rookery-high-island-04-20-2015Monday’s outing was a visit to Bolivar Flats and the Rookery at High Island. If you have not been to the rookery in April you really can’t imagine the shear number of nesting Roseate Spoonbills, Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Neotropic Cormorants, and other species. (I looked for and did not see any Anhingas.) It is nonstop nest-building activity and courtship action for all these birds. The nesting spot is an island with a moat-like waterway separating it from the raised, tree covered mound that runs its length with viewing points stationed every 30 yards or so. I should have recorded the cacophony of bird babble.

Great Egret

It took me a few seconds to notice the ‘gator. He looked suspiciously sated, if you know what I mean.

Roseate Spoonbill

The Roseates and Great Egrets outnumbered everything else.


common-gallinule-04-20-2015Purple Gallinule
Common Gallinule

My first Purple Gallinule, and I didn’t notice until I got home that there was a Common Gallinule in the mix as well. These were taken from a viewing station across the swampy waterway.


roseate-spoonbill-b-04-20-2015Neotropic Cormorant
Roseate Spoonbill

I stopped at Boliver Flats early in the morning and it was cool and very windy. Probably the last cool temps we’ll get this year, but darn I needed a jacket!


Yet another life bird for me, and a beautiful specimen too. Would you have cloned out that ruffled spot on his neck? I resisted the urge.


sanderling-04-20-2015Piping Plover

Piping Plover is another lifer for me. And that’s a Sanderling, isn’t it? Peeps: they all look alike to me. I need some serious Sandpiper schooling.

royal-terns-04-20-2015Royal Terns

These two remind me of that old SNL bit with Steve Martin and Dan Aykroyd about the “two wild and crazy guys!”

Sanderlings and Dunlins

I’m pretty sure those are non-breeding Sanderlings with a couple of Dunlins (longer slightly curved bill* and the dark breast feathers.)


great-blue-heron-04-20-2015Semipalmated Plover
Great Blue Heron

Semipalmated Plover is yet another lifer for me. (The term semipalmated refers to its partly webbed feet.) And it is very surprising to see a Great Blue doing jumping jacks. No mention of that behavior in any of the literature.

* my own casual research concludes that the words bill and beak are pretty much interchangeable terms as applied to most birds, ducks and raptors being the obvious exception.