Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Bolivar Beach and Anahuac NWR

After seeing such an array of birds at Rollover Pass, it was almost inevitable that the Bolivar Shorebird Sanctuary beach would be something of an anticlimax.

The first section of the beach had the usual groups of Laughing, Ring-billed and Herring Gulls, while Brown Pelicans passed frequently overhead.

We had good views of flying Double-crested Cormorants, too.

Small groups of shorebirds turned out to be mainly Sanderlings.

There were also less common shorebirds: a Red Knot, Dunlins, Piping Plovers, Semipalmated Sandpipers and Western Sandpipers (below).

At first glance a group of Terns looked to contain only Sandwich Terns, identifiable by the yellow tip on their black bill.

However, a more careful look revealed that some of the birds were Gull-billed Terns, which have an all-black bill and a black crest that extends down the back of their neck. In the photo below the first and third birds from the left are Gull-billed Terns.

Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge

Dee was feeling rather tired by now and so I drove her up to our motel in Winnie before driving back on my own to pay a brief visit to Anahuac NWR. As always at this time of year, Barn Swallows were plentiful around the Visitor Center.

I was pleased to find that work on the loop road around Shoveler Pond had been completed - and even more pleased to see that water levels at the pond were higher than they have been for years. Unfortunately, though, birds were comparatively scarce. The most common were Black-necked Stilts, Killdeer, Great-tailed Grackles and Red-winged Blackbirds (below).

A single Yellow-crowned Night Heron flew over as I was leaving the pond.

The Willows had a female Belted Kingfisher.

On my way back up to Winnie, I stopped to grab a photo of a Northern Harrier perched by the roadside - a nice bird with which to end a good day's birding.


1 comment:

pteridium said...

That's a juvenile Swainson's Hawk, not a Northern Harrier.