Harris Co. Weekend Birding

I got an early start to the weekend on Friday morning (02/03) with a few hours out and about in the San Jacinto area. Despite my best effort I mainly donated gallons and gallons of blood to the starving floodwaters mosquitoes with nothing interesting in sight. Among hordes of the usual sparrows (including one Lincoln’s) two Gray Catbirds made an appearance and that was that. Earlier that morning Highland Reservoir had disappointed with it vast emptiness except for a dozen Snow Geese and a lone Ross’s Goose that took off as soon as I looked at them.

Saturday (02/04/2012)

It seemed like there was a foot of water on the road as I pushed east towards Baytown Nature Center, our meeting point for the morning. By the time I arrived I couldn’t even lower the window without getting soaked, we sure picked the worst day to be out. Despite the weather Adam Wood, Sue Orwig, and Janet Rathjen and I still persevered. We birded our way up and down Baytown, checking gulls and scanning the open water. We found plenty of waterfowl, Common Goldeneyes, Buffleheads, Red-breasted Mergansers, Hooded Mergansers, Ruddy Ducks, Lesser Scaup and the expected. In addition we had a good flock of Horned Grebe of at least 15. We couldn’t find anything too unusual among the gulls, except a Lesser Black-backed, but a flock of Black Skimmers was good new for all of us. Finally at the ferry pull-out we found the Reddish Egret, which I had observed several times this year and the bird seems to stick around the same general area.

studying gulls in the rain, interesting looking Herring Photo Stephan Lorenz

Sunday (02/05/2012)

The morning was cold and quiet. A few Dark-eyed Juncos, Brown Creepers, and plenty of Pine Warblers. Adam Wood, Janet Rathjen, and I had met at Klebb Woods and luckily managed to pull out a single Brown-headed Nuthatch before continuing to western parts of the county. Along the drive a White-tailed Hawk perched conveniently along the roadside.

White-tailed Hawk Harris Co. Photo Stephan Lorenz

We failed to locate a Lark Sparrow, but there was plenty of activity with Common Ground-Doves, Spotted/Eastern Towhee diving out of view too quickly for me to get on. Chipping, Field, White-throated, White-crowned, Vesper, and Savannah rounded out the sparrows. On the way home I made a quick stop at Addick’s Reservoir and a lone Bald Eagle soared above the flooded basin. I wandered along the edge a kicked up a flock of sparrows with Field and several Harris’s (almost expected this year). I tracked down a skittish Brown Thrasher and then had a Green-tailed Towhee pop up (not surprising this year, photo below).

Green-tailed Towhee, Addick's Reservoir Harris Co. Photo Stephan Lorenz


One response to this post.

  1. Sounds like a well-rounded weekend! I’ll have to see if I can find that Green-tailed Towhee in Addick’s (we live about a mile away). I’ve never seen one there before…great find!


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