Monday, April 14, 2014

Birding the East Side

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.


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