Date: 3/9/18 8:58 am From: Joseph Kennedy <josephkennedy36...> Subject: [texbirds] Wednesday Quintana to Texas City with slow birding
Started off trying to get to the beach at Quintana without much luck. The entry right off the bridge had lots of soft sand but good ruts if my car had another foot of clearance. Down at the Bryan Beach lagoon entrance it was the same and a small car had tried but bottomed out and would need a tow to get out. Some ruddy ducks and coots on the lagoons but no edge. Lots more ruddy ducks in the pond north of the flood dike back on the mainland. Did get out on the beach at the entrance by Neotropic but it was a narrow driving path and by the time I reached the usual entrance was very narrow and the tide was coming in. The total bird count was 3 western willets in the area. Could not see any birds further west.
All the beaches were barren compared to the abundant birds over on Bolivar. Even laughing gulls were scarce.
Stopped at Neotropic for early migrants and had 2 eastern phoebes and 1 yellow-rumped warbler. For a change had zero cowbird and grackles. 2 cardinals were a highlight.
Walked the jetty to the end and had one of the better birds of the day out at the end feeding with least sandpipers. Piping plovers are not normal jetty birds.
Some beach walkers went through the gull flock at the jetty base and many went inland or out into the gulf. A large feeding group of both pelicans and large white gulls were scooping up food without diving. Stopped and watched them come back to the beach but nothing unusual but there eventually were 6 lesser black-backed gulls when I left. Only royal terns.
Over at surfside, Crab Street was cleaned out of birds by 2 northern harriers and a peregrine looking for breakfast as I arrived. There were a few birds by the intracoastal bridge. A group of semipalmated plovers was resting and feeding
Driving up Folletts Island, there were mainly small groups of ring-billed and herring gulls but one flock had 7 lesser black-backed gulls near entrance 3. Almost no shorebirds the whole way. No crows at the bridge.
A dead first year gannet had attracted lots of big flies which stopped the small number of barn swallows for a bit as they had a meal
Stopped a some wood patches and walked Lafitte Woods a good bit and found no migrants but there had been a couple of black and white warblers just before I got there. No loons on 61st street and Settegast road seemed birdless too.
Ended up at the Texas City Dike. Only one large flock of forster's terns remained. One common loon.
The ear patch on the forster's terns still shows as the rest of the black head feathers grow in