Just a few of the resident pair of Great-horned Owls at Wild Acres Park.
I have featured Bell’s Vireo on this site before, but it is one of my favorites and I never get tired of hunting, watching and photographing this grassland cutie.
Steve and I are a couple of weeks back from a nice few days of birding the Texas Gulf Coast. We were able to visit a number of habitats and locations along the gulf and were mostly able to dodge the rains and flood waters.
Of course, we were able to pick up a good list of lifers as the number of specialists, such as this Boat-tailed Grackle, in this region was quite impressive.
Mostly a bird of the new world tropics, the Crested Caracara is considered to be common in Texas. We were able to find a few.
The Spoonbills were quite a treat. At the HAS Smith Oaks Bird Sanctuary we were fortunate to visit at a time when the local rookery was in full swing. We observed active nests of not only the Spoonbills, but also of Great Egret, Snowy and Cattle Egret and Common Gallinule.
The Seaside Sparrow may have been my most exciting find of the trip. I have long wondered about this interesting sparrow that sticks to coastal habitats and sings its interesting song. There are currently nine recognized subspecies of the Seaside Sparrow – this one is likely Ammodramus maritimus fisheri. These birds are among the many that are threatened with destruction of habitat for human coastal development. The Houston metro area is a sprawling web of concrete and Steve and I couldn’t help but notice that natural areas were still being bulldozed and paved.
The Tri-colored Heron was yet another lifer for both Steve and me. This gorgeous bird was found with a lovely backdrop of wildflowers at San Bernard NWR, one of several locations that we could have gladly wasted a week in.
That is all that I have processed and am prepared to share for now. More to come.
As is often the case, no better description of a bird can be found other than those of Arthur Cleveland Bent. From Life History of American Wood Warblers…
“The northern black-throated green warbler I have always associated with the white pine woods, the delightful fragrance of fallen pine needles carpeting the forest floor and the murmuring of the warm summer breeze. The song has been written as ‘trees, trees, murmuring trees,’ appropriate words that seem to call vividly to mind the pretty little bird in its sylvan haunts and its delicious and soothing voice.”
As is usually the case, I was only able to get to Tower Grove Park a few times this year in order to witness the songbird migration that rolls through this migrant trap every spring and fall. Thankfully, I was able to be there for a couple good days in terms of numbers and diversity, and was pleased to find this cooperative BGWA singing and foraging through a flowering Black Cherry.
I don’t believe the pleasing colors and patterns of this stately bird could be captured in a single better pose than what is pictured above.
Until next time…