Monday, April 22, 2013

The year of the Black-throated Green Warbler

High Island 2013

This was the year of the Black-throated Green Warbler.  Last weekend, was our annual bird trip to High Island, TX for UT's Ornithology class.  Jacob has been a TA for the class the last five years, and I drive myself or ride down to join the trip.  Here's a link to a post about last year's trip.  Each year there seems to be a bird that we see often or get exceptional looks.  I've seen more Black-throated Green  warblers this spring than all five previous years combined.  2011 was the year of the rails we saw King rails, Clapper rails with chicks, and Sora.  We saw thousands of Dunlin, nearly every kind of Thrush, and Bobolinks for the first time in 2012.  Each trip is different offering exceptional birds, and beautiful memories.

 Here area a few more highlights of our trip.  We got to see a variety of beautiful warblers including Cerulean, Prothanatory, Black Burniarian, Chestnut-sided, Northern Parula, and American Restarts.  I finally got to see all four small plover species; Wilson, Semi-palmated, Piping, and Snowy.  Not only did we see lots of birds, but we got to see Sanderlings do a dance, a Ruddy Turnstone turn a stone, a Pereigrene falcon bring terror to the marsh, and a pelican up close.  Non-bird species were also noted; a bunch of baby alligators, dolphins, and friendly cotton-tailed rabbits, 

Getting good photos of birds is tricky; they are too far away, or moving too much.  This year I was pretty lucky to have some good shots.  

Sea Birds- A Brown Pelican, a Forester's Tern, and a Sanderling




Warblers: Prothonotary (top) and Black-throated Green 



Going after worms!



The Rookery: Great Egrets Nesting





Check out the 2 babies in the nest to the right!
Looks like me when I wake up in the morning.  
American Alligators- the Park Ranger said they were five days old. 


Look at the webbing on those back feet.