Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bolivar Peninsula

.By 9:00 a.m. Saturday we were driving west along Bolivar Peninsula from High Island.

Our first stop was at Rollover Pass, where the north side of the road was crowded with fishermen (and women). As usual, too, the sandbars were crowded with thousands of birds - Brown Pelicans, Laughing Gulls, several species of Terns, Black Skimmers, etc.

I was hoping that some of the Skimmers would start fishing but the only ones that were flying seemed just to be moving from sandbar to sandbar.

Plenty of Brown Pelicans were also flying around but none of them were fishing either.

We both love watching the interaction between birds and so we parked on the beach and waited for birds to forget about us and draw nearer. It didn't take long. Within a couple of minutes the sand 20 feet away from our car was populated with a selection of Terns and a scattering of Laughing Gulls. Several of the adults were fishing very successfully.

Many of the Terns were chicks and were spending all of their time begging for food from any adult bird that they could find. Unfortunately, some of them hadn't quite mastered the art. This particular chick didn't seem to realize that it's best to beg from adults that have caught fish rather than from those that haven't. It also seemed to be unsure of its own identity, since it didn't confine its begging to adults of one species.

After Rollover Pass, we kept driving west and did a short diversion up Bob Road to see what was hanging out on the ponds there. It turned out not to be too exciting. There were some Great and Snowy Egrets and a couple of Roseate Spoonbills but they were quite a distance from the road. We checked the water's edge for shorebirds but found only a few Willets and a few dozen Dowitchers.

So after 10 minutes we left Bob Road and headed for the Audubon Beach Sanctuary, always one of our favorite areas for a walk and almost always one that is very productive for birds. 


Birdwoman said...

Love that Skimmer picture!

Jeff said...

Thanks, Birdwoman.
I've got several Skimmer photos that I'll post at some point soon!