Tag Archives: Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge

~whimsical wednesday- a quiz~

 

Take a close look at the photos I have posted, then answer the question below. Choose your answer wisely!

Darth Vadar's Airiel Attack Team

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Synchronized Bird Flying Team

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A Glossy Ibis Spring Meeting

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 Question:

What do these photos depict?

  1. Darth Vader’s Stealth Attack Team

  2. Synchronized Flying Bird Team from Ireland

  3. A flock of Glossy Ibis

  4. A flock of White-faced Ibis

Send me your answers or I will send the attack team after  you.

I hope my little quiz added a little whimsey to your day!

~

When we visited Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge, at the beginning of April, we spotted a flock of Ibis pictured in the photos above (these look like Glossy). ?? We only had time to visit for one day and it turned out to be a cloudy day. The cloudy day makes for an interesting photo of these seemingly dark colored birds.

Later in the month, when we stopped at Bottomless Lakes State Park near Roswell, New Mexico and visited Bitter Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, we got to see the White-faced Ibis.

These photos are from Bitter Lakes National Wildlife Refuge.

Glossy Ibis
White-faced Ibis
Beautiful feather colors on this Glossy Ibis
Beautiful colored feathers on this White-faced Ibis
Glossy Ibis feeding at Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge
White-faced Ibis feeding at Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge

 

Photos below taken at Bitter Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, Roswell, New Mexico and depicts what the area looks like. I will post a few additional bird photos from Bitter Lakes actually showing the lakes.

The Prairie, Roswell, New Mexico
The Prairie, Roswell, New Mexico
Bitter Lakes National Wildlife Refuge
Bitter Lakes National Wildlife Refuge
Bitter Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, where the Chihuahuan Desert meets the southern plains.
Bitter Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, where the Chihuahuan Desert meets the southern plains.

For information on these two National Wildlife Refuges go to the web-sites below:

Bitter Lakes:

http://www.fws.gov/refuges/profiles/index.cfm?id=22510

Anahuac:

http://www.fws.gov/refuges/profiles/index.cfm?id=21521

 

Enjoy the journey and live in the now!

 

~Friday’s Feathered Friend – The Boat-tailed Grackle~

 

Boat-tailed Grackle
Boat-tailed Grackle

 

The Boat-tailed Grackle Рbrown or dull yellow eyes, long keel-shaped tail, black overall, iridescent purple on head and back, black legs and black bill.

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Added to my Birding Life List on 04/10/93

(West Palm Beach, Florida)

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The Boat-tailed Grackle is a very large, glossy black bird.

The Boat-tailed Grackle’s common name refers to its long tail, often held in a V-shape to form a “keel.”

Found along the coast from Texas to Long Island, this songbird prefers salt and brackish marshes, where it breeds in colonies and socializes in noisy flocks.

The Boat-tailed Grackle has been expanding its range northward since the 1940’s, probably due to milder winters north of the Carolinas.

The female is a light, warm brown with dark brown wings and tail. The female‚Äôs ‚Äúear‚ÄĚ is darker brown under a pale eyebrow. The eyes of both sexes are yellowish.

 

Boat-tailed Grackle
Boat-tailed Grackle

I photographed this beautiful bird while visiting the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge this past week.

What a beautiful black bird
What a beautiful black bird

 

Just as I am! Every Friday you may participate in Feathers on Friday at Prairie Birder.

Here is Charlotte’s Blog web-site:

http://prairiebirder.wordpress.com

This is another great Blog to learn about Birds!

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Enjoy Birdwatching!

It can be entertaining as well as educational!

~

 

Note:Some of my information for this post was taken from Field Guide to Birds of North America.

 

~Our visit to Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge~

 

Goodbye Louisiana, Hello Texas!

We rolled into Beaumont, Texas last Thursday with the expectation of visiting a few birding areas located along the gulf. 

Friday morning we headed toward the little Texas town of Winnie. I had read **(see special note later in this post) that this area offered fabulous birding opportunities.  So, with our binoculars and cameras packed in the car, we set out.

High Island or Anahuac, which one to visit first?

We didn’t know which area(s) to visit first; the birding sanctuaries and rookeries around High Island, Texas or the Anahauc National Wildlife Refuge outside of Winnie.

We knew our time was limited and we only had two full days to fit in all in. Silly us, we should have scheduled more days in this location.

We turned off the interstate and headed south toward Winnie and High Island, and as we approached the turn-off to ANWF, we decided to head over to the High Island sanctuaries and rookeries first. 

We didn’t know if we could run by these rookeries, see what was there, and then zoom over to ANWF or what. Silly us!

Birders Welcome! Of course they are!

