16 April 2009

High Island notes / An Easter spent

Heidi and I were at High Island, TX this past Easter weekend as she has previously noted.

She, a native of Houston, grew up (birding-wise) at locations such as Boy Scout
Woods (BSW) and High Island, and the Bolivar Peninsula. I was on fairly new turf; never having been to BSW and only once up Bolivar Peninsula.

Some notible birds, for us, are following:

11 April 2009

Anahuac NWR seriously got Ike'd. Trees cleared. Any veg still there has been
thoroughly salinated and deathly brown.

Only rails we had here were -2 Sora (Porzana carolina)
Yellow Rails have been seen on early morning and late evening walks. We did not
-Swainson's Hawk (Buteo swansoni)
-Mottled Duck (Anas fulvigula)
-Black-throated Green Warbler (Dendroica virens)
-Orchard Oriole (Icterus spurius)
-Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus)
-Royal Tern (Thalasseus maxima)
-Forster's Tern (Sterna forsteri)
-Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus)
-White Ibis (Eudocimus albus)
-White faced Ibis. (Plegadis chihi)

High Island (BSW)

-Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula) 1
-KENTUCKY WARBLER(Oporornis formosus), atleast 3 probably 4.
-Little Blue Heron (Eretta caerulea), a group of ~20 flew over head
-Tricolored Heron (Egretta tricolor), same number as LBHE. I'd never seen TRHE fly grouped in such
-Yellow-throated Warbler (Dendroica dominica)
-Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus), many munching on mulberry fruit
-Orchard Oriole, of all ages, many.
-Tennessee Warbler (Vermivora perigrina), a great look at a breeding male
-Northern Waterthrush (Seiurus noveboracensis), atleast 2
-Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens) . I have never seen one (on the mainland) in APRIL! It
flew over BSW. Strange times we live in.
-Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea). 1 male, along with a Baltimore Oriole and RBGrosbeaks enjoying
mulberries. This SCTA was hitting insects as well. It's been awhile since I've
seen a Scarlet.
-Hooded Warbler (Wilsonia citrina), 1
-Northern Parula (Parula americana), a few over the course of our stay
-Gray Catbirds (Dumetella carolinensis), 2 at BWS drip. Others during our adventuring.
-Cedar Waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum). These guys wait forever to go north. Still a flock of ~20 in
my Woodway (sw Waco area) neighborhood.

12 April 2009 High Island (BSW)

-Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus), 1
Plus other birds that have been mentioned already.

Heidi wanted to drive up Bolivar Peninsula to see what things, post-Ike, looked
like. She can report far better than I describing before and after.

The following are some of the birds we scribbled down from Bolivar Peninsula:

-Sanderling (Calidris alba)
-Ring-billed Gull (Larus delewarensis)
-Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator). Often enough, these guys are far out in the water.
Post, Ike, the water comes to within a few meters of the highway. Where that
does not happen, little Lagoon-lets, have formed in the remaining beach. (Mostly
there is no beach anymore.... Bolivar is now 3 feet lower in elevation, by the
Curious as to what some of these, somewhat established now, small lagoons might
bring closer to us. Anyhow, next big storm and that hwy may be gone...
-Black-bellied Plover (Pluvialis squatarola)
-NELSON'S SHARP-TAILED SPARROW (Ammodramus nelsoni), 3-4. This was the "NSTS spot", down a particular
road that I don't recall. Again, my wife's homecourt advantage; I was just
driving. ;-) These were life birds for me. We had tried this spot earlier in
our lives to no avail.
They were as cooperative as this species and habitat could possibly be. We
stayed and gorged on glimpses and unusually long-looks before they
dropped down. Bird topography by bird topography, these were diagnosed and
enjoyed. I am quite thankful to my shorter, and equal half for this.
-Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica), many on the ground mixed with Forster's Terns
-Willet (Tringa semipalmata), lots around.
-Reddish Egret (Egretta rufescens), including a "White-morph" near the beginning of the "NSTS road"
-Virginia Rail (Rallus limicola), 2. No Clappers for us.
-Black Tern (Chlidonias niger), 2.
-*WHITE-CHEEKED PINTAIL(Anas bahamensis), 1. Apparently, this single bird has been there for
atleast another yr. Not thought to be an established pop, nor migratory...
just this one. It was certainly my first, outside of captivity, to see. For
those concerned with countability, this guy is not. Still, a striking organism.
-Dowitcher sp, 2, in pond near WCPI.


Not a bad weekend at all. For me, it beats easter egg hunts and chocolate bunnies. Well, maybe the chocolate isn't so bad. Just no need to put it in a basket

Personally spending Easter this way puts me far closer, and more intimately, to the Source than walls and stained glass. For here you not only feel Its pulse, you can see It, smell It, be included among It.

"Size matters not. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmmm...and well you should not! For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter! You must feel the Force around you, here; between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere!...yes, even between the land and the ship." - Yoda, Degobah System, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...


No comments:

Post a Comment