Date: 3/9/18 11:36 am From: Joseph Kennedy <josephkennedy36...> Subject: [texbirds] Anahuac to the Texas City Dike last Friday with pictures
Started the day at dawn at Anahuac and found most of the ducks and geese were gone. Had 3 flyover snow geese and shovelers and green-winged teal were the only ducks present in numbers. Yellow-crowned night herons were in. The merlin was on a post by the bay rather than a fence post next to the road http://www.pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/167106652
Lots of birds had arrived on the coast and were arriving. Many laughing gulls were everywhere and most had black or mostly black heads. Forster's terns were arriving and I had maybe 2,500 in large flocks along Bolivar and at the texas city dike. Another 2-3,000 were well out there at rollover pass. The flocks were very nervous and kept taking off and calling sort of like black skimmers and quickly came back to where they left.
During the morning, there was a heavy movement of both Canadian and great lakes snowbirds going east along the coast.
Was able to get way out there on Bolivar flats but not close to the birds. Ran into several areas of pull-off-your-boots mud that kept me going back and trying another route but only finding mud there too. Usual birds were around like least sandpipers
Ended up on the Texas City Dike which was charging admission. The fee really cut down on the number of people who just went out to spin wheels in the sand but lots of people fishing. No one seemed to catch fish and no one was or had cleaned fish. Herring gulls had all white heads and were getting a good yellow eye ring
Did have 3 common loons but no other swimming birds. Only a few brown pelicans and no white pelicans waiting to be fed and all the brown pelicans were younger birds. Many that migrated are not back yet.
They will be back soon and somewhere between the 15th and 25th the eastern willets will return. My general feeling is that most of the birds from one marsh area return about the same time while other nearby areas are still empty of birds. Will be able to check that theory later this month and try to see if local birds migrate in and out together.
-- Joseph C. Kennedy on Buffalo Bayou in West Houston <Josephkennedy36...>