Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sunday at Baytown (1)

When I got to Baytown Nature Center at 8:00 on Sunday, it was cold enough for me to have to don a jacket. It was also overcast and windy, so clearly not the best weather for seeing and photographing birds. However, the various parts of the site had more birds than I'd seen there for years.

My first stop was by the roadside just after reaching Burnet Bay. The ditch on the landward side had a very cute young Yellow-crowned Night-Heron.

A few yards further along, I was surprised when an adult Great Blue Heron didn't fly off as I stopped beside it but rather stayed and let me take photos from just a few yards away.

Several Laughing Gulls were swirling around overhead and a juvenile came to check me out.

Burnet Bay was empty of birds but the newly-created wetland area on the edge of the bay was absolutely hopping with large waders. This area is so near the road that it makes a perfect place for viewing waders and watching how they interact with each other.

As one would expect there were Great Egrets stalking around in the shallow water, and flying overhead.

Snowy Egrets were even more numerous. Some were hanging out alone or with others of their species.

Several were happily fishing alongside half-a-dozen Roseate Spoonbills. 

It's easy to see how Spoonbills get their name.

Of course, when the birds are grazing, their bills aren't visible.

A Tricolored Heron (below) was also moving about near the Spoonbills, while a second Great Blue Heron and an adult White Ibis (below) seemed to prefer to keep to themselves.

After this, I drove to the parking area near the gazebo mound and walked along to Wooster Point. I was hoping that the pools by the trail would produce a selection of migrating shorebirds but this wasn't to be. The only shorebirds that I came across were a couple of Willets (below) and a couple of Black-necked Stilts.

I'm very fond of Black-necked Stilts and have been ever since I saw my first ones, back in the early 1990s on Kauai. So I couldn't resist stopping to take a few photos.

I decided to complete my trip by walking down to the new wetland area next to Scott Bay and by exploring the Heron Haven pond, a part of the Baytown site that I haven't checked out for years. As you will see in my next blog post, this area turned out to be the most productive part of my visit.


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