Sunday morning I set off early and in gloomy weather to visit a couple of sites of the east side of Houston.
I started off at the Kathryn J. Whitmore Preserve. As I couldn't see any trails into the preserve, I just stayed for a while and birded from the road. Lincoln's Sparrows were foraging along the verge, Blue-winged Teal were paddling around and a Belted Kingfisher was fishing from a utility wire. Male Red-winged Blackbirds (below) were singing and displaying.
A Little Blue Heron was posing by the edge of the water.
My next stop was Sheldon Lake Environmental Center, always a pleasant site to walk around.
Perhaps because of the weather, birds were fairly scarce except for Yellow-crowned Night Herons.
I'm not sure how many I saw - at least 15 and maybe more. Unfortunately, most of them were standing in places where they were partially obscured by branches.
While I was photographing the Heron above, I noticed an alligator was keeping a close eye on me.
A Giant Swallowtail was a pleasant surprise, even if it was looking rather the worse for wear.
I looked carefully around all the ponds and on several trails but I wasn't able to find a single Black-crowned Night Heron. However, just as I was leaving, I finally got a clear shot of a Yellow-crowned Night Heron.