Monday, March 31, 2014

A Quick Visit to Anahuac

On our way to High Island on Sunday, we decided to make a quick visit to Anahuac NWR. We weren't expecting to see a lot of birds, but the landscape there is beautiful and there are always some interesting birds to look at.

While we were signing the visitors book, several White-crowned Sparrows were hopping around.

Shoveler's Pond was as lovely as ever, although quiet for birds.

Roseate Spoonbills and both Fulvous and Black-bellied Whistling Ducks were present but far from the road. A Green Heron was closer.

The Willows produced our first Eastern Kingbirds of the year.

The water by the road had mainly American Coots and Common Gallinules, as well as a handful of Pied-billed Grebes (below).

This Snowy Egret was lurking in the grasses by the roadside.

A Laughing Gull was less secretive.

Male Red-winged Blackbirds don't look very striking ...

...until they fluff up their feathers and call.

I looked in at the old Visitor Center to check if Barn Swallows had started nesting. They had.

While the walls of the Center are lined with the bowl-shaped nests that Barn Swallows build, the roof is covered with the gourd-shaped nests favored by Cliff Swallows.

As I peered up into one of these nests, a Cliff Swallow peered back at me, its white forehead clearly distinguishing it from the Barn Swallows.

Anahuac really deserved much more than the 45 minutes we spent there. However, we had to leave because we wanted to join the noon birding trip from High Island down to Bolivar. With any luck, Rollover Pass would have an excellent variety of terns, shorebirds and waders.  


JosephAlsarraf said...

Lol, I liked that egret!

Also nice pictures of the birds, those barn swallow nests look like bee hives! I would have been scared if I didn't know. Are they made out of the same material?

Jeff said...

Barn, Cliff and Cave Swallow nests are mainly mud, with some bits of grass etc. thrown in.