Saturday, May 8, 2010
Yup, my previous posts about my Texas trip have been photo-free for a reason--I'm saving them up until the end! Here is a Red-headed Woodpecker from the Jasper Fish Hatchery.
My long-overdue lifer American Snout (Libytheana carinenta), a common butterfly in the South that I'd somehow never seen before.
One of the most iconic birds of Texas, the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. They were common, but always managed to stay pretty far away...
A Prothonotary Warbler on territory at Martin Dies Jr. State Park. One of the better warblers out there.
Indigo Buntings were one of the most common migrants. We saw a few flocks of over twenty!
Birding the Texas coast isn't just about passerine migration--the marshes and beaches are full of all sorts of waterbirds. One of the biggest attractions at Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge is the abundance of very visible King Rails.
This Summer Tanager at High Island was too exhausted to move out of the trail. It seemed sick, and was missing an eye. It probably died, even though some birders were tossing it mulberries to eat.
Yes, alligators were common, though I never got the chance to wrestle with one. This particular bruiser was patrolling the waters below the wader rookery at Smith Oaks, hoping for a baby egret would fall out of a nest...
And here's the rookery itself. It was a bustling place, with hundreds of Roseate Spoonbills, Great and Snowy Egrets, Little Blue and Tricolored Herons, and Neotropic Cormorants flying around and stuff.
Eastern Kingbirds were common breeders near my old house in Michigan, so I was delighted to see them in abundance once again.
One of the last birds of the trip--a Painted Bunting! While stopped at a gas station on the way to Houston, someone noticed a male Painted Bunting lying on the sidewalk below the gas station window. It had obviously flown into the window and was stunned. After photographing it extensively, we caught it and transferred it under some nearby bushes so the many grackles wandering around the place wouldn't kill it.