Date: April 5, 2015
Weather: mostly cloudy, a few drizzles
Temperature: start 62º
Wildlife count: Swamp Rabbit
Year List: 236; Life List: 499
Birds: Black-bellied & Fulvous Whistling Ducks, Mottled Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Pied-billed Grebe, Least Bittern, Great Blue Heron, Great & Snowy Egret, Little Blue & Tri-colored & Green Heron, Black-crowned & Yellow-crowned Night Heron, White & White-faced Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill, Black & Turkey Vulture, Osprey, Northern Harrier, Common Gallinule, American Coot, Black-necked Stilt, Killdeer, Greater & Lesser Yellowlegs, Least & Pectoral Sandpiper, Long & Short-billed Dowitcher, Laughing Gull, Royal Tern, Mourning Dove, Belted Kingfisher, American Kestrel, Eastern Kingbird, Scissortail Flycatcher, Loggerhead Shrike, Tree & Barn Swallow, Marsh Wren, Northern Mockingbird, Common Yellowthroat, Savannah Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird, Boat & Great-tailed Grackles, Brown-headed Cowbird, / Blue Jay, Purple Martin, Great-crested Flycatcher, Gray Catbird, Louisiana Waterthrush, Black & White Warbler, Summer Tanager, Northern Cardinal, / Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Blue-headed & Red-eyed Vireos, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Tennessee Warbler, Hooded Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Yellow-throated Warbler, Indigo Bunting
It was certainly a different way to spend Easter. We got up early and were out at the refuge by 7:30 to check on the plants. While there, we decided to bird Shoveler Pond, seeing lots of shorebirds back in their old places, now that the water level is receding. When we arrived home, we showered and got ready for church.
Worship was delightful. The sanctuary was decorated with many Easter Lilies, and when we arrived, a cross was in front with lots of holes drilled into the wood. As we sang, ‘Christ the LORD is Risen Today’, the children came forward carrying fresh flowers, which we placed into the holes in the cross, decorating it beautifully and symbolizing that something wonderful came from the horror of the cross. With lots of the music of the season and a good message, we also enjoyed communion, so we were indeed blessed. Lunch was at Tony’s BBQ with Jim and Karen – the food was great and so was the conversation.
When we got home, we headed over to High Island to see if a new group of warblers had arrived. We didn’t see much at Boy Scout Woods, but heard one of the volunteers suggest that Smith Oaks might be the better place. When we arrived, we saw the same young men who had led our morning tour last week ready to lead the 4 pm tour, so we joined the group. We are sure glad that we did, as the guys said that this was the best tour they have led since the month began in terms of numbers of birds. We saw LOTS of good birds, many that we have not seen for several years, and a new lifer warbler, the Hooded Warbler. It was lots of fun running around those ancient woods – some of the Live Oak trees are over 100 years old – they are as wide as they are tall. A flock of mixed warblers had entered the woods, and we followed them into several of the big old trees. Our leaders are from all over the world, coming here to lead tours the entire month of April, so we hope to be back several times to bird with them.
It was almost 5:30 when we passed the RV on the way to the refuge to water the plants. They were in need of water this evening, as the few drops we had didn’t overcome the wind of the day. It was almost 7 till we had dinner, loaded baked potatoes and left over brisket BBQ from lunch. We have truly crashed for the evening.