Sunday morning Dee and I went over to Paul Rushing Park to see which ducks had moved in.
On the way we stopped to watch a flyover of 17 Sandhill Cranes, a species I'd somehow managed never to see before in Harris County.
We also had to stop to move a turtle off the roadway.
The weather was glorious.
No sooner had we reached the park than a flock of 8 Long-billed Curlews flew in.
What beautiful birds they are!
The grassy areas had the usual Red-winged Blackbirds, Great-tailed Grackles, Killdeer and Eastern Meadowlarks (below), as well as a flock of American Pipits.
The ponds were very busy with scores of American Coots and half-a-dozen duck species, including some Northern Pintails (below).
Several Wilson's Snipes flew off before I could get a photo but an American Pipit was too absorbed in checking out the handrail of one of the boardwalks to notice us.
There were surprisingly few large wading birds: We saw only a couple of Great Egrets and a Great Blue Heron(below).
Ending the Year
My final birding outing of 2013 was a half-mile drive over to the Fairwood Retention Pond on Huffmeister to see if the pair of Bald Eagles that nested there in the Spring had returned.
I was thrilled to see that both adult birds were hanging out around their huge nest, so presumably they'll be re-using the nest again in 2014.