Date: March 11, 2015
Temperature: start 56º
Year List: 187
Birds: Mottled Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, Pied-billed Grebe, Neo-tropic Cormorant, American White and Brown Pelican, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Roseate Spoonbill, Osprey, Red-tailed Hawk, Black-bellied Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Piping Plover, Killdeer, Willet, Ruddy Turnstone, Laughing Gull, Herring Gull, Caspian Tern, Forster’s Tern, Royal Tern, Rock Pigeon, Eurasian-collared Dove, Mourning Dove, Belted Kingfisher, American Kestrel, Loggerhead Shrike, Eastern Meadowlark, Common and Boat-tailed Grackle, Green-winged Teal, White-tailed Kite, American Avocet, Dunlin, Least Sandpiper, Western Sandpiper, Long & Short-billed Dowitchers, Black Skimmers, Gadwall, Northern Shoveler, Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron, White & White-faced Ibis, Black & Turkey Vulture, Northern Harrier, Bald Eagle, Common Gallinule, American Coot, Black-necked Stilt, Killdeer, Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, Pectoral Sandpiper, Bonaparte’s Gull, Crested Caracara, Merlin, Vermillion Flycatcher, Purple Martin, Loggerhead Shrike, Tree & Barn Swallow, Northern Mockingbird, European Starling, American Pipit, Common Yellowthroat, Savannah Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird, Eastern Meadowlark,
What a birdy day! We arrived at Shoveler’s Pond around 8:15, hoping to be early. With the clouds and dark skies, it looked like sunrise, and we were rewarded with lots of birds. The wind kicked up and we got cold, so we headed to the VIS after an hour or so to warm up and get a cup of coffee – freshly brewed by our buddy, Jim.
Heading toward the Bolivar Peninsula, we stopped by the RV to pick up another sweatshirt. The first stop was Rollover Pass, where we found several plover, including a Piping Plover which was banded. We checked out several dead-end roads on the peninsula, stopped at a Subway for lunch, and took our sandwiches out to the beach while we watched gulls and terns, as well as a family with 5 small children enjoying the beach.
Finally, we found a place called North Jetty on 17th street and it was the bird bonanza! There were thousands of birds in the shallow water protected by a long jetty at the entrance to Galveston Bay, mostly shorebirds and gulls. We quickly grabbed the scope and camera and walked out the 1/4 mile rock/concrete jetty. As soon as we got most of the way out and set up our scope, drizzle began so we quickly snapped a few pictures and got back to the car before we got wet. Now that we know where this is located, we will certainly be back!
Heading back the way we came (because there is no other way to go), we drove north to Winnie to grocery shop. It was 4 when we got home and we worked on identification of birds from our downloaded photos. Dinner was beef/veggie stir-fry. Cornbread with corn added completed the meal, and while the oven was hot, I baked strawberry cookies.