Monday, April 23, 2012

High Island, TX

Last weekend, I joined Jacob and the UT Bird class on their trip to High Island, TX.  High Island is just East of Galvanism, TX on the shore.  High Island is a great place to bird because there is a large variety of resident birds, and it is the first pit stop for many spring migrants after the long fight across the Gulf of Mexico from the Yucatan Peninsula.  I saw over 100 different bird species this weekend.  Some of the highlights were Rosette Spoonbill, Purple Gallinule, Dunlin, Plovers, Scarlet Tanager, several Thrushes, Bobolink, and a Blackpoll Warbler.  I didn't get to see as many warblers as I would have liked.  The weather was too windy for much success in that department.    

This is my fourth spring trip to High Island and it is always fun with new birds, dolphins, alligators, and more birds.  We say in a cabin that overlooks a beautiful marsh.  On Saturday, the water was low and there were thousands of shorebirds.  I have never seen so many birds.  I have been studying the shorebirds because many of them look similar.  It paid off as I worked to identify all the species.  Shorebirds have such long bills, and are always running poking the mud as they look for worms, shrimp, and other bits of food.  I could watch their antics for hours.  

What a great trip!
Would you like to share a memory from a trip?

Jacob using the scope for a better look!

Saturday, April 21st mud flats with multiple species
UT Class at Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge
Lesser Yellowlegs at Anahuac NWR

Pectoral Sandpiper at Anahuac NWR

Orchard Oriole sipping nectar from Anahuac NWR

Dunlin, Sanderling, and Gull on the Beach


Brown Pelicans and Gull

Scarlet Tanager in Mulberry Tree