Saturday, April 4, 2015

That's How I Roll

Saturday I had agreed to do a talk on neotropical migrants on the upper Texas coast for Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge. Its a fun talk because well its really a bunch of pretty pictures. I got to the Texas Chenier Plans Refuge Complex Headquarters about an hour early so I could bird the nature trail there.

Almost right away I found a Broad-winged Hawk soaring above the trail for Year Bird 316. Down by the new bird blind a Great Crested Flycatcher called for year Bird 317. This is a nice start for the day I was thinking.

I completed the trail and again was hoping for Protonotary Warbler in the Cypress Swamp section. Again I strike out on a bird I assumed was going to be easy. Prothonotary Warbler was starting to give me a complex.

The talk went well and we had a nice bird walk afterward. Thanks to Chambers Wild the talk is available online.

I headed on to Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge. When I got there they were roller chopping the moist soil units. Roller chopping uses a heavy roller with blades on it to crush brush and tear up the roots. Its very effective in opening up overgrown areas to waterfowl and shore birds.

Glossy Ibis, Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge
The roller chopping had hundreds of dark ibis streaming in. A perfect opportunity to look for a Glossy Ibis! I spent about 30 minutes scanning and after several times talking myself out of a potential I found one in breeding plumage, Glossy Ibis was Year Bird 318.

Checking out the other unit that was just roller chopped I was able to see two more Glossy Ibis, an exceptional count for Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge. Some more scanning turned up Solitary Sandpiper for Year Bird 319.

The day was getting late and I decided to head home, Tomorrow was promising to be a much better day for migrants too.


  1. Thanks for the video! I wish I had known about your talk! What is that bird singing outside in the video? It's familiar to me, but I'm still terrible at identifying birds by sound.