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30 October 2007
I was standing at the water's edge when I spotted an adult Bald Eagle
flying rapidly toward the opposite shore. The Eagle spied a bass below
and dove down to catch it. It flew back to the high cliffs over Bay
Hill Road and perched in a tree out of sight.
Krissie and I went to the foot bridge to attempt to spy the Eagle eating
the fish. I said, "I wish that Eagle would fly over here and show us
Immediately, the Eagle flew from its hidden perch and directly toward
us. About 40 feet from our heads, with the fish dangling in its talons,
it circled and returned to its hidden perch.
Krissie said that the Eagle was Grandmother showing off her catch of the
day. (Grandmother never did like fish.)
Maybe Grandmother Eagle has developed a fondness for bass in her new
life and body as a soaring Eagle.
I guess that beats being reincarnated as a Buzzard and having to eat
nothing but "road kill".
23 October 2007
A large white Egret and a white Egret half the size of the large one was
standing nearby. The large Egret was obviously a Great Egret but the
small one seemed odd looking. It was the color and size of a Snowy
Egret but it had a bright yellow bill and black feet and legs.
Perhaps Bert Frenz can solve the mystery for me.
17 October 2007
Eagle Sanctuary Lake Livingston
I was looking out the window at the lake when I spied an immature Bald
Eagle circling a Great Egret perched on a floating log. The Eagle
circled several times, examining the Egret. Finally it swooped down as
if to attack the big bird. The Egret held its ground and jabbed at the
Eagle with its long bill. I think that the sharp bill of the Egret may
had made contact with the Eagle. The startled Eagle retreated to the
Eagle Sanctuary while the Egret calmly returned to fishing from the
29 September 2007
Five Bald Eagles!!!
About 1:30 pm I got an excited cell phone call from The Chapel of the
Nativity at the intersection of Waterwood Parkway and PM 980. Three
Bald Eagles had circled the Chapel at a low altitude while joined by two
Bald Eagles at high altitude. I arrived in time to observe the two late
arrivers fly toward the southeast. The other three birds had flown
toward the northwest.
Five Bald Eagles at the same place at the same time is the most that I
have heard of being observed above FM 980.. Sadly the three low flying
Eagles could easily have been killed had SHECO erected its totally
senseless 138kv transmission towers along FM 980.
13 September 2007
8:30 a.m. Eagle Sanctuary - Lake Livingston
White Pelicans began landing in the water near the Eagle Sanctuary. At
first there were nine birds which were soon joined by several others
over the next five minutes making a total of 23 White Pelicans. A
straggler came by at 8:40 boosting the number of White Pelicans to 24.
Hummingbird numbers seem to be significantly lower this year.
13 August 2007
I hadn't seen an Eagle for quite some time and was wondering if the
birds had flown North toward cooler weather during the heat of the Texas
Summer, and then---
On August 9, 2007 at 7:40 a.m. I saw a Bald Eagle fishing offshore from
Mandy Zeltner reported a Bald Eagle circling her swimming pool between
Huntsville and Riverside in Walker County on August 12, 2007.
At 10:30 a.m today,. a Bald Eagle flew from across the cove at Water I
to the Eagle Sanctuary.
It appears that now we have some full time resident Eagles in E. Texas.
Lake Livingston, E. Texas
July 22-31, 2007
Sue's dog and I were at the Pyramid when an Osprey flew out and circled
us several times appearing to judge the size and flavor of the dog.
Since the dog weighs over 80 pounds the Osprey finally decided to fly
away to search for smaller prey.
There have been more Scissortail Flycatchers this year than I have seen
in many years.
A juvenile White Faced Ibis flew overhead toward dusk one evening near
The Black and Turkey Vultures enjoyed eating Sue's old dead horse. They
consumed all of the meat within a week.
I will put up a photo gallery of the Vulture's progress as
30 July 2007
Osprey pair fishing Lake Tye, Monroe, WA
2 July 2007
Thanks so much for the insight into the current status of our
2 July 2007
1 July 2007 BAD BOY POINT, E. TEXAS
I was driving to Bad Boy Point (Lake Livingston), when I saw the
silhouettes of some very large birds in a dead tree. They looked like
Wood Storks and indeed they were--the first that I had seen in several
years. With my binoculars I was able to pick out at least 8 Storks.
Counting was made difficult by the presence of a live Sweet Gum tree
which blocked the dead tree depending on where I stood. After multiple
attempts to be totally accurate I came up with 8 birds for certain and
perhaps a ninth.
I am hopeful that there are some breeding pairs amongst the Storks and
that they have nested on our nearby Eagle Sanctuary or other safe haven.
17 June 2007
6 pm On the Ethician Queen at the Russell Pyramid
I was sitting at the back of the steamboat watching 10 Vultures cavorting around in the updrafts.
I said to myself, I wish the Eagle would come out. Instantaneously, an adult Bald Eagle flew from Pool Creek and landed in a dead pine tree just across the cove from where I was sitting.
Yesterday, I left my fathers house and as I was approaching the intersection of Doral and Bay Hill a Bald Eagle flew directly toward my vehicle, not 30 feet in the air and then down Bay Hill under the canopy of the trees.
The Eagle, after perching in the tree for around 15 minutes, took off
and flew toward 980 along the Pool Creek flyway. If SHECO prevails, we
are certainly going to lose some Eagle to the 138 kv.
Also, more fresh peckings on live old-growth pines on the golf course.
Saw a pair of Red-headed Woodpeckers in hardwoods but not on the pines.
