Date: 10/17/20 10:41 am
From: Joseph Kennedy <josephkennedy36...>
Subject: [texbirds] Pictures from the coast, gulls, shorebirds and delta damage
Got down to the beach at dawn on Tuesday and had to slosh through pools on
the road. They were still removing sand from Delta. Looking out over the
formerly fenced off area where snowy and wilson's plovers sparred for
ownership, the area is flat and most of the rainwater wet area is filled
with sand

https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/171133109

The lagoon up the ship channel is now connected to the channel

https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/171133108

While is was walking down that way and back, a sandwich tern injured a wing
and was dazed and could not fly. 2 harriers

https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/171133103

2 crested caracara and a peregrine falcon were patrolling and I think the
peregrine paused to chase a caracara and then returned

https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/171133106

The falcon was then harassed by northern harrier

https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/171133104

Who attacked from below and all 5 landed out near the tern and a dead royal
tern to pick the beach clean

https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/171133105

Over on the bolivar side, there is lots more sand as the vegetation has
been pushed way back and the sand smoothed to even out the former ledge

Here looking from the bollars

https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/171133111

And from further down the beach

https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/171133313

I only found one old friend among the piping plovers

https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/171133294

https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/171133293

Most were feeding east of Retillon or a few way down the way

Was able to read the band and confirm the id of the beach old timer

https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/171133330

The really large numbers of black-bellied plovers showed lots of variation

https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/171133310

https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/171133307

I miss birds out there concentrating on the plovers and did not notice the
banded red knot in the background. A knot had walked up to a person sitting
on the sand a week earlier until noticing that the lump was alive.

https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/171133308

The couple of dunlin out there could well be the summering birds

https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/171133327

https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/171133328

I did find a large flock of caspian terns out there alone and estimated
that another 10 or so were in the gull/tern flocks. That number was low as
this shot of the 2 lesser black-backed gulls has 8 caspians.

https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/171133315

A good number of semipalmated plovers was out there but most were sleeping
in a roost among uprooted vegetation way back from the water

https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/171133331

The bird of the day on the flats was the large flock of franklin's gull
sitting behind the other resting gulls and terns

https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/171133435

I had estimated maybe 400 birds but counting birds in pictures it was more
likely 800

https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/171133437

https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/171133439

Most just sat and it was hard to get a good shot of the wings

https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/171133429

https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/171133440

Some swam

https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/171133431

The only time they and all the other birds moved was when an osprey came
over low

https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/171133292

https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/171133291

When the osprey returned lated higher up they ignored it

After lunch on the texas city dike another flock of franklin's gulls
allowed much closer looks. Some show a little red in the bill

https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/171133467

https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/171133470

Preening birds showed all the field marks

https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/171133471

Same with young of the year birds

https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/171133472

https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/171133474

Lots of good looks

https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/171133475

https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/171133465

https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/171133466

Some common terns were the only ones for the day

https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/171133340

https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/171133338

The lesser black-backed gull numbers on the dike are increasing. I can
remember coming to the dike back in the 1960's to see old pegleg on his
piling on the dike for my first look. Now they are the commonest large gull
there at least at this time of the year.

https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/171133343

https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/171133347

https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/171133348

Piping plovers are not common on the dike

https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/171133351

https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/171133352

And one with a single snowy plover was all of the usual good flock of small
winter plovers

Great day out there and lots more franklin's and other gull pictures at

https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/inbox

Click the first picture and browse the rest the right (or left arrow keys)

--
Joseph C. Kennedy
on Buffalo Bayou in West Houston
<Josephkennedy36...>

 
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