Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Fabulous Day in the Galveston Area
We were up early enough to catch an early ferry to the Bolivar Peninsula. Dick Peake took us to a spot he had birded last weekend as a part of a spring count. The Hudsonian Godwit (web photo) was still there as were a couple of White-rumped Sandpipers and a bunch of Semi-palmated Sandpipers. All around us were calling Dickcissels and nearby were singing Nelson's Sparrows. Across the highway on the beach was a Red Knot. A Barn Owl in a nest box was peaking out. After picking up a round of senior coffees at McDonalds, we drove north of Winnie to an area with rice fields in a variety of conditions. One had a large group of Fulvous Whistling-Ducks and a pair of Wilson's Phalaropes and another contained several Buff-breasted Sandpipers (web photo), a few Pectoral Sandpipers, and some American Golden Plovers. We celebrated those nice birds with a lunch at a grill in High Island which caters to birders. After lunch we birded various of the woodsy patches that have made High Island famous. I learned that local birders start birding the woods in the middle of the day for the new birds that have dropped in from their flight across the Caribbean. Those birds seen first thing in the morning are leftovers from the previous day. Our new birds included Philadelphia Vireo, Cerulean, Wilson's, Bay-breasted, Blackburnian, and Magnolia Warblers, and Yellow-breasted Chat. We also had plenty of thrushes, orioles, grosbeaks, and tanagers. Before heading back across to Galveston on the ferry, we checked the spot where we had stopped in the morning and found a female Wilson's Phalarope and a Baird's Sandpiper. The fifteen new birds brings the total to 532 for the year. Tomorrow we go west to bird around Austin.