15 March 2007
The last time that I had checked on the baby Eagle he was perched on a limb next to his nest.
This evening I went out to see if he was still there and the nest and nest tree were empty.
I looked over to the lookout tree used by his dad and there was an Eagle perched there but instead of being the dad it was the baby.
The dad always looked straight ahead in a regal and dignified way. The baby was craining his neck every which way as if he had just entered a whole new world for the first time, which of course was exactly the case.
He was really cute and sassy.
12 March 2007
Great Spirit Wilderness
Yesterday evening I took the grandchildren on a hike to check on the baby Eagle. He had left the nest and was perched on the same branch beside the nest that his parent had been seen perching on a few days ago. The grandchildren didn't think that he was cute and cuddly because he was already as big as his dad. We haven't seen him fly yet so don't know if he knows how.
10 March 2007
Great Spirit Wilderness and Half Moon Bay Retreat
I took Ryan Nelson, Project Manager for Crouch Environmental Services, to visit our Bald Eagle nest at Princess Point in the Great Spirit Wilderness. The daddy bird was perched on his usual lookout perch about 200 feet to the left of the nest tree. When he spotted us he left his perch and flew around the nest tree to make sure that everything was aok and then went back to his perch. At first we didn't see anything in the nest, but after the dad flew over the nest the baby popped its head up so that we, for the first time, were able to confirm at least one Eagle baby. The baby was as big as the dad and seemed to be fully fledged.
This is the first confirmation that we have a breeding success on our Sanctuaries.
This morning I was reading the paper in bed and I heard a chirpping sound coming from the Eagle Sanctuary across the cove. I grabbed my binoculars and sure enough a juvenile Bald Eagle was perched on a tree in the Sanctuary, happily chirping until a big bad crow chased him away.
THE BAD NEWS!!!
Ryan and our enviro-attorney, Lanny Ray examined the dead bird remains at Half Moon Bay and feel just as certain as I at this point that the bird is an Eagle. Half Moon Bay is only a couple of hundred yards from a notorious poacher camp, but of course poachers in San Jacinto County are everywhere and kill anything alive just for the fun of it. Because the head and feet have been missing since I first discovered the bird several weeks ago, I am convinced that they were taken as trophys by the poachers.
Ryan will show photos that he took to the bird experts in his firm.
March 07, 2007 2:11 PM
5,000 or more cormorants and about 50 white pelican just now flew past my window... They flew into the bay, turned around, and flew back to the main body of the lake where they formed an island for fishing. Ten minutes later they had all disappeared. Fishing must not have been very good.
Kenneth L. Russell
23 February 2007
This morning a friend of daughter Karen volunteered to dig graves for me, my wife, my mother and my father with his Bobcat. Shortly after the machine began digging an Eagle flew over to check out what we were doing, flew overhead in a circle and then flew off after having satisfied its curiosity. I was happy that the bird was an Eagle rather than a Vulture.
22 February 2007
Hwy 105, Vidor, Texas
From James Linscomb
George here are some pictures of the eagles that you seeded here in Orange County close to my land. You must have released them at night and got turned around thinking that you were on my land.
22 February 2007
About 6 pm I went down the dirt track to Princess Point to check on the Eagle nest. I had not seen any bird on the nest so was worried that perhaps the possible dead Eagle was the female bird.
What I preceived to be the male was standing guard on a nearby treetop but still no sight of a second Eagle.
Swoosh!!! An Eagle emerged from the nest and flew off at a rapid rate toward the cove. I am hopeful that there are hungry babies and that she was out to hunt for a fish to feed the babies (if any). That is the first evidence that a bird was on the nest which was a relief since that fact confirmed to me that the possible dead Eagle was not part of the nesting pair.
The guard bird was on his perch again this evening (23 February 2007). I stay several hundred feet from him and the nest and he seems used to my presence because he just looks my way in an arrogant way and is not disturbed in the least.
18 February 2007
Lots of birds of many species, especially Chickadees, Titmice, Goldfinches, Cardinals, Blue Jays, Wrens, Kinglets, Warblers, Sparrows, various Woodpeckers and others and in various traveling groups in several places.
I hadn't been successful calling in the birds for some time and thought that I had lost the art but decided to see if they would come if I called. Within a minute about 50 birds of various species had come to see what I was up to. The Kinglets get especially close -- in fact sometimes within a foot or two.
This morning a juvenile Turkey Vulture had its wings outstretched soaking in the sun on one of our balconies. I took several photos, some as close as 3 or 4 feet from the bird who seemed bored by my presence.
Later in the day I noticed a raft of 18 Pelicans, 500 or more Cormorants and 50+ Gulls fishing in Waterwood Bay.
As I wanted to document the bird parts that I believe are part of an adult Bald Eagle, I went to Half Moon Bay and took several photos.
Across the cove is the tree with the Eagle nest in it. I wanted to determine if one of the nesting pair was the victim of the white trash poachers that infest Lake Livingston.
I called the Eagles and within 30 seconds an Eagle flew out from the Great Spirit Wilderness headed directly toward me. Within a few seconds a second Eagle flew out and joined the first Eagle. Then both birds seemed to frolic together flying past a second pair of large soaring birds, one of which turned out to be an adult Bald Eagle. I was unable to confirm whether the second bird was an Eagle or a Vulture but they had been flying around together just like the pair that had emerged from the vicinity of the nest.
I can definitely confirm the presence of three adult Eagles at Half Moon Bay and Secret Cove on this date.
