After our picnic lunch on Friday, we headed for Galveston via the Bolivar Peninsula. I was looking forward to Bolivar because Rollover Pass and the Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary are reliably excellent sites for seeing a range of tern and shorebird species. So I was very disappointed when the low tide meant that there were virtually no birds to see at either site.
We pressed on to Galveston via the ferry. As usual on the ferry ride, we were accompanied by Laughing Gulls.
As usual, too, a few Great-tailed Grackles hitched a ride on the boat.
That was the end of our birding for the day, as we stopped in at Mario's on the Seawall for an early dinner and then drove to Texas City, where we had reserved a motel room.
Saturday morning I was on the Texas City Dike before dawn.
When daylight arrived, it disclosed large numbers of gulls, shorebirds, Pelicans (Brown and American White) and Great Blue Herons along the edges of the dike. Laughing Gulls and Pelicans huddled together on spits and sandbars.
Many of the birds spent the first part of the day bathing and preening but this American Oystercatcher opted to look for a shellfish breakfast instead.
The morning sunlight cast a warm glow over the birds.
Herring and Ring-billed Gulls
My first Snowy Egret of 2014 fished for a while before wandering over to check me out.
The dike is a prime spot for seeing Common Loons and I spent quite a while watching half-a-dozen of these beautiful birds as they dove for fish.
My final sighting at the dike was an unexpected look at two Crested Caracaras feeding off something hidden in the grass at the entrance to the dike.
Before returning to the motel to pick up Deanne, I decided to have a quick look around the Texas City Bay Park, where I hoped to see my first-of-year Eurasian Collared-Dove and Blue-winged Teal. My luck was in and I saw both species within a few minutes.
All in all, it had been a pleasant (early) morning's birding and made up for the disappointment caused by the lack of birds on Bolivar.