My Montana

My Montana
My Montana

Friday, January 7, 2011

Birds du Jour - at the Bolivar Jetty

Yesterday I went to the Gulf Coast Master Naturalist meeting in Houston via Galveston, where I had arranged to get some recycled pots for plant projects. I went via the Bolivar/Galveston ferry and gave myself a little reward by stopping at the Jetty.

WOW! What a reward!  Avocets, Avocets, Avocets - by the thousands - sitting and sleeping or jumping up into flight, only to land back in the same positions and get back to their naps.

A few of the thousands of Avocets

And hundreds of skimmers.  Several flocks came in and joined the group while I was there.

Skimmers in the sky and foreground along with godwits.
About one third of the avocets are in the background.
Other birds there included gulls, royal terns, western willets, Hudsonian godwits, western sandpippers, great egrets and double crested cormorants.

Hudsonian Godwit and Western Willet
 The two subspecies of willets are very interesting to me.  For years, I had to relearn willets each fall and spring.  Finally I learned that we have the eastern version in the spring/summer and the western version in the fall winter. The western is paler, a little hunkier, and has a heavier bill.

Feeding Hudsonian godwits

Feeding western sandpipers

  I was also able to see several species of flowers in bloom.  A good thing for the few monarch butterflies still around. (And by the way, my Galveston friend has two Monarch caterpillars on very small Butterfly weed that I grow from cuttings taken in August.)

Still not sure what this is.

Indian Blanket (Gaillardia pulchella)

Smoth Oxeye ( Heliopsis helianthoides)  This is supposed to bloom June - September but
obviously it can't tell our crazy seasons.

And I was able to get a couple of hundred free pots.  And then attend and interesting meeting.  A very good day.