Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Texas: The End
As my last day was quickly going to come to an end, I made one last visit to High Island. The winds had changed direction and I was hoping that some more warblers might be dropping in that afternoon. The Anahuac NWR has a much smaller areas known as the Skillern Tract about 7 miles east of the main location and it was on the way to High Island so I decided to make a quick stop to see what I could find and very glad I did as I picked up 2 new life birds in a short amount of time. These 2 new birds were Couch's Kingbird and Red-bellied Woodpecker. Neither one of them sat still for any length of time, so the photos were slim, but still good enough for an ID.
After about 40 minutes in this location, I continued on to High Island. Once again started at Boy Scout Woods to see what new birds were being seen. While watched the drip area a Brown Thrasher made an appearance. This was another bird that I can recall from many years back in Nebraska, but this time I got to capture a couple of photos. They appear to love mulberries as well as the Gray Catbirds.
Next up was a Philadelphia Vireo and another new life bird. Took me a while to finally convince myself that I had identified this bird correctly, but the black line from the base of the bill through and beyond the rear of the eye was the key field mark. And down in the muddy area below the vireo was a Northern Waterthrush.
From the main entrance, I headed down the path to another pond with a drip set up and as I was walking the pathway I caught a glimpse of a small bird foraging in the leaves in some deep brush and I was kind of dumbfounded because I did not think I would find an Ovenbird on my own. Always thought this was a bird that I was going to need some help in finding and it has been high on my list for a long time. Well it got my attention and I followed it for some time trying to get photos as it foraged in the deep shade of the trees.
Finally I left Boy Scout Woods and headed to Smith Oaks where I spent the last of my time. Visited the rookery one last time and got a photo of a Great Egret with babies. Also found a Blue Grosbeak male nearby as well. At Don's Drip in Smith Oaks I sat there for about 15 minutes with about 4 others watching the drip for anything and not finding anything. But I looked up and into the distance quickly found a bird I recognized from Arizona, an Olive-sided Flycatcher, which I quickly pointed out to the others that were sitting there.
Great Egret with chicks
I suppose the Olive-sided Flycatcher was the sign that it was time to think about heading back to my suite and start the packing process. Probably good I left when I did, as my rental car had developed a slow leak in the right front tire. I got back to Wnnie in time to get it repaired so I did not have a flat tire in the morning which probably would have made me miss my flight back to AZ. Great place to visit for birding and I definitely want to go back and maybe catch some of the birds I missed. However, there are many more places to visit as well. If I had the time and the funds I would plan a trip like this at least once a month.
Adios to Texas for now; next visit to Texas, will probably be the Lower Rio Grande River Valley.