.We started our Sunday birding trip with a visit to Anahuac NWR, a site that we never tire of going to.
Just before we reached the visitor center, I spotted a Common Nighthawk fluttering about on a utility wire.
We spent several minutes watching Barn Swallows flying to and from their nests in the old visitor center building.
As usual I tried to get photos of the many Barn Swallows swooping over the pond - and, as usual, I failed! I didn't get a photo, either, of a Green Heron prowling the edge of the pond or of some Brown-headed and Bronzed Cowbirds grazing by the restrooms.
We started along the newly-paved loop road around Shoveler Pond and kept having to stop to admire Killdeer standing over or sitting on their eggs on the road's gravel edges to protect them from the sun.
The rest of the loop and the boardwalk had quite a few birds but all were quite a distance from the road: Black-bellied and Fulvous Whistling Ducks, Tricolored Herons, Black-necked Stilts (below), three Least Bitterns, 20+ Forster's Terns (below), several more Green Herons, two Common Gallinules, and lots of Great and Snowy Egrets.
Surprisingly, we didn't see a single alligator, perhaps because the water level was very high.
On our way out of the refuge, we came across several Scissor-tailed Flycatchers perched on utility wires or in trees. Although they are common in our area throughout most of the year, I never tire of watching and photographing these spectacular wonderful birds.
After our 90 minutes at Anahuac, it was time to head over to High Island. We've learned that the Smith Oaks rookery there is always worth a visit at this time of year.