Our Saturday trip to Attwater NWR wasn't as productive as we'd hoped, probably partly because the weather was windy and overcast. It was only after we left that I realized we hadn't seen a single wading bird during our 2+ hours at the refuge. I think that's the first time this has happened to us in over 10 years of birding NWRs in Texas.
Our first sighting was of an American Bittern, which crossed the entrance road before we had time to react.
Most of the birds we saw on the refuge were sparrows. Most of these were Savannah and White-crowned, but there were also several Vesper (below), Grasshopper and Song Sparrows.
Northern Harriers, Black Vultures and Turkey Vultures (below) were everywhere and they seemed to be enjoying the windy conditions.
Northern Mockingbirds, Eastern Meadowlarks and Loggerhead Shrikes (below) were also common.
It is now possible to access, on foot, a stretch of land across the old bridge.
The wetland area there had an alligator, the first we've ever seen at Attwater.
Nearby we had good looks at a House Wren and an Eastern Phoebe.
Although we never saw a duck, plenty of Greater White-fronted Geese and Snow Geese passed noisily overhead, as did 15 Sandhill Cranes (below).
As usual, the road between Sealy and the refuge had a good number of raptors: Northern Harriers, Red-tailed Hawks, Ospreys and a White-tailed Hawk.
Although Attwater had many fewer birds than we had anticipated, we both felt the trip was worthwhile. The landscape there is beautiful and the fact that we were the only visitors was a bonus.