02 May 2010

High Island Report (Texas): 1 May

A slow day in the High Island sanctuaries had us down on the shore, eagerly needing a distraction from the lethargy of the woods. Frenchtown Road (on the Bolivar Peninsula) was once again reliable and rock solid for shorebirds. A large shape in the deeper waters turned out to be yet another Hudsonian Godwit for the season at "faithful" Frenchtown. There were also at least four White-rumped Sandpipers scattered around the dowitcher-packed pool, that also held a few Westerns, Semipalmated Sandpipers, four striking summer plum Stilt Sandpipers, and a couple of Wilson's Plovers. Two roving Clapper Rails threw out the usual rail handbook and strutted around in the open, and a Sora even sneaked out of the cord grass to feed on the muddy verge. A pair of Wilson's Phalaropes also stood out from the dowdy dowitcher crowd.

At Rollover Pass terns packed the sandy islands, including a good spread of
Black Terns, many of which are now in sharp-looking breeding dress. The headliner though was a lost looking reddish Red Knot standing alone amongst the terns, cormorants, and Black Skimmers.

Back on High Island, this Common Nighthawk spent the afternoon sleeping by the entrance to Boy Scout Woods, and a couple of furtive Magnolia Warblers in Smith Oaks were pretty much all I could get hold of, among the horde of Tennessee and Yellow Warblers, and Scarlet Tanagers that dominated the mix in High Island in the afternoon.

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