Monday, May 05, 2014

Texas Coast Trip 2: High Island & Rollover Pass

As has been the case so many other days this spring, High Island was quiet for migrants. After 30 minutes at Hook Woods, we had seen only a handful of warbler species. So we headed up to Smith Oaks.

There were only few migrants: Scarlet Tanager, Orchard Oriole and Rose-breasted Grosbeak (female below).

A Magnolia Warbler put in a very brief appearance, followed by a Blackburnian Warbler, my favorite of all the warblers. 

The rookery was not likely to produce any new birds for my day's list but I couldn't resist going up to spend a few minutes there. It's always one of the best shows in town.

The air was full with Great Egrets.

Several more were on their nests, complete with nestlings.

Snowy Egrets looked splendid in breeding plumage.

Most of the Roseate Spoonbills were grazing at the edge of the water or sitting quietly on their nests.

However, a few were more active, with some still collecting nest-building materials.

As High Island was not very productive, we decided to press on to Rollover Pass on Bolivar Peninsula. It would be very surprising if that didn't add 20 or more species to my list.

We weren't disappointed. The sandbars were crowded with Brown Pelicans, gulls, terns, Black Skimmers and shorebirds.

Scores of American Avocets in breeding plumage were fishing behind the other birds.

Laughing Gulls and Brown Pelicans were everywhere.

The beach had dozens of Least Terns.

I counted six other tern Species, including Black Terns and Royal Terns.

Ruddy Turnstones were patrolling while Marbled Godwits groomed in the shallows.

Nearby, a Willet rested on one leg.

Plovers were surprisingly absent. I spotted only a solitary Wilson's Plover on the sand.

After 20 minutes or so watching the birds at Rollover, we left to head for the Bolivar Sands Shorebird Sanctuary, intending to have a quick look along Bob's Road on the way. Then it would be the ferry to Galveston, a late lunch at Mario's on the Seawall and a visit to Lafitte's Cover.

1 comment:

Dave said...

Building up nicely Jeff. terrific images of the adult Egrets in the nest with the chicks. Lovely post