Thursday, January 14, 2016

Baytown and Highlnd Shores

Sunday morning I was up and out early, heading for Baytown Nature Center.

Perhaps because it was very cold, there were fewer birds up and about when I reached Baytown. Burnet Bay was empty except for a distant Belted Kingfisher and Brown Pelicans. 

The Egret Tidal Flats pond had only Great Egrets and a Great Blue Heron (below).

A drive out to San Jacinto Point gave me good looks at an Osprey catching the early sunlight.

I checked out the spot where I usually find a Spotted Sandpiper but all I found there was a Killdeer.

Crystal Bay had a single Horned Grebe, too far away for photos.

A walk to Wooster Point gave me quick looks at Cedar Waxwings, American Robins and Red-winged Blackbirds, plus distant views of Pied-billed Grebes and Hooded and Red-breasted Mergansers. 

Turtle Pond still had its Least Grebe, as well as three Black-crowned Night Herons (below).

Towards the end of the loop trail I came across several Roseate Spoonbills.

Snowy Egrets were fishing nearby.

Back in the car, I drove past Crystal Bay, which now had a Red-breasted Merganser.

At the Egret Tidal Flats pond I stopped to photograph a pair of Hooded Mergansers.


On my way back home I spent a little time on Highland Shores Drive, where there were lots of Laughing Gulls, Great Egrets (below), Snowy Egrets and Great Blue Herons. 


The roadside vegetation had Swamp and Chipping Sparrows, Carolina Chickadees, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Eastern Phoebes, Northern Cardinals and Northern Mockingbirds (below).

A Hermit Thrush was clucking away in the bushes and eventually popped into sight.

My final sighting was of an Osprey finishing off its fish breakfast...


... and then pooping.

All in all, it had been a fairly quiet morning's birding with no really exciting finds. However, I had seen quite a nice range of birds and had added 16 species to my 2016 Harris County list, taking it to 96 species.

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