Monday, June 26, 2017

Bolivar Peninsula: June 2017

I learned two things about Bolivar Peninsula on my recent road trip to the Galveston area.

First, it's not efficient to plan on taking the ferry back and forth in the same day.  I spent a couple of hours on both trips just sitting and waiting.  Next time, I'll do my Bolivar birding on the way to and from Galveston and once I get to the island, stay there until it's time to leave.

Second, the birding on Bolivar is so good that it almost makes the time lost waiting for the ferry worth it.

Black-crowned Night-Heron, Rollover Pass
I stopped at Rollover Pass on our drive in and hit all four corners to see what I could see.  The northwest corner was where the action was, including this Black-crowned Night-Heron with a little breeze in his head plumage, standing in a spot visually free of both fishermen and trash!

Laughing Gull, Rollover Pass
Speaking of fishing, a small group of Laughing Gulls was hovering around some folks who were doing just that apparently hoping for a handout or dropped scrap.  I was glad to get something sharp and well lit of an isolated bird.

Willet, Bolivar Peninsula
Frenchtown Road on the far west end yielded a sleepy Willet ...

Tricolored Heron, Bolivar Peninsula
... and a Tricolored Heron hunting in the surf.

Juvenile Black-crowned Night-Heron, Bolivar Peninsula
Fort Travis Park didn't have much, but this juvenile Black-crowned Night-Heron made itself available on the side of the entrance road.

Neotropic Cormorant, Bolivar Peninsula
I found a cormorant on a fence post at Bolivar Flats.  I'm calling it a Neotropic based on tail length, but I won't be shocked if someone on iNaturalist disagrees.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Bolivar Peninsula
I love getting nice, crisp shots of birds on barbed wire.  This Scissor-tailed Flycatcher is a nice addition to the collection.

White Ibis, Bolivar Peninsula
Yacht Basin Road had a small, spread-out group of White Ibis, Roseate Spoonbills, and Snowy Egrets.  I got out of my car to approach for better shots, but they seemed very aware of my presence and not all that excited about it.  So I contented myself with a few long snaps like this one and retreated.

Osprey, Bolivar Peninsula
My withdrawal turned out to be well-timed, as as soon as I got back to my car an osprey with a meal landed on the utility pole right in front of me!  I hoped it would settle down and start eating, but as I tried to get a little closer it decided it didn't want an audience for its meal and flew off.

My two-day shotgun approach to birding Bolivar paid off with a bevy of beautiful photos!

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