Monday, March 28, 2016

Getting Busy at the Rookery

Our friends were late arriving on Sunday and so we didn't reach High Island until noon. The Smith Oaks rookery was very busy - with both birds and people.

There weren't only birds and people either, because a large alligator was lurking across from the first observation platform

Nearby there were a couple of Common Moorhens and Blue-winged Teal.


As usual, the first area with nests was largely occupied by Neotropic Cormorants.

Several Snowy Egrets were prowling near the water's edge.

Since our previous visit the number of Roseate Spoonbills had increased significantly.


For me, as I'm sure for many other people, one of the most enjoyable aspects of the rookery is to watch Roseate Spoonbills as they fly into and out of the nesting areas.


By far the most numerous of the nesting birds on this visit were again Great Egrets, most looking splendid in their breeding plumage.  



It is always great fun watching these magnificent birds as they fly back to the rookery with nesting materials.


Some of the materials the Egrets bring in are impressively large.


 Others are, well, much less impressive.

Whatever the size of the contributions, each bird's partner is waiting at the chosen site to take charge of the materials and add them carefully to the growing nest.



The Great Egrets and Spoonbills made a nice contrast with the numerous Black Vultures that kept passing overhead.

After an hour at the rookery we left High Island to fit in another visit to Anahuac NWR before we headed for home.


Anne Hagman-Niilola said...

Amazing birds!

Jeff said...

High Island is a wonderful place to watch them.