08 April 2012

Easter Egg Hunt...TEXAS (8 April)

While others searched for eggs today I spent the day hunting warblers in High Island...and with some notable successes...

I started my day as normal on the Houston Audubon walk in Boy Scout Woods, where some of the warblers artfully dodged me for a while, and suggested it might be a day to frustrate more than delight: a Worm-eating slinked away before I could see the tiger-striped head, a Blue-winged glowed yellow, but refused to show me the realm of features to ensure a satisfying view, and the Yellow-throated Warblers just plain avoided me! However, returning to the famed Grandstand there my luck took a turn, and I never looked back. The changing tide brought me a good long look at the often furtive Swainson's Warbler that worked its way to the drip there.

In the afternoon, the trip swapped venue to Smith Oaks, and meeting people in the woods with dire news of migrants (i.e. there are none) I feared the worst. However, in spite of muted expectations, with a southerly wind blowing, and the early afternoon news creeping out of the woods, moments later we were eyeballing a sky-backed male Cerulean Warbler, only my second of this, my fifth spring season, in High Island. There would have been a distinct spring in our step had we walked off, although with regular action in the early-fruiting mulberries, and leafed out Live Oaks overhead, we stood rooted to the spot for at least an hour. The mulberry vibrated with the motions of visiting tanagers, with both male Summer Tanager, and "neon" male Scarlet Tanagers adoring the tree, which also held the odd Tennessee Warbler, which had clearly not read the book that dictated that they feed on insects! Then a movement above revealed a few Northern Parulas moving through the Oaks, with a stunning pair of Yellow-throated Warblers for company. Red-eyed Vireo also moved through the trees with the usual, slow deliberate movements characteristic to vireos.

After all the satisfying warbler action, I wound down at the end of it all with first flight shots of Roseate Spoonbills at Smith Oaks famous rookery, a Hooded Warbler back at Boy Scout, and washed it all down with a good Texas beer - Shiner - with other "Tropical Birders" back on 5th Street.

More to come from High Island very soon...


Noushka said...

Brilliant your 2 last posts!
A very beautiful yellow bird for Easter!
Well done! :)

JRandSue said...

Brilliant photography.

Antonio Puigg said...

Great capture Sam.