.Mid-afternoon on Saturday we boarded the Bolivar-Galveston ferry. As we waited for the boat to leave, we watched numerous Laughing Gulls circling overhead and crowding perches on the ferry and around the harbor.
The jetties had lots of Neotropic Cormorants and Brown Pelicans, as well as a few White Pelicans. Much more exciting, the water had three Red-breasted Mergansers.
The ferry ride was uneventful except for the appearance of one dolphin and a solitary Forster's Tern.
Before heading over to our motel, we paid a quick visit to East Beach. We were greeted by hundreds of Laughing Gulls and a few Brown Pelicans. However, one section of road gave us distant views of a dozen Black Skimmers and close views of a Snowy Egret and a Great Egret.
Sunday morning we drove through slowly dispersing fog to Settegast Road to look for the Sandhill Cranes that usually winter there. Sure enough, there was a group of 16 Cranes but they were rather too distant for good photos. Disappointed, we headed for Sportsman's Road, only to stop a few hundred yards later when Dee spotted three Sandhill Cranes foraging near the road.
Sportsman's Road had its usual complement of Great and Snowy Egrets, White Ibis, Tricolored Heron and Roseate Spoonbills.
Unusually, we also got distant views of a Yellow-crowned Night Heron in the marsh reeds and a Common Loon in the bay.
As we were aiming to get home around lunchtime, we started our drive back to Cypress. We stopped for a short break at El Franco Lee Park and we arrived just in time to see a pair of Bald Eagles circling over the duck-filled ponds there.
Even though no individual site on our trip had been very productive for birds, we ended up seeing 75 species, of which 41 were additions to my 2012 year list.