Yesterday I took a day's vacation so that Dee and I could do a birding trip on the coast. Conditions didn't look too good for spring migrants but I still hoped I could do something I'd never managed before: See 100 species in one day.
We started with an hour at Anahuac NWR, where there had been recent reportsof a Ruff, a rare bird for our area. It didn't take long to find the bird, along with a large group of birders from Houston. The bird's bright orange legs made it easy to identify
The same pond that had the Ruff also had several other shorebird species, including several Wilson's Phalaropes.
One of the Phalaropes was spinning like crazy.
On our drive around Shoveler's Pond we were welcomed by a Double-crested Cormorant.
There were quite a few of the usual suspects, including both species of Whistling Duck and several Common Moorhens (below).
Eastern Kingbirds were common.
So, too, were Great-tailed Grackles.
A male Orchard Oriole stayed in view long enough for photos.
Cattle Egrets were following a tractor as it mowed the verges of the road.
In the old visitor center, the Cliff and Barn Swallow nests were busy. Three young Barn Swallows peered over the rim of one nest.
Nearby an adult Barn Swallow clung to the wall of the center.
On the way out of the refuge we stopped to admire our first Common Nighthawk of the year.
After that we headed for High Island, stopping along the way to admire shorebirds (including many Rudy Turnstones) in a flooded field along FM 1985.