Sunday, January 05, 2014

Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge

It has been longer than usual since my last posting. This is because we went down to the coast for a couple of days.

Our trip started on Friday morning, when we met up with some friends at Anahuac NWR and spent a couple of hours birding the refuge.

At Shoveler's Pond the most common birds were American Coots, Common Gallinules and Pied-billed Grebes.

A couple of Redheads and a group of Roseate Spoonbills were too far away for photos but some Northern Shovelers were closer.

As usual, there were plenty of Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets. I was more surprised to see a Green Heron and a Cattle Egret (below). This is months earlier than when I normally see these two species.

The boardwalk had no birds, except for Tree Swallows overhead but the ditch before it had a pair of Common Yellowthroats. I managed a photo of the female.

As we were driving down the road to the bay, we had flyovers by Snow, Ross's and Greater White-fronted Geese. The trees by the road had Red-tailed Hawks and Red-shouldered Hawks (below).

Back at the Visitor Center, the hummingbird garden was busy with Killdeer and White-crowned Sparrows (below).

I birded the trail from the garden towards the Willows, looking for Vermilion Flycatcher, a regular winter resident here. I found a single female.

Disappointed not to have seen the dramatically-colored male Vermilion Flycatcher, I walked back to the old Visitor Center, where Dee and our friends were having lunch. They had just seen two male Vermilions right by the Center!

A minute later, one of the males return and did some flycatching from the hurricane fence along the road.

It was a great treat to get such close views of this stunning bird!


Barbara In Caneyhead said...

Once again you amaze me with the beauty of your pics. They could be in a magazine!

Jeff said...

Thanks, Barbara. You're too kind.