Date: 7/13/20 10:47 am
From: Joseph Kennedy <josephkennedy36...>
Subject: [texbirds] Pictures from the coast last week
Walking out to the beach from the east beach parking lot on Galveston, a
caracara flew over my head going to the same place. He landed down past the
jetty and was eating on a well eaten and plucked laughing gull

On the way back to the car he was eating on a well eaten hardhead

The beaches near the jetty and over on Bolivar had the first decent amount
of sargassum present in years but nothing like the windrows of some past
years. It was greatly appreciated by the birds who did a lot of poking and
prodding including a single snowy plover

Just down the beach a bit from the bollards on bolivar flats, an osprey was
making use of the sanctuary markers

A piping plover was also using the sargassum

As did the semipalmated plover but not here

Wilson's plovers were starting to gather prior to migrating

Only a couple of young sandwich terns were present among the many royal
tern chicks

And a single pair of least terns were still interested in making baby terns

My first black terns of the fall was off with shorebirds rahter than other

Found the 4 summering dunlin

A summering black-bellied plover showed how small peeps can be and the
western sandpiper is the largest of the 3 usual beach peeps

Returning ruddy turnstones keep their breeding colors for a few days

Or out on the flats could be called turnweeds as they flip sargassum
clumps. The clumps had been stranded for a bit but still had lots of
goodies iinside. You only find sea horses and pipfishes as the weed first
hits the surf and they are found just as fast by the gulls and terns.

Newly arrived short-billed dowitchers keep probing and are one of the fast

Western sandpipers are also weed pickers but also use the clumps as shelter
from the wind

though most of the several hundred were sleeping

Newly arrived western willets were also sleeping

But kept an eye on things

The ones feeding seemed to mainly find small clams

But most were sleeping come late morning

I did not see a single band on any of the birds on the trip despite lots of
looking. Even some of the regular locals were missing. But they will show
up another day.

Joseph C. Kennedy
on Buffalo Bayou in West Houston

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