This evening Fang (the dog) and I traveled to Princess Point to look for tresspassers or poachers or anyone that might disturb the (hopefully) nesting Eagles.
At the end of the road at the shore was a huge Ford dual cab diesel truck. A speedboat was very close to shore with a man in it. A second man soon emerged from the trail that goes toward the Eagle nest with a wheelbarrow. He saw me but continued onward without speaking and put the wheelbarrow in the truck.
I told him that he was trespassing on POSTED private property and that the area was off limits to visitors at this time.
He acted pretty unconcerned because he claimed that his friend knew me and that they were both from Emerald Point, an area known as a haven for wildlife killers across from The Holy Trinity Wilderness Cathedral. Last night at Church the widow of one of our departed Deacons told me about Emerald Point neighbors that had been killing our Alligators and other wildlife.
The man in the boat said that he had been far back in the cove leading to Alligator Loop, "Just resting and looking around" but that when he tried to restart his (speed) boat the battery was dead.
His name was FRANK MIXON and his friend with the big truck and wheelbarrow was BILL SOREY (936-891-5959).
I advised Mr. Sorey to call me next time that there might be some legitimate need to enter our private properties and mud up our primitive road with his overweight truck. I gave him my card and he said he would.
Had I called the Sheriff to report the tresspassing, the Sheriff, based on my experiences since 1998 would have done absolutely nothing just as he did absolutely nothing when I reported the assault and battery that I experienced at Bad Boy Point. Yet it was I who was recently arrested for driving down my own deeded easement that the Sheriff had a copy of.
The current County Judge has a "hunting camp" on about an acre adjacent to about 1,000 acres of our Preserves and the dead (probable) Eagle is only a short distance from where some of his "sketchy" hunters hang out. WHAT DOES THAT SAY ABOUT SAN JACINTO COUNTY? In my opinion, it says "White Trash and Poacher Heaven -- Come on In and Kill at Will -- You Will NOT be Arrested or Molested by the Local Law 'cause We Will be Out There With 'ya IF 'ya Furnish the Beer, Bitches and Booze".
Texas Parks and Wildlife has known about the suspected Eagle death for seven days now and yet I have not received even a phone call to set up an appointment to examine the remains in order to confirm or deny that the dead bird in an Eagle.
I couldn't find anywhere on the USWFS web site where to report the death of an endangered or threatened species.
SUNDAY 18 February 2007
Last Sunday, we discovered what we believed to be parts of a dead Bald Eagle in an area frequented by "white trash" hunters and poachers on our Preserves and Sanctuaries that Texas Parks and Wildlife has NEVER helped us to protect.
We also discovered an Eagle nest for the first time since we established an Eagle Sanctuary on our properties.
These facts were given to our Wildlife Manager who was with the TPWD Eagle Specialist the very next day. I offered to show the TPWD biologist the evidence of the possible Eagle killing as well as the nest but so far have heard nothing.
If "white trash hunters" are killing the Eagles that I have spent millions of dollars attempting to protect from harm, and TPWD typically doesn't care to even investigate, then I will be even more angry than knowing that TPWD actively assaults, handcuffs and jails people who attempt to protect Alligators.
February 9, 2007
Ospreys at Walden
From James Scanlon:
We have been enjoying the flying skills of an adult Osprey at the Walden on Lake
11 January 2007
Bad news at Half Moon Bay Retreat
We discovered parts of what we believe to be a dead Bald Eagle on the
beach. Rogue hunters and poachers run rampant around and through our
preserves and sanctuaries.
Duck hunters are especially bad. I have had reports of them shooting
ducks just for the fun of it and not even bothering to retrieve them to
eat. Other reports are of them shooting Pelicans and any other bird
that happens to be in their gun sights. Some days it sounds like a war
zone in the area of our NAPA Preserves with shotguns blasting away.
The fact that the Eagle has no head or feet leads me to believe that
they were taken as trophies.
Texas Parks and Wildlife has been totally unconcerned and unresponsive
to requests for assistance. Just a couple of weeks ago a man disrupted
our Church services by shooting far too close to shore in violation of
TRA rules at the Wilderness Cathedral. The Game Warden said that it
wasn't his responsibility to enforce TRA rules so he did nothing. The
next week the same person was back.
A few years ago, I was taking a Parks and Wildlife official to see our
seven baby alligators. He watched as poachers netted the gators and
took them away. He didin't even bother to write down their boat number.
In September 2003, I complained to two Game Wardens about TPWD's lack of
concern about protecting our wildlife, especially Pelicans and
Alligators. As I walked away, they assaulted me from behind and threw
me in jail.
Good News at The Great Spirit Wilderness
While examining the dead Eagle we observed a live adult Bald Eagle
perched in a tree across the cove in The Great Spirit Wilderness. We
drove down the mile long road to Princess Point and began walking toward
Debbie Beach. The Eagle was still perched in its tree. The bird then
flew from one tree top to another one nearby while chirping.
Then, one of my companions, cried out in amazement! In an old pine tree
to the right of the Eagle's perch was a huge Eagle nest!!!
We decided that it would be in the best interests of the bird and the
babies we hope that will hatch or have hatched, for us to leave the area
and allow the Eagle(s) some peace and quiet.
Hopefully the dead Eagle is not one of the parents.
If Texas Committee on Natural Resources (now Texas Wilderness
Federation), Natural Area Preservation Association, Texas Land Trust
Alliance, Lone Star Sierra Club, Texas Audubon, and Texas Ornithological
Society would join forces and demand that TPWD and TRA declare the coves
and shoreline that border our sanctuaries off limits to hunting,
trapping, shooting, fishing, and trot lining, then our wildlife would
have a chance to survive.
