First up on our trip was a visit to Anahuac NWR, one of our favorite birding sites.
We were greeted by a Cattle Egret, which was strolling along beside the entrance road.
The road was also lined with Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. This male had particularly beautiful plumage.
The grass near the visitor center had several White-crowned Sparrows, including this handsome adult male.
Tree Swallows were lined up on the utility wires nearby.
The wires had Barn Swallows also.
We had lunch in the old, now-abandoned visitor center. As we ate, Barn Swallows flew in and out above our heads, visiting the nests cradled under the roof-line.
Sometimes the birds would cling to the walls, giving wonderful view of their tails.
Before we did the drive around Shovelers' Pond, we stopped at the Willows. Before Hurricane Ike this was a prime spot for migrating warblers, but the large trees have never recovered from being inundated in salt water.
On this visit we saw three Green Herons, our first of the year.
A Red-eared Slider was plodding through the grass while an Eastern Kingbird was flycatching from treetops, the white tip on its tail clearly visible.
The area behind the Willows had a dozen or so White-faced Ibis.
Our last sighting at the Willows was a male Northern Harrier, scouring the area for prey.