Sunday, July 06, 2014

A Five-Heron Morning

As you may have noticed, I haven't been posting so often lately. This isn't because I'm losing my interest in birds but simply because I've been too busy with family and work to get out and bird. So I was delighted when Dee and I finally managed to squeeze in a morning of birding on Saturday.

After a quick visit to see the Swallow-tailed and Mississippi Kites that hang out around Aweigh Drive in Crosby, we headed over to spend an hour at the Baytown Nature Center. I was hoping to see a Black-crowned Night Heron, the only Heron species I haven't yet seen this year.

Our first Herons turned up by the roadside in Baytown before we even reached the Nature Center. First up was an adult Yellow-crowned Night Heron.

A few yards away we saw a handsome juvenile, presumably the offspring of the adult.

We continued to the Nature Center, where a Tricolored Heron was hunting in a ditch just before the first pond. Judging by the rusty color of its plumage, this was a juvenile bird. (We later had flyovers by two adult Tricoloreds.)

Nearby was an adult Yellow-crowned Night Heron. 

Fifty yards further on, a Great Blue Heron was prowling about in a flooded area next to the road.

We stopped by the butterfly garden after noticing a Little Blue Heron perched on a pole beside the road. That was Heron species number four.

Heron species number five turned up in the form of a Green Heron that flew over the road and seemed to land somewhere near the start of the Chickadee Trail. I walked the first few yards of the trail and, sure enough, there was the Green Heron.

As time was limited and the mosquitoes were unbelievably fierce (even for Baytown), we decided not to walk the loop trail, Instead we spent half-an-hour birding from the car. We spotted several more Yellow-crowned Night Herons and some other interesting birds but, alas, no Black-crowned Night Herons.

I was a little disappointed but not too much so. After all, it isn't every day that I see five of our six Heron species - and I'm sure a Black-crowned will turn up when I can fit in some serious birding.

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