Sunday, January 1, 2017

Off and Running

I wasn't able to get an early start today. I spent the New Years Eve with friends in Alvin, TX and spent the night. I wasn't able to start birding until about 10 am today. First bird of the New Year was Northern Cardinal at my friend's feeder. Thankfully not a House Sparrow!

Cooper's Hawk at Brazoria NWR
Started at Brazoria NWR at about 10:30. Raining most of the the time I was there I managed only 29 species. Not much moving around.  There was a Lesser Black-backed Gull at Roger's Pond. A Cooper's Hawk seemed to be glad the rain was stopping as I was leaving the tour loop.
Nelson's Sparrow in Surfside, TX

Headed down to Surfside to check out Crab Road for Nelson's Sparrow. As I was pulling up I spotted a Yellow-crowned Night-Heron. Not a bird I was worried about, but a nice bird for January on the Upper Texas Coast. Pished a bit and then I heard the tiny "seet" calls of two birds. One moved out in the open and I was able to get a picture.

Sanderlings at the Quintana Jetty
On to Quintana Jetty. By now the sun was out. Beachcombers had swept beach clean of most of the gull flock. Must have been 100 fishermen on the jetty itself and not many birds other than the usual suspects.
Sandhill Cranes

I headed over the San Bernard NWR hoping to snag a few land birds at Bobcat Woods. I did manage a few but nothing remarkable. Ran the Moccasin Pond Loop and exited via Rail Pond. Rail Pond as Sandhill Cranes as close as I ever get them and I was able to get a few pictures. I love listening to the call of Sandhill Cranes.

Headed for home via the John Hargrove Environmental Center in Pearland looking for a Bald Eagle. It had been at least a year since I had been there. The Bald Eagle was in the tree I last saw it in, making a nice finish for the day.

In all I managed about 7 hours of birding today and found 95 species. Not a bad "base coat" for the year. Sparrows were few and even waterfowl seemed kind of slim. Tomorrow I'm heading out early targeting the Brown Boobies at Pleasure Island in Jefferson County.


  1. Keep the reports and birds coming...

  2. Good solid start, I'd say - good luck - wish I was doing one!

  3. A good day to start the new year.

  4. I love this! Good luck on the year. I'll keep watching and cheering you on.

  5. I'm looking forward to again vicariously following your Big Year. Best of luck!

  6. Good Luck in 2017 --John Berner

  7. Good luck for 2017! Many of us will be birding vicariously through you, thanks for the road stories!