Posted by: jasonbojczyk | 9 August 2014

Slow All Around

Today’s Count: 1

Osprey-1

Thanks to Joe who filled in for most of today.  He had a rather slow day.  It was great to chat with former Smith Point and current Hazel Bazemore hawk counter, Kevin Georg.  There were a fair number of Gnatcatchers and Great-tailed Grackles around the tower in the morning, but that was about it.  I didn’t see any large numbers of Frigatebirds in the morning or evening.  Given the south winds I headed on to other places, first stopping at Anahuac NWR.  Right off the bat was this very young Least Bittern:

Least Bittern

Least Bittern

I managed to see a few of the other birds I was looking for there as well including Boat-tailed Grackle, Neotropic Cormorant, and Purple Gallinule.

Boat-tailed Grackle

Boat-tailed Grackle

Neotropic Cormorant

Neotropic Cormorant

Purple Gallinule

Purple Gallinule

This Purple Gallinule kept grabbing Lilly Pads to try and stand on but every time it tried standing on one it just started sinking

This Purple Gallinule kept grabbing Lilly Pads to try and stand on but every time it tried standing on one it just started sinking

 

After the main part of Anahuac NWR it was over to the Skillern Tract portion, and then Boy Scout Woods, Rollover Pass, and various roads north of Anahuac NWR.  Overall, it was pretty disappointing.  For one, there was a lot of people on the beaches, but for two there weren’t that many birds really.  Including Anahuac, no Scissor-taileds, less than 5 White Ibis, less than 10 Dark Ibis, less than 6 Roseate Spoonbills, relatively few waders, and few shorebirds in numbers or diversity.  The one good shorebird spot at Anahuac had ~30 Lesser Yellowlegs and a few of the regulars but I couldn’t even pick out a Dowitcher or Stilt Sandpiper.  The flooded area by Pear Orchard Road was quite small and had very little.  All of this is surprising as there were more flooded areas and far more birds back when I was last here during the severe drought.  Grant it, that was a few weeks later last time but I’m still surprised by the fewer birds nonetheless.  I guess this means that Smith Point is the place to be right now!  Even though the forecast calls for continued south winds for the foreseeable future at Smith Point at least it’s not too hard to get 70 species a day to make up for the continued lack of raptors.

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