Date: 4/2/17 7:46 am
From: Joseph Kennedy <josephkennedy36...>
Subject: [texbirds] Thursday shorebird and duck pictures from Bolivar and Anahuac
Crossed the ferry for sunrise but had to stay in the car as there was a lot
of spray or more accurately sheets of water over the boat. First good bird
seen was my friend the whimbrels who was on his little patch of mud that he
has used for several years. The books all tout the stripe through the top
of the head a good field mark but it can be hard to see

But a friendly bird will show off the stripe if asked

A nearby mottled duck was feeding more like a shoveler chugging along and
straining the water as it went.

But had to stop and swallow

Out on the beach at bolivar flats the drive down to the bollards and
walking until around the bend had the roosting birds really buffeted by the
wind. Most were hunkered down behind clumps like this snowy plover

This piping plover found gulfweed for shelter

Birds that went out of their shelter were buffeted

There were more than 200 piping plovers out there with lots of bands.
However the birds all faced into the wind which left the left leg hidden
and the left leg is where the numbered flag is attached. And the birds were
puffed up so the upper leg with the flag was not even visible.

In other cases birds hid behind birds

And when I could see a flag, it was not readable

But there was one bird that cooperated.

Least terns were in but the caracara and a peregrine had them mainly seen
while fleeing

A few sat and one bird even arrived with a fish

A little group of female lesser scaup were sleeping among the plovers and

A couple stood but immediately laid back down

One stayed a little alert but the others had the eyes hidden

Gull-billed terns were in and paired

One started hacking

More enthusiastically

And here came the fish bone ball very much like pellets from owls and hawks

Its a good sized lump

Checked the royal terns for red-billed birds but found none but they are in
fine plumage

A male Wilson's plover was very territorial and chattery along a section of
beach where the Wednesday storm did not reach the vegetation line

It had been banded nearby last summer

A young white-tailed hawk was migrating? west along the road and had a odd
wing shape

While a white-tailed kite was on guard for its nest

The common gallinules at Anahuac were starting to be territorial but were
easily diverted if they saw food

Anahuac also had my only red-tailed hawk for the day

While poking around on some backroads, I pulled over the side to let a
fedex delivery truck pass. Then noticed a killdeer standing just across the

It wasn't until I got home that I noticed that it was standing over eggs. I
think my subconscious had noted the puffed up belly feathers but did not
tell me at the time.

Lots of birds appear to be nesting early thanks to the warm spring which
does make up for the utter lack of migrants.

Joseph C. Kennedy
on Buffalo Bayou in West Houston

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