Date: 7/5/18 5:27 pm
From: Joseph Kennedy <josephkennedy36...>
Subject: [texbirds] Monday pictures from Anahuac and Chambers county, Lily trotters, baby birds, nesting birds and more
Instead of going to the coast Monday, I spent the morning wandering around
Anahuac Refuge, then down to Smith Point and around the east side of the
bay by way of Oak Island and Fort Anahuac Park.

Anahuac is much busier early in the morning than right after lunch. Did
several loops around shoveler pond the rookery is going great guns. Saw my
first fledged cattle egret chick and other birds were still displaying and
carrying in sticks.

Displaying birds have nice red faces and good plumes

A young of the year king rail was on the boardwalk. It was all feathered
but still a lot of smudgy grays. But still lots browner than clapper rails
of the same age. One king rail was in the ditch down toward the old
windmill site but the ditch there has cattails.

A lily trotter was out on the giant lily pads. I think they are lily pads
and not lotus as they float rather than stand above the water.

But don't go near the edge

But it is hard to fish from the middle

Most of the white-faced ibis seemed to have left the nest and only a few
adults were still in the reeds. The chicks were standing around early but
flew out to feed. Could not see if they left on their own or joined flocks
of adults.

Lots of least bitterns out.

Birds lined up along a section of the road seemed to coordinate movements
when others called. Several would walk back into the reeds as if on command.

Really large dragonfly hatch, all of which seemed to be the same species.
Stopped a couple of times near tall grass and had lots of mosquitoes
attack. Large swarm of dragonflies cleaned them up but it would not be fun
after dark and the dragonflies go to bed.

The little blue herons from last seasons broods are mostly blue and now the
new chicks from this year have fledged

An adult little blue was feeding on little fish and crawfish. It would get
its head close to the water, sway to help depth perception and then pounce.

Got lots of goodies but all small like a crawfish

And the back of one leg was a different color than the other leg

Lots of seaside sparrows were up and singing. I have go the impression over
the years that they nest later than the other birds giving the marsh
vegetation time to grow.

One bird was leaning to the side and sunbathing with fluffed feathers while

But sang more normally too

The summering gadwall, shoveler and coots had moved a little. Lots of
alligators out and a larger one was where they had been sitting. It
apparently crawled over two black-necked stilt nests I have been watching
as they mounds were all gone.

A pair of blue-winged teals was still together and the male was rapidly
molting into eclipse plumage. No sign of nesting and only one brood of
mottled ducks which were fully feathered. Adults were in small groups
rather than pairs.

A few lesser yellowlegs flew by, one large flock of greater yellowlegs went
along the bay. The mud in shoveler pond had a way out there dowitcher,
pectoral sandpiper, and peep.

There were zero eastern willets in the area. Only found 2 at smith point
but the habitat was all dried up that they like.

Finally got a white-tailed hawk for the summer

A red-tailed hawk down near smith point had the same plumage as a bird that
was there all summer and fall last year.

The frigate bird perches out in the bay at Smith Point are also known as
markers for oyster beds had a dozen frigatebirds in late morning. Will have
to get down there early am to see how many are roosting as they go out to
feed elsewhere. Three singing male painted buntings in the trees near the
hawk watch tower.

Going up the bay did not have many birds. But nice swallows at Fort Anahuac
Park. The red-headed woodpeckers there raised a couple of broods and the
two family groups were very noisy as they tried to share the same

And up at the pumping station in the town of Anahuac was surprised to see 2
growing cypress trees out in the water. Way back in 1966 there was a large
cypress forest at that spot. Floods and fresh water seem to have done some

And more pictures can be browsed in

Joseph C. Kennedy
on Buffalo Bayou in West Houston

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