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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 trees/poles.
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 good.