Wednesday, April 04, 2012

High Island Rookery

.Sunday morning I was at Boy Scout Woods again at 8:00 a.m. to take part in the morning birdwalk. Once more it was very quiet.

A Hermit Thrush was skulking in the undergrowth while a Brown Thrasher (below) perched on top of a tree to catch the morning sun.

A group of Orchard Orioles flew over too fast for photos but a Baltimore Oriole (below) was in less of a hurry.

The only warblers were an Orange-crowned and a Yellow-throated (below) high in trees.

After an hour I drove back to Winnie to pick up Dee and we drove together to Smith Oaks to see the wading bird rookery.

We were welcomed by an alligator.

As always in the spring, the islands were crowded with hundreds of mating and nesting birds. 

Most of the Neotropic Cormorants were already sitting on nests but we also had close views of many flying past the observation platforms.

Most of the Great Egrets - magnificent in their breeding plumage - already had mates and nests, too.

Some of the Great Egrets were grooming.

Others were displaying, their plumage stunningly beautiful against the green of the trees.

A few seemed to be running a little late and so were still collecting nesting material.

As I scanned the nesting birds, I was surprised to see only a single Snowy Egret, its yellow feet showing clearly in the morning light.

Of course, the stars of the show were none of the above but instead were the hundreds of Roseate Spoonbills that were looking for mates and nesting sites. I'll say more about them on Friday.

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