Once we reached the town of High Island and drove¬†around for a few minutes, we realized we needed to ask for information. I guess it was just dumb luck that we were passing a motel and saw a sign stating ‚ÄúBirders Welcome‚ÄĚ.¬†

We pulled into the motel and I ran in to ask the question, ‚Äúwhere are the rookeries?‚ÄĚ. The people were not only extremely friendly, they were also generous. Getting back into the car, with a map in hand, we set out to find the rookery.

After a few wrong turns we managed to find the Smith Oaks birding parking lot. When we pulled into the lot we were stunned, ‚Äúlook at all these cars‚ÄĚ.¬†We should have known we were not the only folks that wanted to visit the rookeries at the peak of breeding season. Silly us!

I will remember this event, with pure joy, for the rest of my life.

Okay, we will look around, hop back into the car and head to the next place. Not a chance, I could have stayed right there for days. Silly us!

Other than the rookery at Avery Island, I had never seen such a place. Hundreds of Egrets, Spoonbills and Cormorants flying, fighting, mating, snoozing and nesting. What a sight to behold!

Reluctantly, we finally got back into the car, in total amazement and me with lens envy, and headed over to another birding area called Boy Scout Woods. 

Wow, even more cars and people.

Unbeknown to us it turns out the Audubon Society of Houston’s annual spring birding event was in full swing. People from all over the United States and perhaps from outside the US attend this event each year.

We registered with the HAS, met some wonderful people, walked around in the woods and added one new bird to my life list! Number 360 the Louisiana Waterthrush. What a beautiful bird.

Here is their web-site if you would like to learn more: http://www.houstonaudubon.org/default.aspx/MenuItemID/194/MenuGroup/Sanctuaries.htm

Be sure, if interested, to read the High Island history page.

What a wonderful day!

We drove back to our coach in Beaumont tired, but extremely happy for this experience. It would have been nice to go back to High Island, but we knew we had to see Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge.

**Gay, a blogger friend from http://www.good-times-rollin.blogspot.com visited Aunahauc National Wildlife Refuge and wrote about the visit on her blog. Go take a look at her beautiful blog.

When visiting ANWR, Gay and Joe met with Judy from http://travels-with-emma.blogspot.com and spent the day touring this beautiful refuge. 

Judy is a volunteer at the refuge and writes about her experiences on her fabulous blog.

After reading both of these blogs about Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge, I knew we needed to stop there. Also, Judy had visited the Smith Oaks Rookery and posted her gorgeous photos on her blog. 

The next morning, following our visit to High Island, we pulled into the refuge.

Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge. Their new Welcome Center
Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge. Their new Welcome Center

 

As I entered the brand new Welcome Center, I was met by a person with a friendly face and kind eyes. As I glanced at her name tag, conformation was made, but I already knew that I was about to meet Judy!

Howard and I were lucky that she was there that day; it made our visit to ANWF even more special!

It was a thrill to meet a fellow blogger, birder and nature lover. She showed us the ANWF maps, told us what we might see and gave us a few suggestions on where to go. So off we went to explore!

Other, than the day being cloudy and very windy, hubby and I had a wonderful time! The refuge is beautiful! 

Thank you Judy, it was a great pleasure to meet you. 

Perhaps, one day down the line we will meet again.

Next year, we know where to stay.

No more Silly Us! Next year we will stay a lot closer and a lot longer in order to experience these areas of Texas.

Until next year!

Here are some of the 37 species of birds we saw at ANWF. I will post, in a separate blog, the photos from High Island.

Northern Shoveler
Northern Shoveler
Pied-billed Grebe
Pied-billed Grebe
Green Heron
Green Heron
Tricolored Heron
Tricolored Heron
Black-necked Stilt
Black-necked Stilt
Fulvous Whistling Duck
Fulvous Whistling Duck

 

"Pay attention Sally" I am not sure what these are: American Black Duck or Mottled Duck
“Pay attention Sally”
I am not sure what these are: American Black Duck or Mottled Duck
"Do they have handicap access here at ANWR?" Eastern Kingbird
“Do they have handicap access here at ANWR?”
Eastern Kingbird
Savannah Sparrow I am not 100% sure of this ID
Savannah Sparrow
I am not 100% sure of this ID

 

In full view - Green Heron
In full view – Green Heron
White-tailed Hawk Far away and being chased by a blackbird
White-tailed Hawk
Far away and being chased by a blackbird

"I'am hiding from the big Hawk"

Red-winged Blackbird (female)
Red-winged Blackbird (female)
Maybe the White-tailed Hawk is being harassed by the ducks
Maybe the White-tailed Hawk is being harassed by the ducks

 

Greater Yellow Legs I am not sure about this ID
Greater Yellow Legs
I am not sure about this ID
Laughing Gull
Laughing Gull