Sunday, March 29, 2015

Ducks and Rain

Our first day of duck banding and it was a little foggy .

That turned out to be a good thing as the Ducks were down and the Rocket nets all worked.

Lauren talking to one of the Biologists from Alaska who is tracking the new bird Flu in the wild Ducks. No bird flu in this batch .

Taking blood samples and other information.

Lauren helps moving the birds from station to station.

There were over 135 birds tested and banded that morning.
The Sunrise and the morning mists.

One of our Refuge family recording each bird and band number
Caught this Owl out in daylight just before the Sun went down.
This little Bat was so confused about the time of day and where to catch a nap. He was on the side of one of the equipment buildings.
One of the Ducks gets a solar powered radio collars. The collars will give a real insight as to where the ducks really go as there is still so much to learn about their migration patterns.
A happy person.
It was a beautiful sunrise.

Lauren getting direction on how to enter the information in the log book. this is very important as there have been banded birds found in  this batch and allows migration patters and ages to be studied .


A few days later we had some rain , just a little over 8 inches and there were some critters in places they didn't belong. A gator in one of the cow pastures.

The bridge into the Skillern Tract usually has 8 feet of clearance under it.

You never know what washes down the Bayou in the storm.

Yea, that's a lot of water and Cotton Mouth snakes. There were more than two.

Two of the nesting structures we helped to build out in the marsh. Soon they will be full of nesting shore birds.

The Kayak launch in Skillern , There are several steps and a platform down there some where.

A Harrier Hawk enjoying the sunny day.

It's been in the 80's here and all the critters are moving about.

A Turn hunting along the Bayou.

The Grackle migration has started and they are here by the thousands .

A foggy Sunrise after the rains.

Thousands of spider webs sparkle as the sun rises and the dew covers them with jewels of water. These are in the field next to our RV pad.

The Swallows have arrived and are busy building their nests.

Coming in to feed some young.

The Purple Martin house by the RV's is a very busy place right now. They are really a noisy bird but they eat the mosquitos in some amazing aerial movements.

The Stilts are now arriving in numbers .

And of course now that it has warmed up moms are taking care of the little ones.

With this pile and some in the water our best guess is about two dozen little ones.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Maybe Spring

The roadside flowers are up every where now. The legacy of Lady Bird Johnson. Every road in Texas has flowers planted on the roadsides .

We went to check out one of the remote rest rooms and found the two stuck to the door. Trying to sty warm as we were in the 50's that day.

The Beach at McFadden on a gloomy day. It is always odd to see large waves on the Gulf.

A good day of hunting.

There was a north wind for several days and the birds started to congregate on the anti wave structures  in Shoveler Pond. 

The Rosette's and Egrets hiding from the wind . 

Time to move to a less crowded area.

After a couple of days of North wind . This is East Galveston Bay looking from the Refuge Boat Ramp. Normally there should be 5 feet of water here.

We have never seen this area without water.

Mother Nutria and baby on the edge of Shoveler Pond.

Mom taking a few minutes to groom. Take notice of her yellow teeth. I been told that's normal for them.

Baby swimming away as Mom groomed. Just like all little ones making it hard on the adults.

A tree toad that Lauren saved from one of the bathrooms on the Refuge.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Is it March already

The Gulf all stirred up on McFadden Beach, a sister Refuge to Anahuac

Some shore Birds work the rough surf

He was happy that it hit 78 degrees when we took this shot

An Ibis looking at his reflection

Cow and Geese working on the same grass

Snow Geese mucking

A Blue Heron taking off

A female Shoveler caught taking off

A Snowy Egret  working the edge of the pond

Roseate Spoonbills are moving in in large numbers now to start nesting

A male Shoveler and his mate looking for a nesting spot

A Coot pile up on the boat ramp on a windy day

Flowers are coming up every where

No respect for those who move a little slow

My wings are a little damp so let me rest here a bit

One Moorhen giving the other the what for.

The spring birds are coming in

Lots of Ibis over the moist soil unit

You have to wonder who is in charge of the board they are standing on

Just awesome