Our State Representatives should take a leading role into seeing these
protective measures be implemented.
30 January 2007
This morning I was just about ready to step into my shower when I
spotted a Turkey Vulture perched on the railing just outside my window.
He looked at me and I looked at him, all the while stepping closer and
closer. Eventually my face was just 24 inches away from the bird. We
were each obviously attempting to determine which one of us was the ugliest.
Finally the big bird made his decision, left a large evil looking
deposit on the railing and sailed off.
Sometimes, Mr. Peck, the Pileated Woodpecker perches on that same spot
and peers into my bathroom.
I forgot to write down the exact day, but a few days ago a flock of 50+
Black and Turkey Vultures were perched in trees in front of our house as
well as flying about.
22 January 2007
Great Spirit Wilderness
David Bezanson of NAPA, along with one of his assistants, went on a tour
of our proposed 2007 Sanctuaries.
At Princess Point our Jeep got stuck in the mud and we began to walk
out. Almost immediately an Eagle flew to the top of a nearby tree.
Soon after, the Eagle was joined by another adult bird.
The birds put on a nice display of flying overhead, seeming to check us
out. When they disappeared, they were replaced by a a juvenile Eagle.
In the meantime Great Blue Herons were flying all about squawking their
heads off as if coyotes were biting their tails.
As darkness set in a Night Heron began crying.
13 January 2007
40+ Turkey Vultures roosted in trees in front of our Alligator Ranch house.
24 December 2006
From 1,000+ to perhaps several thousand Cormorants, with a sprinkling
of White Pelicans in some of the numerous flocks, just flew past our
window, heading North. They were practically skimming the tops of the
waves on the lake.
Yesterday, at Half Moon Bay Retreat, the Crows drove a very majestic
adult Bald Eagle from the Eagle Sanctuary. It escaped by rapidly flying
to the mouth of Palmetto Creek.
Another flock of 500+ Cormorants and 20 White Pelicans just flew in and
are now feeding in the lake to the East of our house.
21 December 2006
Winter Solstice at the Alligator Ranch
39 White Pelicans just flew over the house toward the Eagle Sanctuary.
20 December 2006
Russell Preserves - Waterwood
Our forest have been alive with birds of many species for the last 10
days or so. This morning when I went into the bathroom to take my
shower, an immature Turkey Vulture was perched on the railing of the
balcony less than three feet from where I was standing. The bird was
very tame and just looked at me -- perhaps attempting to predict when I
would become its dinner. I called to Sue to come up and observe the
bird. It apparently didn't like her as much as it liked me and flew off.
April Fand flew in from Arizona to observe our Vultures and visit our
future "Sky Burial" site. The Vultures were nowhere to be seen. We
drove over to the marina to look at our River Otter Sanctuary and low
and behold, two trees on our Longleaf Pine Sanctuary hosted 39 Black
Vultures and 7 Turkey Vultures.
Hords of Robbins, Cedar Waxwings, American Goldfinches and all sorts of
little birds that I am too blind to see and/or identify have been
swarming about. Also present have been Red-headed Woodpeckers, Pileated
Woodpeckers, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Barred Owls, Common Crows, Common
Grackles, Tufted Titmice, Carolina Chickadees, Brown Creepers, Blue
Jays, Cardinals, and others.
Others include our resident Carolina Wrens that constantly try to fly
into the house when the door is open. One had to spend the night
recently when it hid in the fake ficus tree and refused to go outside.
Ringbilled Gulls, Belted Kingfishers, flocks of various Ducks, Great
Egrets, Great Blue Herons, and Cormorants are the most abundant water
birds. I haven't seen any Pelicans for at least a week now.
4 December 2006
EAGLE FUN AT HALF MOON BAY RETREAT
We have been enjoying the antics of the Eagles hanging out at Half Moon
Bay Retreat. When we hear a gang of Crows squawking we are pretty
certain that we will soon see one of our Eagles.
The evil Crows constantly torment the Eagles yet until just yesterday I
had never seen an Eagle make a concerted and valient effort to catch a Crow.
I heard Crows scolding, looked up and two Crows were chasing a juvenile
Bald Eagle. The Eagle decided to retaliate and for at least a minute I
witnessed a World War I dog fight in the air. The Eagle came close to
catching a Crow on more than one occassion. Then a second Eagle flew
out toward the Crows to even the odds and the Crows fled the scene.
The two Eagles then sailed about, unmolested before disappearing.
Earlier in the week our Chocolate Lab was playing in the shallow water
when we saw him looking up. An Eagle was checking him out but decided
that at 100 pounds he was a little on the large side. As the Eagle
soared off at a low elevation, the dog began chasing the bird, jumping
up in a futile attempt to capture the Eagle.
In addition to the two baby birds, there is at least one adult Bald
Eagle that loves to perch in a tree just above Debbie Beach. He is
extremely stately and arrogant as he surveys the surrounding area. The
Crows seem to leave him alone. Perhaps he has taught them a lesson and
they know better than to molest him.
Today there were hundreds of tiny birds flitting about in the woods
along with several Woodpeckers of various species.
In addition, there are numerous Ring-Billed Gulls, Terns, Peeps,
Cormorants, Ducks, Kingfishers, Great Blues and Great Egrets. I haven't
seen a Pelican in at least a week.
