Category Archives: On The Road

Traveling in our Coach

~Birding in Texas, American Avocet

Cattail Marsh, Beaumont, TX, April, 2017

American Avocet
American Avocets

Groups of Avocets gather in shallow water, sweeping their bills from side to side to feed. They rest in compact flocks, as seen in my photos.

Identification tip: You can tell a male from a female by their bill. Males bill is longer and straighter.

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Header photo: Beautiful evening light highlights these gorgeous birds.

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Cattail Marsh

~Birding in Texas, Green-winged Teal

Cattail Marsh, Beaumont, TX, April, 2017

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Green-winged Teal (male)
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Green-winged Teal (female)
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Bright green on the wings.

There are several towns we like to stop when traveling east and west along I-10. Beaumont, TX is one of them. We discovered, less than four miles from the RV Park,  Cattail Marsh, a scenic wetland and broadwalk. There are hiking trails around the marches with lovely views of sleeping alligators (ha), and the lovely broadwalk that extends over the water that provides excellent views of the birds. Beaumont is where we stay when visiting High Island.

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The Green-winged Teal is our smallest duck. They are common and usually found on shallow ponds, marshes and flooded fields. It was fun watching them resting, sleeping, feeding and foraging.

Happy Birding!

Cattail Marsh
Cattail Marsh

~Birding in Texas, Smith Oaks Rookery Video

~A short video, taken by Howard using his iPhone, at Smith Oaks Rookery. It is amazing being there, seeing and hearing these beautiful birds. You just don’t know where to look.

 

 

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Featured photo: A Pied-billed Grebe in breeding plumage at Smith Oaks Rookery. One second he is there, the next second he is gone.

The Pied-bill Grebe is the most widespread grebe, found on small marshy ponds and waterways across most of the continent. His call when breeding is, a vibrant, throaty bark of ge ge gadum gadum gadum gaum goom gwaaaaaow gwaaaaaaow. (taken from Sibley Birds)

If you want to hear their call, go here: Pied-bill Grebe calls

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Up next photos from our trip to Cattail Marsh in Beaumont, TX – Cattail Marsh

Happy Birding!

 

~Birding in Texas, Alligators

High Island, TX, Smith Oaks Rookery, April, 2017

“The birds are relatively safe on the island from their usual predators such as coyotes and raccoons, because alligators patrol the moat around the island in search of these mammals. The alligator “guards” occasionally take birds also that get too close to the water, and eat chicks that fall from nests.” (Taken from the Houston Audubon Organization pamphlet.)

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Alligator

He rises up,

out of river,

plops himself down,

on the ground,

stalks his prey.

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I don’t know why I was surprised when I looked down and saw this Alligator heading up the bank. He made his way under the roosting birds, finally going down the other side of the island. This is the first one I have seen at the rookery. Howard and I saw a total of three and I am sure there were more.

Hopefully, they don’t eat too many birds.

Happy Birding!

~Birding in Texas, Neotropic Cormorant

High Island, TX, Smith Oaks Rookery, April, 2017

Neotropic Cormorant
Neotropic Cormorant
Neotropic Cormorant Pair
A pair
A proud Mom taking a break.
Mom, taking a break
“Any eggs in there?”

A few facts about this bird:

oOo Found on ponds, rivers and lakes

oOo White filoplumes on sides of head and neck

oOo Grayish black with black legs

oOo Hooked bill tip

oOo Bill has orange base and black tip

oOo Light sky blue eggs, on average three

oOo Chicks begin swimming and diving near colony by 8 weeks

oOo Life span 12 years

Happy Birding!