Date: 1/28/17 12:14 pm From: Joseph Kennedy <josephkennedy36...> Subject: [texbirds] Anahuac to the Texas City Dike Thursday
I did the loop around the bay on Thursday starting at Anahuac a bit after sunrise after a detour caused by I-10 being blocked east of 610. Did not miss very much. Lots of birds in parts of Shoveler Pond and other parts rather empty. Was in California for the holidays and again noted how the shovelers there are further along in molt than birds in Texas. Would have noted the same thing for ruddy ducks if there had been any ruddy ducks for the day.
For the 5th year in a row, an immature cooper's hawk has established a territory at Anahuac using the same posts as a perch and fleeing the car to the same spot. Not quite sure how the hawk remembers where to sit and react each year.
Some signs of spring were the singing pied-billed grebes who are getting pied-bills and great blue herons with new long plumes. Some laughing gulls have almost all black heads.
Spent a good bit of time with the burrowing owl waiting for him to do something. He did turn his head to the right and then the left but when he stood up on the stone to get more sun, the wind ruffled his feathers and he retreated down to the hole. A snipe was a couple of feet away.
A nice gentleman was bumping hawks along 1985 and a bald eagle went across at speed heading for a goose flock. Earlier, an eagle had harassed a goose flock way off from frozen point.
The big flock of geese are along 124 about 1 mile north of the intracoastal bridge on the west side where it is not good to stop. The cross further north commemorates a car that parked and then hit by another passing on the right shoulder.
The water was way off in the distance at Rollover and too much sand was blowing for a nice walk on the flats so I took the ferry across. No sign of the booby or large flock of pelicans on the Galveston side.
They have done a very nice job in making a viewing/fishing access on 61st street. Pulled in on the north side and a group of loons were on the south side. Moved over there and the loons were steaming west at speed. All seemed to be common. And one horned grebe. But a great improvement over the old parking lots that were often closed since Ike. Some loons east of 61st too.
On up to the texas city dike and found lots of mud. An odd adult herring? gull at the first fish cleaning station had a bill of a ring-billed gull (orange with a full ring) but was otherwise a herring gull with pink legs and light eye. No other odd gulls and no shorebirds or good wet spots. 3 pairs of American oystercatchers were paired.
going out the dike, only had one loon but coming back boat and barge traffic moved birds out from the refinery area. Two dense groups of eared grebes and a loose flock of some 300+ red-breasted mergansers were the most I have ever seen in one group. The mergansers at the back kept flying over the group to feed in front. Loons also came out and were scattered all along the dike and all appeared to be common.
Lots of missing birds as there were only 2 royal terns with the more common forster's.
-- Joseph C. Kennedy on Buffalo Bayou in West Houston <Josephkennedy36...>