1 November 2006
As I was walking from the house to my car I saw two juvenile Bald Eagles (baby eagles) fly overhead in a game of tag. They flew in circles cavorting with one another, the second bird trying to catch the lead bird and eventually flew out over the lake. I don't know if this was play or some kind of sibling aggression.
A flock of 20+ Eastern Bluebirds was seen at Longleaf Ranch.
The Pelicans are suffering predation from suspected Coyotes and Bobcats as the rising lake has inundated their isolated sandbar islands and they have been forced to roost on the shores of the lake.
USFWS or Texas Parks and Wildlife need to provide the birds with artificial islands so that they can rest in peace.
14 October 2006
2 adult Bald Eagles and 1 juvenile curious about our activities at Secret Cove. The baby flew directly overhead just above the tree tops.
At Sunset Services this evening we were visited by 2 Bald Eagles during the "Meditation Moment". There were also 20 Turkey Vultures perched at the Vulture Sanctuary with many others flying overhead. 100+ Cormorants were perched on the power poles in the lake. At least 300 While Pelicans were also guests at Church services.
There were at least 50 other Vultures at Secret Cove and many others over the Alligator Ranch house today.
9 October 2006
Alligator Ranch 12:15 p.m.
500+ White Pelicans swimming in front of the house and heading toward Princess Point. Every few minutes a small flock and sometimes
individual Pelicans flies past my window.
There have been quite a few Belted Kingfishers flying about as well as a Bald Eagle that has been hanging around Half Moon Bay.
Only a few Hummers are stopping at the feeders.
99 White Egrets were counted perched on stobs off shore from Pelican Point.
October 1, 2006
At 2 p.m. I noticed a raft of 700+ Cormorants feeding outside my window. I originally guestimated 300 birds while they were swimming in a counter-clockwise then clockwise circle and were so tightly spaced that a head count was impossible.
Another difficulty in getting an accurate head count is that at times more than half of the birds will be swimming under water.
One bird on the outer edge of the raft caught a rather large fish and several Cormorants began to swim toward the bird in an attempt to take the fish away. This caused the entire raft to break up and begin swimming in a long line after the lucky bird. That made it easy to get an accurate head count. I quit counting individual birds after the
first 500 and then estimated that I had not counted a portion of the line up representing more than 200 birds and quite possibly 300, thus the conservative count of the raft of Cormorants is 700+.
The Cormorants then regrouped and formed their contiguous raft again. At 2:45 p.m. the Cormorants began flying in a long alignment just over the top of the water, toward the SE.
There are two large groups of White Pelicans of an estimated 1,000+ birds each plus some smaller groups of 50-100 birds that I can see from my window.
October 1, 2006
from Sue Russell
This morning about 11:30 a.m., I looked out our bedroom window and saw a flock of white pelicans taking off from the water in our cove. It looked like maybe a hundred birds when I started watching. I called to George to look out the window, but he had already left the house in his Jeep. Still the pelicans kept coming and coming. It was amazing!
From the yellow bedroom window, I saw a whole cove still filled with white birds who were in the process of taking flight in an orderly fashion. They didn't just all scatter at the same time like most birds do. The pelicans were probably fishing there in our cove, but it took quite some time before the birds were gone. I don't know how many there were--maybe a thousand?
I called Pelican 1 to alert the grandparents, because the birds were flying their way. The phone was busy, but I finally got granddaddy on his cell phoneat Pelican 2, and he said he would keep an eye out for them.
After the pelicans had gone, I saw Zimmerman, wife and dog walking along the beach in front of our house, heading toward their house. They probably saw the pelicans also and may have startled them, causing the birds to fly away.
My "Bird Notes" Sept.30, 2006
30-40 mixed Black and Turkey Vultures feeding on a dead Armadillo.
A fresh swarm of Hummingbirds have arrived at the feeders. The guestimated maximum number of new arrival birds is less than 50 but more than 25 by head count at the feeders at one time.
114 Great and Snowy Egrets were counted perched mostly on stobs off of Pelican Point.
24 September 2006
It was cool enough to sleep with the door to the balcony open. At 8 A.M. I was awakened by Caspian Terns squawking, Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets grunting, Hummingbirds squeeking, Blue Jays calling, Blackbirds chattering, Crows scolding, and a couple of Belted Kingfishers calling.
This afternoon, several flocks of White Pelicans were just cruising about on the warm updrafts. Three flocks were composed of about 50 birds each and a couple of groups of about half that number and a few strays. In the meantime at least 1,000 were resting offshore from the Cathedral.
Numerous Turkey Vultures and two Black Vultures have been taking advantage of the updrafts to cruise about.
Still at least 100 Hummers at the feeders.
Only around 25 Least Sandpipers at Princess Point.
A lone Cormorant just swam by at 5:30 pm.
23 September 2006
Dozens, if not hundreds of Caspian Terns have arrived. It would be impossible to judge the numbers. (Two are fishing just in front of my window as I write this.)
They seem to be everywhere and are the predominant Tern after the earlier arrival of very small Terns (perhaps Least) and followed by medium sized Terns (perhaps Common) They were at Church at the Cathedral, at the Eagle Sanctuary, at Princess Point, at Pelican Point and thus all along the lake. They can be quite loud and obnoxious, especially when I am attempting to get my beauty rest.
