Peacock

Peacock
Peacock

Saturday, December 17, 2016

On the Hunt

One of my paddling friend, Robert, has taken up photography.  He enjoys getting pictures of birds but doesn't know a lot of birding spots yet. So I invited him to join me in Galveston. Then when I left my hat in his truck, I invited him to bird in Houston at a Arthur Story Park, which was a wonderful hot spot for birds when I lived near there.


Our best spot of the day was at the end of Eight Mile Road.  At first we saw nothing and then we found birds popping up everywhere.  Some were wandering around close to the truck, while others flew over, safe from my camera as I still can't quite use the viewfinder.


This semipalmated plover was almost next to our truc

Think this is just bonding, not breeding behavior on this resident pair of American Oystercatchers

Whimbrel 


We found a small group of six sandhill cranes - think most of them are still further north

Then we backtracked a block and explored Sportsmans Road in the deteriorating  light. This road has expensive mansions on the right side, along the bay, and a marsh along the left side. We heard a rail, probably a Virginia, watched a big female osprey siting down in the grass too far away to photograph.


We spotted a juvenile yellow crowned night heron sleeping in the grass

A dock had several species of birds: here (I think), western willets, dowager sp, and ruddy turnstones

Is that rufus bird a Hudsonian godwit?


The little blue herons wouldn't explain why they were acting like shorebirds

Gulls weren't flying but we found a few ring billed gulls in the the reset of the pier birds


A few white ibis were feeding in the marsh

We also found a few adult yellow crowned night herons further down the road

Then we stopped by LaFitte Park but didn't find many birds. photographable birds. But we took scores of pictures of this nutria as he swam ever closer to us, then stopped and ate weeds that were just under the water.


Nutria

We were both starving so finished out outing with lunch.  Thanks for the treat, Robert.

A day later, I realized I had left my hat in Robert's truck so suggested another meetup, this time in the park closest to my old Huston condo. This park is also a flood control plain, so changes from lots of pretty deep water to just a few streams and large ponds.

Bird are just not yet migrating all the way to Texas in great numbers and we didn't find many of the expected birds. But we enjoyed the park and the few birds we found.


We saw lots of double crested cormorants and snowy egrets


We spent a lot of time taking lots of pictures of this cormorant trying to get this fish eaten

Snowy egret in a tiny puddle

The only phoebe we saw in two days of looking

Now I'm settling into living in Louisiana.  I've been spending a lot of time trying to get started on Physical Therapy and getting another doctor's appointment.  So far, I finally got my first secession with PT, just to get me evaluated for what I'll need. Now I have to wait to see if I can get in next week.  After that, I'm booked for three times a week until March. Still trying to find a doctor who takes my insurance for my other problem.

 My friend, Hulin has been fighting a bladder infection for about a month and is still under a doctor's care, although he is finally starting to feel normal. But we had to cancel our trip to California.

 I'm going to visit some of my favorite volunteer friends in New Orleans next week.  Stay tuned - we always have the BEST adventures together.

Hope you are staying sane in this stressful time of the year.