Viewing Nature in Texas
Columbus Day Weekend 2005

Northern caracara White-tailed hawk Red-shouldered hawk

Clapper rail Moorhen Black-bellied whistling duck

Roseate spoonbill White ibis Tricolored heron Reddish egret

Scissors-tail flycatcher Loggerhead shrike

Wild turkeys

male Gulf Fritillary Palamedes Swallowtail

White-tailed deer American alligator

javelina Nine-banded armadillo

Trip Report:

We flew to Houston for Bill and Linda's wedding, but we allocated a day before the wedding to bird the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge on the Gulf Coast. I, Eva, am not a birder, but I enjoy birding on trips with Herman. On this long weekend in Texas we got 73 species of birds, 43 of which I photographed. We saw the Clapper rail right next to the boardwalk. A sign on the boardwalk said all the territory in sight is required by a single Whooping Crane family. Virtually all the Whooping Cranes in the world winter at Aransas from November to April. Herman told me the silvery patches on the black vulture I photographed from the boardwalk is a differentiator from the turkey vulture.
We spent the morning of the wedding day (2pm wedding) at the Jesse H. Jones County Park, 3 miles from our hotel in Kingwood, TX. We got a pileated woodpecker and a yellow-bellied sapsucker there, and had a lovely walk over the Cyprus swamp boardwalk trail to Spring Creek. I see Christmas card potential in the Great egret roost in the pines.
Sunday morning we got a late start because of Mass. We spent this beautiful day at the W.G. Jones State Forest about 35 miles from Kingwood. It's supposed to be a good place for the Red-cockaded woodpecker, but they are most active early in the morning. We did not see any. The day was unproductive, except for birds we had already seen,and poor looks at a few warblers. Bluebird was a new trip bird but my digital photograph, though recognizable, is blurry.
Monday it rained until 4pm, but nevertheless we had a very productive day at Brazos Bend State Park, 35 miles southwest of downtown Houston. I would say armadillos and alligators and white ibis and moorhens and black-bellied whistling ducks are guaranteed.

There are .avi movies of an armadillo and a red-bellied woodpecker (the soundtrack on the latter features the black-bellied whistling ducks in the background) on my movie page.

Not to lose sight of the centerpiece of our trip, here's a snippet of a line dance (1 Mb, .avi movie)) at the wedding reception. The band was called "The Supreme Court Decision."

Photos Sorted by Place:

Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, including anhingas, neotropic cormorant, belted kingfisher,brown pelican, juvenile yellow-crowned night-heron (spots or streaks?), green heron, great blue heron, monarch butterfly,and flowers
Brazos Bend State Park, including little blue herons (mature and immature), cardinal, red-bellied woodpecker, downy woodpecker, pied-billed grebe, ducks in a tree, and a spider.
Farm Roads, including a caracara eating what appears to be a rabbit, cattle egret, and red-tailed hawk.
Jesse H. Jones County Park, including the Texas State Bird (northern mockingbird ) and a butterfly with a blue body and brown yellow-spotted wings, which Lisa Larson identified as a Pipevine Swallowtail, and after googling it I agree. Compare My Picture with a Pipevine Swallowtail in better condition from another source.

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Birding Massachusetts 2018
Birding Massachusetts 2015-2017
Birding Massachusetts 2014
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Birding Massachusetts 2012
Birding Massachusetts 2011
Birding Massachusetts 2010

Birding France 2019
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Birding Ireland 2016
Birding Yellowstone and northern Utah 2015
Birding Hawaii 2011
Birding Arizona 2010
Birding Utah 2009
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Birding Mexico 2007
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Birding Nantucket, annually, at New Year's
Birding Panama 2005
Birding Belize 2002
Birding Colorado 2001
Birding Ecuador 1999
Birding Trinidad 1998
Birding Peru June 1995

Wildlife sketches made at the Harvard Museum of Natural History.
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The photos on this page were taken with my Canon Digital Camera w/ 12X zoom lens.
This page has been accessed access odometer display times since Oct 24, 2005

Last revised: August 8, 2019