Pelican Point, Lake Livingston
18 September 2006
An estimated 3,000 to 5,000 White Pelicans flew past Pelican Point between 7:15 pm and 7:25 pm and landed on the water in a long raft of birds that was estimated to be between 1/4 to 1/5 mile in length. I estimated that the last batch of birds to join the others numbered an estimated 1,200 so I believe my total estimate to be conservative, since several large flocks had passed by before the last birds arrived.
While the Pelicans were flying downstream an Osprey flew upstream.
Night Herons and Great Blue Herons were squabbling after dark.
16 September 2006
100+ Least Sandpipers feeding on the shore at Princess Point.
A Bald Eagle flew along the shore of the Eagle Sanctuary about 1 pm.
15 September 2006
The Pelicans are still hanging out on the sandbars.
A juvenile Turkey Vulture with a black head just flew past my windowalong with an adult bird.
A Great Blue Heron is stalking a Great Egret across the cove.
The Hummingbirds are reduced in number by around 50% from this time last week, so I guesstimate that there are still around 50 birds.
14 September 2006
1,000+ White Pelicans were resting on sandbars in the lake out from the Wilderness Cathedral.
6:07 PM 13 Sept 2006
19 White Pelicans just flew past my window.
A deer is hanging out with a few Great Egrets on the shore of the Eagle Sanctuary.
There seem to be fewer Hummingbirds this evening and less juice gone from the feeders. Some must have departed for points South.
One Snowy Egret and at least 30 Great Egrets are sitting on stobs in the middle of the lake.
9 Turkey Vultures were soaring over the house and the Eagle Sanctuary this morning.
7:40 PM 12 September 2006
Alligator Ranch, Lake Livingston
Sue asked me if she was seeing a new sandbar or if there was a flock of White Pelicans at the shore of the Eagle Sanctuary. Without looking up I said, "Sandbar". She insisted that I take a look through the binoculars and lo and behold a flock of 100+ White Pelicans was feeding at the shoreline of the Eagle Sanctuary.
We still have at least 100 Hummingbirds at our feeders.
A few days ago I was sitting in the water at Princess Point and there were around 35 Turkey Vultures soaring around. In addition there have been 35+ tiny Sandpipers hanging around on the shore as well for a week or so.
As I hadn't seen an Eagle in several weeks, I called out, "Eegie come here". Within less than 60 seconds an Eagle flew out of the woods and over my head and continued across the lake at a rapid rate. I called out, "Eegie come back" and a couple of minutes later the Eagle flew back across the lake and over my head.
There have also been many Terns fishing as well as numerous Great Blue Herons, a few Green Herons, many Great Egrets and some Snowy Egrets.
August 23-28, 2006
Alligator Ranch House
Hummers started coming in on the 23rd of August. (We had had a few throughout the Summer) Each day since their numbers have increased. Impossible to count them but I wouldn't be surprised if there weren't 50 or more. They are emptying the feeders very quickly with up to 12 birds hovering at a time around the most popular feeder.
We have had more Snowy Egrets around the house this year than in years past.
6 August 2006
Alligator Ranch, Lake Livingston
A pair of Mississippi Kites were circling over our house this morning. The day before a pair was seen in a large pine tree about a quarter mile from the house and later in the day another was heard in our forests about a half mile from the house.
Last week I was sitting in the water at Princess Point counting Vultures (10) when one of the "Vultures" turned out to be a Bald Eagle.
There has been a pair of Snowy Egrets hanging out just across the cove in the Eagle Sanctuary for several weeks now.
The Purple Martins must have flown South for the Winter as I have been seeing very few at dusk the last week or so.
Two Whistling Ducks just flew past my window.
16 July 2006
Princess Point, Lake Livingston
I was sitting in the water off Princess Point sifting the rocks feeling for Indian rocks when a Great Egret flew down to fish about 20 feet from me. When the Egret saw who its companion was it flew off.
Now here is the really weird thing that happened next:
A ROSEATE SPOONBILL flew down to the shallows not 25 feet from where I was sitting. Thinking that the bird would probably fly off the moment
it saw what was in the water beside it, I made no attempt to stop what I was doing or stay particularly still. The Spoonbill studied me for a few moments, determined that I was friend rather than foe and even walked toward me while looking for food.
In the meantime, I found a few pretty interesting Indian rocks that I dropped into the basket beside me. The bird seemed disinterested in what I was doing
After a period of more than 10 minutes the bird determined that there was nothing to eat at that spot and flew off. In the meantime, dozens of tiny Terns were diving into the water about 50 feet out from shore and little groups of Purple Martins were feeding overhead on their way to the 190 bridge where they roost this time of year.
24 May 2006
Princess Point, Lake Livingston, Texas
About 3 P.M.
Large Eagle/Vulture sized dark bird feeding on dead fish on shore. When bird flew, the only white was on the tail. Only saw the top side of bird as it was rising and then disappeared around the point.
Was not a Vulture. Did not look like any Bald Eagle, either adult or immature that I have observed over the last eight years that frequent the Eagle Sanctuary nearby.
Only bird in Sibley resembling this Eagle is pictured as an immature Golden Eagle.
I give a 90% probability that the bird was as pictured in Sibley.
QUESTION: Is there such a thing as a Bald Eagle-Golden Eagle hybrid?
20 May 2006
Eagle Sanctuary - Lake Livingston
This morning I was awakened by the call of Mr. Peck, our curious Pileated Woodpecker. He had landed on the balcony railing just three feet from Zander, the dog. I turned over in bed and opened my eyes in order to see the spectacle of the two curious beasts staring at one another.
