Saturday, May 01, 2010

High Island Birding, Woweee…

Howdee all,

The first day we arrived at High Island we were treated to a Bird Mecca,

the second day slowed considerably.

Yesterday was our third day, the morning was again slow birding Boy scout woods. It was drizzly and overcast.

I did see this tiny little fly bird..a new species I think…or at least I was trying to make it my camera couldn't find a bird close enough to photograph.birding high island_004

      The afternoon we went on a guided “shorebird” walk with Sam Woods.

There are free guided walks at different High Island spots. The daily fee for birding the different High Island sites is five dollars or 25 dollars for spring to spring pass.

Read Sam Woods Blog Post of the day..much nicer pictures and descriptions.

(Make sure you friend Sam Woods on facebook and Samwoodstb on Twitter..Sam works very hard as a professional bird guide,and doesn't have the time to work on adding twitter and facebook friends, I think many people would enjoy his sightings and blog)

I take the below quote from his blog post…about our afternoon of Shore birding.

“This was meant to be a shorebird walk, and indeed it did end up being one, eventually. However, just a short way down Frenchtown, a large flock of Dickcissels flushed out of the scrub and our thoughts quickly turned from shorebirds to what other songbirds were lurking having just crossed the Gulf? The answer was lots! We were out of the car quickly and soon after warbler names were flying this way and that: as we found this choice birds clinging to the vaguest of vegetation present in the area. The main component of this Gulf wave was Yellow Warblers, although a very brief Mourning Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Northern Waterthrush, Chestnut-sided Warblers, multiple Tennessees, Baltimore Orioles, and a Yellow-billed Cuckoo. Every so often another large crowd of Dickcissels passed over indicating more "Mexmigrants" were on the way.

Indeed that's how this walk started out…So very exciting..the migrants were coming in for a rest.

Distant lighthouse in the fog

birding high island_010

We did finally get back to shorebirding..

The highlights for us were Wilsons Pharalope a life bird for us! Stilt Sandpipers,   White-rumped Sandpipers . Great looks of two Silly clapper rails who thought they were shorebirds, wandering around in the open and bathing.

Another highlight was meeting and birding with Fellow Blogger, Birder, Tweeter and facebook user Kyle McCreary.

Check out Kyles blog. As the Mind Wanders

birding high island_007

One happy birder!birding high island_006 We also had another life bird..see the tiny little black blob in the bottom left corner?

That is a Black tern…

birding high island_015

We had a great afternoon of shore birding with the bonus of an amazing amount of Migrants coming in.

So back to Boy Scout woods with Kyle to see if the migrants made it into the woods.

It wasn't hopping with birds like the first day we arrived, but we did notice more movement than we had the previous day and this morning.

Jeff and I were still on the hunt for a Golden-winged Warbler seen many times around Boy Scout woods.

We took a walk to the area that the bird was seen…I left Kyle and Jeff to do a small loop behind the area that they were looking. I saw a bird with a golden head and golden wing spots..and shouted softly Gold wing Gold wing..

the guys came running..but alas the bird did too..Boy scout woods and Smith Oaks_012 We wandered around a bit more than went to the photographers blinds.

Ten dollar a day advanced rental. If there is a blind free you are allowed to use it at no cost.

This area is awesome for photographers..two drips set up on the other side of the blinds. Birds come down to the drips for a bath and a drinkBoy scout woods and Smith Oaks_027  We all sat at the drip and were treated to awesome looks at this

Chestnut-sided Warbler

birding high island_032And this

American Redstartbirding high island_034 I look forward to seeing Kyle's photos, he has one of those big cameras and a real big lens. My baby camera was jealous.

birding high island_037But it still had fun shooting photos of bathing birdsbirding high island_041

When this bird came to the drip we said Black-throated green warbler,

is the photo washed out or is this a mystery warbler?birding high island_049This catbird came down to wash its berry stained face..birding high island_052    A few shakes and dips..

birding high island_058No more berry stainbirding high island_059

We left the blinds and went back to the Grand stand area

There was excitement..a Golden-winged warbler was showing up at the far drip.

A Cerulean warbler was seen on the left side of the grandstand in a close tree..

We opted to sit near the drip and look for the Golden-winged..which showed up soon after and gave us awesome looks..although to far for my baby camera.

Hoping Kyle got some good photos.

Calling all Bird photographers..this is an amazing place spring migration. With a big lens you can get some awesome close up shots of birds.

Boy scout woods and Smith Oaks_011   Just look what I can get with my little lens.

Cerulean warbler

birding high island_071Northern Parulabirding high island_060 Blackburnian warblerbirding high island_075    I am not putting a bird list of each day..instead I am compiling a list of all the birds seen on our trip to High Island,and will post the final list later.


This was a three life bird day for us!!

Wilsons Pharalope

Black Tern

Golden-winged warbler

A wonderful High Island Birding Day!


  1. Hi Dawn,

    Really enjoying your bird photos.
    Jim is curious how Jeff's Mexican dental appointment went.


  2. That's my dream US birding trip right there! High Island during migration. Thanks for sharing the photos and keeping my dream filled with excitement!

  3. Great picture of the happy birder! Interesting new bird, the fly bird. I do love all the colorful birds you are seeing!

  4. chestnut-sided warbler is beautiful. Never heard of them. Always learn something new here.

  5. Cerulean Warbler again?? Great shots.

  6. Great photos, Dawn! Keep em' coming north! Also, I think your mystery warbler is female Black-throated Green.

  7. Dawn, such wonderful sightings! Sounds like a great day of birding. I can never get enough of the breathtaking Blackburnian Warblers.

  8. Jim and Gayle,
    Glad u enjoyed the bird photos..Jeffs appt went very very well..he was quite happy!

    Idaho Birder
    Well, after being here ..I can Highly reccomend High well as the RGV and Padre Island..give your self two weeks at least!

    hee hee..That fly bird is very irredesent..glad u like all the birdies of color

    Howdee funny marylee...Glad I can teach u a thing or two..hee hee

    Gunnar Engblom
    Yeah..Lots of those trash birds around..hee hee

    Thanks..thats what we thought the warbler was..but the photo is a bit washed out..need one of the DSLR cameras..someday..when they make them tiny!

    Julie G
    I am with you Julie..the Blackburnians are sooo beautiful!

  9. Looks like a great birding day - and I did take your recommendation to follow Sam. :)

  10. Wren..
    Thanks for following Sam..a real nice fella and great birder..


ok what do you really think?????