Monday, October 31, 2005

Day trip--Houston to Galveston, TX. October 29th

While we were in Houston to see the Houston International Quilting Festival, we took a day to visit Galveston. Nice town; as good a seafood dinner as I've had anywhere; and good birding.
Piping plover. Galveston, TX. October 2005. On the beach outside the seawall.
Reddish Egret, Galveston, TX. October 2005. According to the bird guides, this egret will raise its wings into a canopy to shade the water to help it look for fish.
Reddish Egret. Galveston, TX, October 2005. While I was scanning all the standing birds to see what was there, I noticed the antics of this reddish egret. I'd never seen one before and, being used to the stately strides of the herons, I couldn't believe the frantic dashes of the egret.
Snowy egret among the gulls and yellowlegs.
Black-necked Stilts. Galveston, TX. In the same locale as the heron, the snowy egret, the reddish egret and the greater yellow-legs in the other pictures. We also saw pelicans and grackles on this trip
Great Blue Heron, Galveston, TX. The ubiquitous great blue....
Royal Terns, Galveston, TX, October 2005. These terns were perched on a small sandbar; at other end some local folks were fishing by tossing nets--we think maybe shrimping?
Neotropic Cormorants. Galveston, TX, October 2005. These cormorants were perched on the lines mooring the Elissa, an historic sailing ship. The white at the edge of the beak is visible in when zoomed in on the original photos.
We took a day trip from Houston to Galveston. Had a great day and saw a lot of birds in a short time (or at least by my standards). There were a lot of laughing gulls flying around the restaurant where we had dinner.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Pictures from our New England Trip September 2005

We drove to Maine in September, staying in Ogunquit, Camden, Bar Harbor and Seal Cove along the coast. I managed to do a bit of birding. On the way back, we stopped in Cape May, NJ for a wonderful two nights. I managed birdwalks on both mornings while we were there. Pictures from the trip follow.
Mute Swans, Cape May, NJ. Sept 2005. There were several swan "clusters" that flew over us. We could hear the whistling wings in flight quite clearly.
Hawk Watch, Cape May, NJ. Sept 2005. One of the boardwalk platforms overlooking the wetlands adjacent to the beach in Cape May. We saw a sharp-shinned, a couple osprey, a belted kingfisher hovering in the air and then diving, and the ubiquitous mallards.
Totem, Higbee Beach WMA, Cape May, NJ. Sept 2005. Someone carved this face in a dead tree along the beach. That's the rest of our bird group in the background. On this walk, I saw a black-throated blue warbler, a black-and-white warbler and a flock of bobolinks flying overhead, along with others I've seen before, such as northern flickers (a lot of them) and an American redstart.
Horseshoe Crab, Higbee Beach WMA, Cape May, NJ. Sept 2005. Our guide rescued this horseshoe crab, which was upside down on the beach, and set her in the surf to return to the sea.
Caspian Tern, Higbee Beach WMA, Cape May, NJ. Sept 2005. I took a morning birdwalk led by the local Audobon Society. We didn't see a lot, but I did add three new birds. (This wasn't one of them).
Meadowhawk Dragonfly, Eagle Lake, Acadia NP, ME. The bright color of the dragonfly against the rocky shore of Eagle Lake was quite eye-catching.,
Great Blue Heron, Eagle Lake, Acadia NP, Sept 2005. After Fred finished his run around the lake, he picked me up on Cadillac Mtn (see next picture) and we went back to stroll a bit around the lake. We didn't see much in the nature of wildlife, but it is SUCH a beautiful place. This heron did let us watch it for several minutes, at times much closer than in this picture.
Hawk watch, Cadillac Mtn, Acadia NP, ME. Sept 2005. I joined the annual Hawk Watch atoop Cadillac while Fred went for a run along Eagle Lake in the Park. We didn't see a whole lot of hawks. Consensus (I didn't see any of them well enough to identify) was several sharp-shinned, two kestrels, two merlins, some osprey, a hummingbird (I did see that one--it flew right past us on the top of the mountain!), some vultures. While at the top, I also saw an eastern towhee and a black-capped chickadee.
Double-crested Cormorant, Camden, ME. Sept 2005. In the dock area in Camden.
Mockingbird, Ogunquit, ME, September 2005. Ogunquit has a walking path along its coastline called the Marginal Way, given to the villiage by the "Hon. Josiah Chase" in 1925. This mockingbird was checking me out as I took my walk.
Great Cormorant, Ogonquit, ME, September 2005. Taken on the same boat trip as the Common Eider below.
Common Eider, Ogonquit, ME. September 2005. We were on a sightseeing trip by boat, and the common eider were, well, common.
Black Guillemot, Camden, ME, September 2005.