disappointing but we'll try to get down to Baytown again before the spring. Perhaps we'll be luckier with ducks next time. And who knows but we might be lucky enough to see one of the Bald Eagles that usually nest in the area.

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