Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Galveston

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Sunday morning I was up and out before dawn, heading for Sportsman's Road. 


The light was poor but still sufficient for me to enjoy great looks at the large wading birds that fish by the roadside here: Roseate Spoonbills, Great Blue Herons, Little Blue and Tricolored Herons, Great and Snowy Egrets, and White Ibis.



Then it was on to Lafitte's Cove, where I wanted to check out the birding before returning to the motel to pick up Dee.

To my delight, the preserve was almost empty of people but very busy with birds. In the next hour I saw Painted Buntings, Baltimore and Orchard Orioles, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Blue-winged and Yellow-rumped Warblers, Prothonatory Warbler, Blue-headed and Red-eyed Vireos, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and Northern Parulas.

  Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Indigo Buntings and Black-throated Green Warblers were as plentiful as they had been at High Island.



I was particularly pleased to see my first Great Crested Flycatcher of the year. 



When I returned to the site with Dee at 9:30, I was disappointed to see that it had turned windy, which was keeping many of the birds out of sight. I was disappointed, too, to see that the drips were being largely monopolized by a few photographers using tripods, to the exclusion of most of the dozens of other visitors who would have liked to watched the birds that were drinking and bathing.

However, we did squeeze in at one drop for a few minutes and watched Hooded and Black-and-White Warblers come to drink and bathe. 






The highlight for me was getting very close views of several Northern Parulas, a bird I rarely get good looks at.

 
 

We then wandered around for a while, stopping to admire the wildflowers as well as the migrant birds.

On our way out, we paused for a few minutes at the edge of the wetland area across from the preserve's main entrance. The water here had several Mottled Ducks and Blue-winged Teal.


There were plenty of shorebirds, too, including Black-necked Stilts, Killdeer, a Solitary Sandpiper, Long-billed Dowitchers, and Lesser Yellowlegs.


Black-necked Stilt
Solitary Sandpiper
Long-billed Dowitcher
After this it was time to start back towards home, stopping along the way for a coffee break at Offat's Bayou, where we enjoyed watching a Forster's Tern diving for fish and  nice views of a Willet and a Ruddy Turnstone.

P.S.
Although we birded for less than 8 of our 25 hours at the coast,  we saw about 90 species. I saw only one lifer (Blue-winged Warbler) but added 25 species to my year list, taking the latter to 228.
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2 comments:

Birdwoman said...

Wonderful pictures. It is lovely to see that Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Great Crested Flycatcher. I'll be on the lookout for them here.

Jeff said...

It's about time they turned up in our area but so far I've seen few migrants in Cypress/Tomball.