I rolled back over to get some more "beauty rest" and was later awakened a second time by the chirping of what I believed to be an Eagle. I got up and searched the shore of the Eagle Sanctuary with my binoculars but no Eagle was in sight. Meanwhile a couple of Whistling Ducks flew past, so I thought that it must have been the Ducks that had awakened me, so I returned to bed to read the paper.
A little while later, I heard both chirping and loud piercing cries. I jumped up again and scanned the sky and treeline. No Eagle. I then spotted a bird wading in a puddle at the shore. At first I thought it was a Turkey Vulture, but when it flew off it had a white head. It was indeed the Eagle.
13 May 2006
57 Great Egrets sunning themselves in the trees at the shoreline of the Eagle Sanctuary along with 1 Night Heron, 1 Great Blue Herson and 1 Snowy Egret.
Meanwhile, the pair of Little Blue Herons flew over to the shore to fish along with 3 Great Blue Herons. Several Turkey Vultures and a pair of Whistling Ducks were hanging out on the beach.
Several Eastern Kingbirds were in the trees in front of my window.
12 May 2006
An adult Roseate Spoonbill flew past my window at 10:40 A.M., heading into the cove. I ran out to the boathouse and went onto the roof to try to locate it but it had flown too deeply into the cove to be spotted. The pink color of the bird was so brilliant that I thought that I must be hallucinating and had just seen a Scarlet Ibis pass by.
A pair of Little Blue Heron flew over to the beach at the Eagle Sanctuary. Meanwhile three White Pelicans flew overhead, the Hummingbirds are fighting at the feeder, and two Great Egrets just flew past my window.
11:45 A.M. A pair of Snowy Egrets just flew past my window. Several individual and small groups of White Pelicans are flying over the lake. The bird activity this morning has been quite spectacular.
11 May 2006
Chapel of the Nativity
Flock of about 20 White Ibis flying SE over the Chapel of the Nativity at the intersection of Waterwood Parkway and FM 980.
26 April 2006
Lake Livingston E. Texas
Mississippi Kites in singles and in pairs have arrived. Yesterday, three were flying over the Country Club. Today, around noon, 20+ were circling over the Ethician Family Cemetery. Toward dusk, a pair flew over Waterwood Parkway.
Last week 50+ Great Egrets were playing the "Dating Game" at Pelican Point. The boys were quite elegant in their breeding plummage. That same morning about 100 White Pelicans were cruising around over our house.
Mr. Peck, our resident Pileated Woodpecker is a voyeur. He likes to perch on the deck railing outside my bathroom and watch me go into the shower.
The Red-headed Woodpeckers that had lived in a dead pine for several years at the Chapel of the Nativity have not been seen this Spring. A lady riding a bike stopped this afternoon and reported a pair of Red-heads had taken up residency in her yard.
The Whistling Ducks have been really loud and obnoxious the last few days.
8 April 2006
Eagle Sanctuary - Lake Livingston
Andrew called from Pelican Point to let us know that a flock of about 100 White Pelicans were flying toward the Eagle Sanctuary. We looked out the window and sure enough they flew over to the shoreline of the Sanctuary and began to fish in two groups. On the shore were about 20 Great Egrets and a dozen or so Great Blue Herons.
The Blues were squabbling with the Whites, but the Pelicans were oblivious.
Shortly after 8 A.M. an Osprey flew over to the Eagle Sanctuary from the lake with a fish, where it perched high up on a tree on the shore and began to consume the fish.
About a dozen Coots, a pair of Mallards and a few Whistling Ducks have visited during the last couple of days, plus a few Hummingbirds.
After being absent for two or three years, Great Blues have built their nests on the S. shore of the Wilderness Cathedral. Toward dusk their squawks could be heard from over 1/2 mile away. I will try to get a nest count.
22 March 2006
Eagle Sanctuary - Lake Livingston
This morning, a little after 7 a.m. I heard an Eagle chirping. By the time I found my binoculars and got to the window, three crows had apparently heard the Eagle chirping and tormented it until it flew away.
My mother has been reporting sightings of 50 or more Great Egrets across from her house. There have also been a much larger number of Great Blue Herons. This morning at dawn Sue said that there were so many of them squawking that it sounded like a pack of dogs barking.
Screechie, the Screech Owl has been warbling all night for at least a week now. Yesterday evening he began his song well before sunset. The first night I heard him, I thought that someone's cell phone was ringing in the distance. When the ringing didn't stop I went outside around 3 a.m. and determined that Screechie was singing.
Right now at 9 a.m. there is not a bird in sight.
Yesterday evening, I saw around 30 or more Turkey Vultures circling their traditional roost that they use duriing Spring and Fall migration. I went to the Marina to get a better look and an Eagle was flying with them. The Vultures continued to their roost and the Eagle flew down to the shore of Firecracker Point and began to wade in the shallow water. It seemed to be having a good time because every once in awhile it would seem to skip and dance in the water. I watched it for about 5 minutes and then left it to its water ballet.
21 March 2006
At 7 a.m. I heard an Eagle chirping. I got out of bed and went over to
the window. A baby Eagle flew out from the Eagle Sanctuary and out over
the lake followed by an adult. The adult Eagle chased the baby away.
A few minutes later the baby flew back to the Sanctuary but I didn't see
the adult again.
Yesterday about 40 White Pelicans flew over Pelican Point.
25 February 2006
At this moment I am watching 12 Turkey Vultures eating dead Piggie #1 and picking at remnants of dead Piggie #2.
This is the first day that Turkey Vultures have visited the Piggies in any numbers. Heretofore, up to 40 Black Vultures were busy feasting.
