Thursday, 20 April 2017

Day 15 Texas

A Full day around High Island. High Island has an awesome reputation for being among the best sites to witness the spectacle of migration in North America. Sadly it was not to be as the weather conditions refused to work in our favour. Still we did manage to see new species every day even if the number of species and certainly individual birds was down. Many American birders were complaining about how bad this spring has been and how slow the birding has been as a result.

Every day that we have had has been good but it has been sad, especially on our last day in the high Island region to reflect on what might have been.

High Island is known worldwide for the migration spectacle that occurs here each spring. Astonishing numbers of songbirds, hummingbirds, and other Neotropical migrants stop after crossing the Gulf and refuel at Houston Audubon’s four sanctuaries, delighting visiting birders every day.

At Claybottom Pond within Smith Oaks Bird Sanctuary, you’ll find another birding treasure that is not to be missed: a rookery in which thousands of birds — Roseate Spoonbills, Great and Snowy Egrets, Tricolored Herons, and other waterbirds — nest each spring. An island in the pond is free of predators, providing an ideal spot to raise chicks.

A mile-long walking trail atop a 10-foot levee surrounds the pond. On the west side, four beautiful decks, three of which are covered, offer views from within 60 feet of nest building, the birds’ continuous comings and goings, and disputes over nest occupancy. The decks are ideal for taking photos. And the site is not just a spring destination. The birds that nest on the island also use it as a night roost during the rest of the year. Visit in the last hour before dark to watch them return to the island

Cedar Waxwing

Yellow billed Cuckoo


Hooded Warbler

Blue winged Warbler

Common Nighthawk

Bay breasted Warbler

Bay breasted Warbler

Phil trying to get warbler neck

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