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.
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.
~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.
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)
“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.)
He rises up,
out of river,
plops himself down,
on the ground,
stalks his prey.
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.