Thursday, March 14, 2013

Rollover Pass

Sunday morning I reached Rollover Pass just as the sun was rising. As I had thought, the tide was in and so the birds were much closer at hand this time.

Perhaps a thousand Black Skimmers were lined up along the beach.

Skimmers have a very long lower mandible. This allows them to fly just over the water, trailing their lower mandible in the water.

Every so often something would spook them and they would rise up in a huge cloud, only to settle back down after a minute.

A few Forster's and Royal Terns were mixed in with the Skimmers, while American Avocets trawled the shallows just behind them.

The edge of the beach also had a couple of American Oystercatchers, my first of the year.

One of them was carrying off a prize morsel.

As the previous day, there were four species of Plover.

There were plenty of Marbled Godwits and Willets, too.

Most of the gulls around were Laughing Gulls but there were a couple of Herring Gulls.

Sandbanks in the middle distance were crowded with Brown and White Pelicans.

On my way back to the motel to collect Deanne, I dropped in at Anahuac NWR again. Unfortunately, there were still few birds around. A quick foray into the Skillern Tract turned up only a male Vermilion Flycatcher, a truly spectacular bird.


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