Tag Archives: High Island

~whimsical wednesday- Pssst…..Eugene here~

 

Remember me? Your friendly guide from the Smith Oaks Rookery in High Island, Texas? 

That’s me in the photo below; in case you forgot, I’am the very handsome Great Egret.

I wanted to share, with you, a few photos of my neighbors with the funny shaped bill. You might remember me telling you a little about them in my first post.

What are they doing down there?

"What are they doing?"
“Don’t you think I am handsome?”

 

Meet Samuel and Rose
Meet Samuel and Rose

Even though I am extremely busy here at the Rookery, trying to keep Louise happy, I noticed that Samuel and Rose do a lot of weird things with that big spoon shaped bill!

"Gotta itch"
“Gotta itch”

 

 Man, Samuel is trying to poke her in the mouth!

"Open Wide"
“Give me a kiss Rose”

 

Hmmmm, now I know exactly what they are up to. Maybe I shouldn’t show you these photos; Samuel might get angry with me. Oh what the heck, he has been angry with me before.

 

Making Babies
“Hold still Rose”

 

"Will you please get off of my head"
“Sam, will you please get off of my head!”

 

"Sweet, I'am feeling happy"
“Sweet baby, I’am feeling happy”

 

IMG_7937
“Aren’t they beautiful and don’t they look so darn happy!”

 

IMG_7975
“Just wait until I get my spoonbill on Eugene! Thanks for stopping by, but next time give us some privacy.”

 

IMG_7944
“I gotta go, Samuel is really mad at me!”

 

~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 Friends – meet Eugene and Louise!

Hi, my name is Eugene and I am a Great Egret
Hi, my name is Eugene and I am a Great Egret

Hello, my name is Eugene. That is me in the photo above. In case you don’t recognize me I am a Great Egret. I am currently staying at the Smith Oaks Rookery in High Island, Texas.

Handsome, aren't I
Handsome, aren’t I

My mate, Louise, is in the photo below. Some people believe her name is Jeez Louise, because that is what I yell at her all the time.

 

Louise
Louise? You’re not Louise!

Louise, is always complaining about how I do things and when she starts nagging, I yell Jeez Louise, give me a break!

"Iam coming sweetie"
Louise, there you are, Jeez!

You see, Louise, complains about the sticks I find and bring her to build our nest; she complains about how I take off; how I land on the nest; what foods I bring her and the list goes on and on.

"I found one"
“I found one”
I'am working hard Louise
I’am working hard Louise
Here Honey, I brought you another stick
Here Honey, I brought you another stick
A beautiful landing if I say so myself
A beautiful landing if I say so myself
"I'll be back, going to find another stick"
“I’ll be back, going to find another stick”
Whoa, lookout below!
Whoa, lookout below!
"I'am coming in backwards"
“I’am coming in backwards”

I am hoping it won’t be long, the chicks will be born and out of the nest and Louise will once again be a happy bird.

Aren't we a lovely couple
Aren’t we a lovely couple
Thanks Eugene, for everything
Thanks Eugene, for everything

While you are here, I would like you to meet some of my friends here at The Rookery.

This is Captain, a Neotropical Cormorant. We should call him Shorty, because he has a very short tail, but that would be rude.

Meet The Captain
Meet The Captain
Don't say anything about his short tail
Don’t say anything about his short tail

Meet Showoff, a very handsome Snowy Egret who is always showing off his Yellow Slippers! The female Snowies are always after him. I’am jealous.

Meet Showoff
Meet Showoff
Monica, a Common Moorhen
A Common Moorhen; get a load of the red shield!

Our next door neighbors, here at the Rookery, are Samuel and Rose! They are called Roseate Spoonbills. Can you guess why? They are a lovely couple and they never yell at each other.

Meet Samuel and
Meet Samuel and Rose

More, gossip, on them later.

"Some days, I just can't get a grip on things"
“Some days, I just can’t get a grip on things”

 

Sheila here: Aren’t my friends lovely?

It was a thrill to visit the Smith Oaks Rookery in High Island, Texas. To see the number of nesting birds was incredible; I will never forget this day.

For information of this area please visit this web-site:

http://www.houstonaudubon.org/default.aspx/MenuItemID/894/MenuGroup/HighIsland2.htm

 

 Happy Birding!

~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 “Birders Welcome”. 

We pulled into the motel and I ran in to ask the question, “where are the rookeries?”. 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, “look at all these cars”. 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