Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Bay Street Park

The Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail - Upper Texas Coast

Happy new year and welcome to my new blog!

I'm off to a later start than planned due to illness, but I finally have enough energy to resume my project of visiting all the sites on the 9 Texas birding and wildlife trails.  The maps are arranged in loops that an enthusiastic person could complete in a weekend.  I tried that once and didn't enjoy it as much as spending enough time at each location to explore until I'm too tired, hungry, or frustrated (by noisy dogs and people chasing away the birds) to continue.  If I'm not enjoying myself, what's the point?  So the plan is to visit one site most weekends.  Most maps have 100 or more, so I'm not going to run out of places to visit any time soon.      

This weekend, I chose a city park not too far from my home.  Near the base of the Texas City Dike, Bay Street Park contains more species than I would have expected on first impression.  It's mostly an open, grassy area with a few scattered trees behind a hurricane levee.

The photo above is a shaded area next to the hummingbird garden.  Wonderful idea, but it's adjacent to the parking lot.  Every time a new carload of noisy dogs and children arrived, this was their default landing area.  

This Eurasian Collared-Dove stayed long enough for me to get a picture.  I heard him cooing and thought ,"A dove is a dove is a dove."  I'm glad I took a second look.  I haven't captured one of these in a photograph before today.  

I started walking in the opposite direction of an obnoxious dog who kept growling as his owner fussed.  I saw this bird at the top of one of the taller trees.  Also a new species for me, I didn't even know what he was at first.

I was headed to the parking lot and home when I noticed a large group of birders that had recently arrived. They identified the shrike for me and pointed out a vermilion flycatcher in the hummingbird garden, just before more noisy kids scared him away.  I had to follow him to a few more trees, but I got the photo!      

On the way out, I saw a second parking lot and more birds.  They took off, so I thought they were flying away.  Instead, they all jumped onto the railing of a pier and allowed me to take photos.

Date of visit:  January 18, 2014
Temp:  50's
Time of day:  mid-morning
Weather:  Clear and sunny, slight breeze.
Species identified (15):  Eurasian Collared-Dove, Northern Mockingbird, European Starling, Boat-Tailed Grackle, Ruddy Duck, Loggerhead Shrike, Brown Pelican, Snowy Egret, Great Egret, Pie-Billed Grebe, American White Pelican, Vermilion Flycatcher, White Ibis, Ring-Billed Gull, Laughing Gull  

I'm linking up with Wild Bird Wednesday.  Visit to see more birds around the world or add your own.