Date: 4/4/21 12:06 pm
From: Joseph Kennedy <josephkennedy36...>
Subject: [texbirds] Bolivar to High Island Thursday, Migrants and wind
The forecast of a front and good north winds lured me down to the coast for
a dawn ferry ride. Again laughing gulls were along but not much else.

I had left home with the break between clouds and clear skies right
overhead and the line followed me and beat me to the coast. Along with the
clear skies came wind and combined with blowing sand left the car, me
including my ears filled with sand.

Instead of a north wind on bolivar thee was a strong east wind and even a
bit to the south which kept the tide in high and getting a little higher.
Most of the usual shorebird feeding area was under water except for a
corner was covered with white pelicans and american avocets. The avocets as
a group are getting redder heads and most were somewhere else

White pelicans continued to swim in and fly into the area

They make their own room on landing

and then it is on to preening

Some migrant herons were with the pelicans including cattle egrets and
little blue herons

A single reddish egret white phase bird was with them

The common birds were the sanderlings

with a few scattered piping plovers feeding in the wave area

and western sandpipers

More terns were arriving but only a handful of least terns

Wilson's plovers are paired and have started scolding anyone walking out on
the beach

Some are territorial but other pairs are out by the water including this
locally banded bird

This bird was guarding shoreline while the female ran back into the

I had my first numbers of sandwich terns of the spring. This pair was
trying to mate or something

After 10 minutes the gentlemanly tern got no further despite constant
calling and encouragement from the female

Several of the sandwich terns had a nice pink wash on the breast which my
camera does not like to show

During most of the year and for most of the royal terns, they show a nice
orange bill.

In the spring, a few develop a reddish bill

This bill is as red as a caspian tern

Laughing Gull bills will get a little redder than this bird

Worked my way to High Island without many birds. Good numbers of singing
northern parula and hooded warblers with a couple of orchard orioles in
Hook's Woods there.

Not a whole lot of migrants elsewhere. Stopped and saw the wintering
spotted towee near Boy Scout Woods where the louisiana waterthrush was in
front of the bleachers.

You have to be quick as the towhee grabs a seed and heads for cover to eat

Had several woodpeckers tapping in Smith Oaks. All were yellow-bellied

One played peekaboo from its favorite branch that had old sap wells

There had been a few more birds present in the morning but by the time I
arrived they were more spread out.

Not many birds on 1985 but a swainson's hawk was at one of its usual places
but the red-atiled hawk was not at his usual spot and most americn kestrels
were not on the wires. Only a couple of northern harriers were migrating.

One pair of northern harriers is thinking about breeding on the UTC for my
first in several years. No sky dancing yet but he comes when she calls
which is a good sign. But without food.

Now that it is April, we can start to look for birds.

Joseph C. Kennedy
on Buffalo Bayou in West Houston

Join us on Facebook!