Sunday, May 18, 2014

Spring Fallout

The Kleb Woods senior birding bus trip had three bus trips April and May to see the spring migrants coming through on their way north.
During the spring migration period, from early March to mid May, conditions occasionally exist where strong, turbulent north winds and rain trigger a phenomenon called a "fallout."  This usually happens when a strong, fast-moving cold front crosses the Texas coast and moves into the Gulf of Mexico during the middle of the day.  The wind and rain slows the migrating birds down causing them to rapidly use up their stored energy reserves. Thousands of extremely tired migrants are forced to seek shelter and food as soon as they reach the coast.
http://www.houstonaudubon.org/default.aspx/menuitemid/366/menugroup/high+island.htm
I was excited to be able to go because I’ve never had the opportunity before now to see some of these birds.  I got several on my life list from these two trips.
Quintana Neotropical Bird Sanctuary is located in Quintana, Texas.  It is a small bird sanctuary, but one that is used heavily by migrants as an oasis.

Summer Tanager

Summer Tanager Quintana

Orchard Oriole

Orchard Oriole Quintana

Indigo Bunting

Indigo Bunting Female Quintana

Some people were disappointed because of the lack of birds, but I’m always happy to see any birds.
Galveston
After leaving Quintana we drove down to Galveston to look around the coastline.
Fred, our fearless leader, has a knack for spotting birds from a moving bus.  I have no clue how he does it.
We all got off the bus and heard this Marsh Wren singing. It took a while for us to find the bird amongst the reeds.
Wrens have such beautiful songs.

Marsh Wren



Marsh Wren Galveston


This Clapper Rail was stalking crabs.

Clapper Rail Galveston Texas


Fish Crows are slightly smaller than American Crows and difficult to distinguish between the two, yet Fred again identified them from a moving bus.  The man amazes me.
Fish Crows have the neatest call.
http://www.birds.cornell.edu/crows/ficr1.wav

Fish Crow
Our next stop was Sabine Woods bird sanctuary on the Upper Texas Coast south of Beaumont, Texas.  This special property is a well-known haven for migrating birds.

I love the attitude of this Gray Catbird.

Gray Catbird Sabine Woods Attitude

Gray Catbird Sabine Woods paint

Female Summer Tanager

Summer Tanager Female Sabine Woods

Scarlet Tanager

Scarlet Tanager Sabine Woods

Female Blue Grosbeak

Female Blue Grosbeak

Gray Cheeked Thrush

Gray Cheeked Warbler

Books I’ve been reading.

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