Sunday, January 08, 2006

News from the Texas Coast, part 1

When I arrived at the San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge, it was on fire. I had chosen an inopportune time to come. A controlled burn, undertaken when most of Texas is under a mandatory burn ban--not applicable, as with most laws nowadays, to the federal government--had gotten out of hand, and was burning out of control, filling the sky with smoke and making birdwatching out of the question.

So instead of walking the trails of the refuge, I poked around the little towns of Freeport and Surfside--both still showing damage from Hurricane Rita, and took some pictures of birds on the rocks of the jetty, and on the beach, and in the surf, and just standing around, as birds sometimes do. Plus a stick-in-the-mud ibis.

A Snowy Egret in the surf

A Willet near the Snowy Egret

This Great Blue Heron is on the rocks of the jetty beside the Freeport ship channel

Close-up of the Great Blue Heron

A Tricolored Heron beginning to develop breeding plumage

This Laughing Gull is standing on the beach looking anything but elegant

One of two White Ibises probing in the mud at low tide.

Click on any image for larger view

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