Date: April 20, 2015
Weather: mostly sunny
Temperature: start 62º
Wildlife count: Snake, Young Gator that looked like a lizard running.
Year List: 273
Birds: Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, Blue-winged Teal, Great Blue Heron, Great & Snowy & Cattle Egrets, White-faced Ibis, Black & Turkey Vultures, White-tailed Hawk, Swainson’s Hawk, Black-necked Stilts, Black-bellied Plover, American Golden Plover, Piping Plover, Solitary Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Semi-palmated Plover, Willet, Upland Sandpiper, Whimbrel, Stilt Sandpiper, Dunlin, Least & Pectoral & Western Sandpiper, Mourning Dove, Crested Caracara, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, American Crow, Northern Mockingbird, European Starling, Dickcissel, Red-winged Blackbird, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Boat-tailed and Great-tailed Grackle, Cooper’s Hawk, Great-tailed Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, White-eyed Vireo, Tree Swallow, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Tennessee & Cerulean & Blackburnian & Black-throated Green Warblers, Summer Tanager, Northern Cardinal, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Orchard & Baltimore Orioles, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Acadian Flycatcher, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Swainson’s Thrust, Brown Thrasher, Worm-eating & Blue-winged & Golden-winged & Black-White & Kentucky & Hooded & Yellow & Yellow-throated Warblers, American Redstart, Indigo Bunting, American White & Brown Pelicans, American Avocet, American Oystercatcher, Marbled Godwit, Ruddy Turnstone, Sanderling, Western and Least Sandpipers, Long-billed Dowitchers, Laughing & Ring-billed & Herring Gulls, Least & Gull-billed & Common & Forster’s & Sandwich & Royal Terns, Black Skimmer
Today was a terrific day off, well, almost. We began after breakfast by collecting garbage, as we have the only FWS pick-up, and the garbage bags could be outdoors. We drove over to the county dump and after depositing the garbage, we drove home a new way, seeing LOTS of shorebirds in the fields. Since the roads were gravel and there was absolutely NO traffic, we were able to stop and look carefully. The only problem was that we had only our cell phone for pictures. Bummer! And we saw our first ever Upland Sandpiper and no pictures.
After a quick stop at home to pick up OUR own truck with all of our equipment, we drove back, and of course, we could not find the Upland, but we are certain that we had our bird. By then we were hungry, so we drove down to Bolivar Peninsula for a Subway, the only place to get a sandwich in the area (a grill is open in High Island but only on the weekends.) We took our lunch to Rollover Pass and had a great time watching all of the birds there – tons of them.
By 2 pm, we were at Boy Scout Woods in High Island and saw some wonderful birds and caught the 4 pm tour of Smith Oaks. We were all pumped with the idea that there was to be a fall-out today, as there were storms last night and then north winds all day. The birding was a little slow, but we did see a Cerulean Warbler, another beautiful life bird. On the way home at 6:45, we got a text from Lauren that there was a nighthawk at the refuge, so we bypassed home and got out to the refuge in time to see the nighthawk – how neat.
Dinner was quick – hot dogs on the grill with mac-cheese and fresh broccoli. After clean-up, we joined the others for a campfire, but we came in at 9 – it has been a great day.