On Sunday morning I persuaded Dee to go with me on a trip to Baytown Nature Center. I wanted to show her the Hooded and Red-breasted Mergansers I had seen the previous week and I was also hoping we would see some of the uncommon birds that have been reported from there lately: Brown Booby, Groove-billed Ani, Least Grebe, Western Grebe and Eared Grebe.
Although the weather was good, birds were few and far between. We dipped on Mergansers and have to settle for several Ospreys instead.
This one was finishing off a fish meal when I spotted it.
It stopped and gave me a good, hard look as I approached.
But then it went back to eating.
We spotted another Osprey as it was carrying its half-eaten prey to a convenient perch.
After quickly checking out the surrounding area, the bird went back to feeding.
We scanned the water for grebes but most of the birds we could see were too far away to ID without a scope, something I can never be bothered to carry. All we could see clearly, though, was a group of four Horned Grebes.
We were luckier at Turtle Pond, where the reported Least Grebe was visible, paddling about with four Pied-billed Grebes. As we couldn't get good looks from the hide, I followed a rough trail round the side of the pond and managed to get a recognizable if very poor photo of the Least.
The trail also gave me a look at two Black-crowned Night-Heron, a common enough bird in our area but one that I don't see very often.
As our visit to Baytown didn't turn out to be as productive as I had hoped, I may try to get down there again on Saturday to see if I have more luck then.