Monday, March 07, 2011

Anahuac NWR

When we arrived at Anahuac, we found that the site was looking markedly better than last year. The new visitor center is half-completed, almost all of the hurricane debris has been cleared and they are clearing water channels in various places.

The bird population seems to be bouncing back, too, and we saw a total of 46 species.

The ditches around Shoveler's Pond and along the road to Frozen Point had plenty of American Coots (below), Common Moorhen and Pied-billed Grebes (below).


There were a few Double-crested Cormorants, too.

Large wading birds were fairly plentiful: Great Blue Herons, Tricolored Herons, Great and Snowy Egrets, and White Ibis (below).

Raptors were everywhere. American Kestrels, Northern Harriers, Red-shouldered Hawks, Red-tailed Hawks and even a Ferruginous Hawk. Most of the 40 or so Red-tailed that we saw in and around the refuge looked magnificent against the blue sky but one looked a little the worse for wear.

Loggerhead Shrikes posed on trees here and there. 

The large patches of water on the road to Frozen Point had thousands of Snow Geese, as well as a selection of ducks and waders.

Except for a large group of White-Crowned Sparrow near the visitor center, sparrows were few and far between. However, I did get a quick look at a Seaside Sparrow and a longer look at a Swamp Sparrow (below).

Frozen Point was quieter for shorebirds than I had expected. We saw only a Ruddy Turnstone, a Black-bellied Plover (below) and a dozen Short-billed Dowitchers.


By contrast, the visitor center area had lots of swallows. But I'll post on these tomorrow.

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