29 March 2012

Back in Texas...28 March

In the wee, wee hours of the morning I traveled out of the Andes of Ecuador, and into the flatlands of Texas. Iain Campbell and I met up with Scott Watson, who was coming on from South Africa. Finally, in late afternoon we reached the legendary migration hot spot of High Island, where I will be based until early May. We wasted little time in checking out the new set ups at Houston Audubon's Smith Oaks sanctuary, where the staff had been busy in the off season constructing new, two-tier, viewing photography platforms that overlook the rookery there. This should avoid the problems we have seen in the past where photographers and birders clash, and obstruct each others views. Now photographers and birders can enjoy this annual spectacle without any trouble to each other. Good job! Of course while there we could not help but be absorbed by the breeding activity of the local herons, egrets, and spoonbills that are captivating each and every time. Cormorants croaked, egrets called in the guttural fashion that constitutes their song, and birds came and went bearing sticks and laying claim to precious areas of "turf" as their own on their vital nesting island on Claybottom Pond. All the while waterbirds like ibis, herons and others streamed in overhead to come in to roost, while we swatted away mosquitoes.

I look forward to much, much more of this, plus warblers and shorebirds besides. It is very good to be back in my second home!


Peter Alfrey said...

Beddington birders heading your way soon Sam.

Sam Woods said...

Which ones should I be looking out for?