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High Island Spring Migration - Apr 11th-13th 2003.

Hooded WarblerI did this years trip down to High Island a few weeks earlier this year with a couple of friends to try to get some of the earlier migrants that I've missed in the past. I had several chances for lifers and ended up getting the one I wanted most - the Cerulean Warbler, and heard a Black Rail which was right at our feet singing to us! The Cerulean was seen at Sabine Woods in south east Texas and the Black Rail was heard at the Yellow-Rail Prairie in Anahuac NWR.
High Island trips consist of pretty much the same places each year to get the most species of bird, including - Sabine Woods, High Island's Boy Scout woods & Smith Oaks woods, Bolivar Flats, Rollover Pass, Yaught Basin Rd, Anahuac NWR and Sea Rim SP along with some other stops. Over the 3 days we saw 175 species, over 20 of them Warblers. Great views were had of Cerulean, Blackburnian and Chestnut sided warblers and there were plenty of Northern Parula, Blue-winged, hooded, Kentucky, Black & White, and prothonotary warblers. We also had great views of approximately 30 Gannets diving off the beaches as well as a group of about 20 White-winged and Surf Scoters. We ended the trip with some nice views of Swallow-tailed Kites near Liberty in East Texas.

Sunrise
Sunrise over High Island Bridge...

The photo just doesn't do it justice! Standing at the top of the bridge on Hwy 124 the sun had just risen over a blanket of fog with just the tops of trees showing through, just beautiful.

Prothonotary Warbler
There were a couple seen here at Sabine (TOS) Woods
Prothonotary Warbler
Hooded Warbler
Hooded Warbler.
"Who you lookin' at?"
White-faced Ibis.
Anahuac NWR.
White-faced Ibis
Aligator
Alligator
This one was a MONSTER! I think he'd eaten a few Ibis! Anahuac NWF.
Green Anole.
He was doing "push ups" and inflating his red throat.
"Here lizard, lizard, lizard. I tink I need a bigger box"!
Green Anole
Common Loon
Common Loon.
This loon was stuck on the sand so was unable to take off. They have a hard time taking off when not in water so he was gently coaxed into the sea where he was able to swim freely.
Heron Rookery at Smith Oaks.
A great rookery containing lots of Roseate Spoonbills, Tricolored, Little blue & Great blue herons, Great and Snowy Egrets, Cormorants and Anhingas.
Heron rookery
Great Egret
Great Egret.
Keeping breeding plumage in good condition!
Baby Egrets.
A couple of young Great Egrets in their nest, having a bad hair day!
Baby Egrets
Iris
Iris.
Iris growing alongside a river bank near Anahuac.
Summer Tanager.
A first spring male with orange/yellow plumage.
Summer Tanager
Indigo Bunting
Male Indigo Bunting.
The blue of these birds is awesome! The Willows at Sea Rim SP.
Back of Male Indigo
Here the iridescent turquoise is seen as his back catches the sun.
Indigo Bunting
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler.
For once this bird gave us great views below eye level! Gorgeous, chestnut brown colored flanks with a lime/yellow head. Sea Rim Willows.
Upland Sandpiper.
There were several Upland sandpipers seen in pastures along the Bolivar Peninsular.


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