Bird Photography Weekly

Brown Pelican

Since I am heading to Houston for a conference in mid-Feb; I’m thinking of going down a few days early to do a little birding.  Do you have a favortite spot on the upper Texas Coast? I have been to Anahuac and plan on going there again.  I might drive down to Attawater although I know I won’t see the Prairie Chickens.  I know there are Red Cockaded Woodpeckers in the north somewhere.  Any idea if they are around in winter and within driving distance of Houston?  Any and all thoughts are welcome.  Ah, warm weather, here I come.

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Filed under Photos, Travel

11 responses to “Bird Photography Weekly

  1. Nice photo of the Pelican. It looks like you were swimming right next to him.

    Have fun planning your trip to Texas. Mid-Feb seems to be approaching rather quickly. Can you believe Jan is almost over?

  2. Anywhere around Rockport or Port Aransas is quite birdy. But I think that’s quite a distance from Houston. Bev, I think anywhere you travel around the Texas coast will be quite birdy. You probably won’t be disappointed. Mid February should be a very good time since there should be some birds starting to migrate back to the U.S. from Central and South America.

  3. Hello from Texas – though at the moment, I’m in Las Vegas! The Houston Audubon society is very active, and there is a listserv that you may find helpful – TEXBIRDS. Hope your visit to Houston is great and full of birds. That’s a handsome pelican pic – the brown pelicans on the west coast are sick and dying! My heart goes out to the pelicans and thanks to the folks at IBRRC who are doing their best to help them.

  4. Red

    I don’t know anything about Texas, but I just adore your Brown Pelican pic! You can see all it’s various colors.

  5. Gorgeous Brown Pelican capture Bev! You’ve got to love those subtle colors.

  6. Have fun in Texas, I have never been before. There should be lots of new birds to see there.

    Nice close up of the Brown Pelican. Good birding then on your trip.

  7. Wow, gorgeous pelican shot, Bev!

    I’m not sure if you saw my Tweet last week, but I was wondering what kind of time and distance range you were going to have while down here next month. Will you have a car? (I assume so from your comment about Anahuac…)

    The Houston Audubon Society has a number of fantastic sanctuaries around the area, with maps and details on their website. Normally my first recommendation would be the locations on Bolivar Island (and the southern end of Galveston), but I don’t have any idea what shape those are in right now. There was a lot of damage to this entire area from Hurricane Ike and, although I know recovery efforts began back in the fall, I haven’t heard any progress reports since early November. Brazoria NWR is just southeast of Galveston and is also an excellent location, but again I don’t know what changes or damage may have occurred due to the storm.

    I’ve heard very good things about the Green’s Bayou Wetlands project, just northeast of Houston (info here). I’m going there for my first time this weekend on a HAS field trip.

    An hour or so west of Houston lies an area known as the Katy Prairie; mostly farmland and private property that can only be viewed from the roadside, but there are a cluster of public areas that are nice, too. Check out the Katy Prairie Conservancy, or this blog for some good reviews of Paul Rushing Park and the nearby Longenbaugh Rd. This area is also fairly close to Bear Creek Park, where (depending on the weather and the day) you can often find some decent birding, including several area woodpeckers.

    One other good online resource is the Texas Parks and Wildlife site.

    I’m sure there are plenty of excellent places around here that I’ve left out, but hopefully this will help a little.

  8. That’s a great photos of the pelican and its very interesting to see the color differences from the ones we have down here in Australia.

  9. Hi.

    Anahuac NWR has reopened after Ike but birds have not yet returned in any numbers. High Island, Galveston and Bolivar Peninsula also suffered a great deal and probably are not worth visiting at present.

    Brazoria NWR is recovering well from the 8′ of water that covered it during Ike but birding is currently better at San Bernard NWR. A morning at San Bernard followed by lunchtime and afternoon at Brazos Bend State Park would give you a good day. Brazos Bend is easy to reach and is providing good birding at present (including e.g., Rusty Blackbird and Tropical Parula).

    Sheldon Reservoir, on Beltway 8 east of Houston, is usually good in February.

    The Katy Prairie hasn’t been wonderful lately, partly because fields along Longenbaugh Road haven’t been flooded.

  10. Nice to see the difference between the Brown Pelican and our Australian Pelican. Ours is Black and White.

  11. BirdingBetty

    I’m a long-time friend of birdspot’s, and I live in Texas. Don’t bother with Anahuac, it is still trashed from Ike. Brazoria County is much better right now. Bear Creek Park, in nw Houston, is great. Do you have the TX Birding Trail maps?
    I can also get you Red-cockaded Woodpeckers.

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