Thursday, March 03, 2016

Coastal Trip: Part 2

After leaving Anahuac on Saturday, we paid a brief visit to Smith Oaks in High Island.

I was amazed to see that the rookery was already busy with hundreds of nesting birds.

There were some Roseate Spoonbills, but only a few and they hadn't started nest-building yet.

In contrast, there were scores and scores of both Double-crested and Neotropic Cormorants, some of which were nesting. 

Here's a Neotropic Cormorant, identified by the white line at the base of its bill.

Outnumbering all other species were Great Egrets. They were in full breeding plumage and had adopted their green faces.

Several pairs were busy mating.

One of the wonderful things about Smith Oaks is that you always get wonderful looks at Great Egrets (and, later, other large waders) as they fly in and out of the rookery.

I love watching them as they come in to land on top of the trees.

On Sunday many of the Egrets were flying in with twigs and branches that they had collected for nest-building.

It's fun to watch the way the birds waiting at the nest-site react when their partners fly in with their contributions.  

It's fun, too, to see the care with which the birds place the twigs and branches.

I hope we'll be able to visit High Island several times in April, by which time the rookery should be absolutely packed with nesting Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Roseate Spoonbills, Cormorants and other large birds. It's the best springtime show in Texas, bar none.


Pam said...

I hope you'll be able to visit too Keith, I do love to see these birds through your posts!

Katie Green said...

I have a place in the Crystal Beach area of Bolivar, and I was researching to find out which birds I photographed on the Thanksgiving week visit, which led me to your blog. Great photos and identifying names!