Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Early Morning at Anahuac NWR

.I was up and on my way back to Anahuac NWR at 6:15 on Saturday morning. It was raining a little and the sky was dramatic.

A Great-tailed Grackle greeted me at the turning towards Shovelers' Pond.

Great Egrets were perched in trees and snags along the road.

The ditch around Shovelers' Pond had only Common Moorhens and Black-necked Stilts - and the light was too poor for me to take photographs of them. I was luckier when I came across a Common Nighthawk just as it was illuminated by some sunlight.

When I first arrived at the refuge, I had noticed that the water channel that cuts under the road just before Shovelers' Pond was very busy with birds, although the lighting made it difficult to watch them closely. By the time I had finished my drive around the pond, the light had improved and so I parked by the channel to watch the action.

The banks were lined with dozens of Great Egrets, together with a scattering of Snowy Egrets, Green and Tricolored Herons, and White Ibis.

Most of the wading birds fished from the banks but occasionally one - like this Great Egret - would venture out into the water to look for fish.

Meanwhile the air over the channel was filled with Laughing Gulls and Terns, which constantly swooped down to take small fish.

Before I drove back to the motel to collect Dee, I stopped to take a few photos of the scenery along the road to Shovelers' Pond. Unfortunately, they do not at all do justice to the beauty of Anahuac's marshland scenery. One of these days I must take a wider-angle lens to Anahuac and really concentrate on getting photos of the landscape!



mkircus said...

I enjoy reading your blog. I am currently living and working at Anahuac as a full-time volunteer, dedicated to keeping our some 400 new trees alive and starting trees and shrubs for fall planting.

Did you take the path in Skillern down the east side of the bayou to the rookery overlook? That area is the best for bird watching right now.

Shoveler pond is being rehabed to again be a fishing/crabbing spot. And today, work started on paving the roads in Old Anahuac.

Oh yes, if you haven't done so, be sure to visit the new headquarters a mile or two south of I-10 on FM 563. There is a wonderful boardwalk that starts in a east Texas pine/hardwood forest, doglegs to a cypress swamp, and the ends at the edge of Lake Anahuac. Prothonotary warblers are common there and we have been seeing pileated woodpeckers there. An eagle was frequently seen in the late spring.

Jeff said...

Thanks for all that great info! I didn't even realize that there was a birding area at the new headquarters. I'll certainly check it out soon.