Dead Piggie #1 appeared abandoned on the dining table for a couple of weeks and seemed hard as a rock. After two days of rain, he has softened up making him much easier to eat.
Yesterday, Garcia reported an adult Bald Eagle on the Parkway just before Long Leaf Ranch. It was the first one that he had ever seen.
Andrew's puppy and I were looking for Indian Rocks at Princess point earlier today. I heard an Eagle back in the woods and the puppy whimpered and would only walk between my legs.
24 January 2006 PLANTING PROGRESS REPORT
60 LL from tree #8
Planted in what appears to be a 20 X 20 meter section laid out by Jeff. Since we are also attempting to restore RCW habitat as well as LL, we planted at closer intervals than the silvicultural recommendation of Harry of 10 feet. I fear that if we fill in all the gaps where there is sunlight hitting the forest floor we will soon find ourselves in the same thicket of mid-story pines that we had before eliminating the overabundance of Loblollies. Thus, in the RCW areas my theory is that it is best to plant in clusters as one would find in nature and then let nature do the thinning over time. This leaves the type of open spacing that RCW seem to prefer throughout most of the area and at the same time allows for regeneration to make up for the loss of the old pines over time. In my opinion, this is how nature solved the problem and kept the RCW with a never ending supply of old pines for their colonies.
100 LL from tree #5
Planted in an opening to the E. of he Sewer Plant that was created by (1) me cutting hundreds of Loblollies, Sweetgums, and Yaupons (2) Rita knocking down a large canopy Red Oak. (3) this year's Prescribed burn. This is the place where Harry fell flat on his face in the wet ashes.
100 LL from tree #15
Planted in a portion of the relative open spaces found at the NE corner of WW Parkway and 980.
125 LL from tree number 12
Planted between the N. road leading the The Chapel of the Nativity and the N. property line.
235 LL from tree number 2
Planted in the open spaces at the SE corner of WW Parkway and 980 where I had mowed down hundreds of Loblollies and then burned this year.
Seedlings that had lost most of the soil surronding the roots were kept separate for random planting outside the "control" areas.
Some of the boxes of seedlings were very neatly packed and nearly 100% of the trees had the soil on their plugs intact. One box from tree #2 was very neatly packed. Some of the other boxes had the seedlings sort of thrown in haphazardly and in attempting to untangle the trees several lost some or all of their protective soil. These trees we planted using the old-fashioned "dibble".
The seedlings from tree #13 that has too many Loblolly genetic characteristics will be segregated geographically from the historic Longleaf area and planted in an 11 acre clearcut over a mile from the nearest native Longleafs.
December 23, 2005
Please visit our new web site ADOPTANEAGLE.ORG and help us if you can. It'll make God smile.
9 November 2005
Just before 8 a.m. a juvenile Bald Eagle flew out from the Eagle Sanctuary and had a good workout flying back and forth in front of my window not more than 50 feet away.
6 November 2005
I took the boat from Pelican Point to Aztec Island and back to check out the bird life. Numbers of birds are conservative estimates.
500 across from Emerald Point on a sand bar.
2,000 at the mouth of White Rock Creek swimming and feeding.
2,500 far shore of White Rock Bay resting.
1,000 in various small flocks and individually
TERNS & GULLS
500 large (Caspian), medium, and small Terns plus a few Gulls resting on a sand bar adjacent to the sand bar with the Pelicans across from Emerald Point.
500 mixed Terns and Gulls feeding adjacent to the Pelicans at the mouth of White Rock Creek.
EGRETS & HERONS
1,000 Great Egrets on the shores and perched on stobs exposed by the low water.
250 Great Blue Herons feeding alongside the Egrets
1 juvenile Bald Eagle at Goat Island
Nov 4, 2005
Today is Sue's 60th birthday, so to celebrate, we were sitting on the deck watching the world come to life as the sun rose. Nary a creature was stirring until suddenly an Eagle began to sing "Happy Birthday" to her in its own language.
The Eagle, a beautiful adult bird with piercing eyes was perched on one of its favorite trees just across the cove in the Eagle Sanctuary. We took the telescope out on the deck and were able to fill the entire field of view with the bird.
Below is a link to a recording that sound much like what we heard this morning. Click to the second call.
A little after 9 am. the Paramedic came to give me my insurance physical. I asked her if she had ever seen an Eagle and she had not. The big bird was still in its tree so she got to see her first Eagle. At that very moment a baby Eagle flew in front of the house and toward the Eagle Sanctuary. The big Eagle swooped out of its tree and attacked the poor baby. The baby flew off as fast as its wings could flap with the mean adult Eagle in hot pursuit.
Oct 31-Nov 2, 2005
BELTED KINGFISHERS: Very active and quite noisy the last few days.
BALD EAGLES: Not as many sightings as last week but a friend and I were at Princess Point one morning and I looked up and observed two adult Bald Eagles flying together. My friend, who has lived here for 25 years or more, exclaimed that he had never before seen one. Not a "Strange Convergence" as we hadn't been discussing Eagles before looking up to see one, but coincidental non the less.
ROSEATE SPOONBILLS: Four Spoonbills seen feeding on a mud flat in front of the River Otter Sanctuary. Incidentally, son Andrew observed seven River Otters playing near the pyramid.
GREAT BLUE HERONS: Four Deer were wading in the shallow water just beyond our bedroom window. They joined a Great Blue that was trying to fish. For quite some time the Blue tolerated the Deer stirring up the water around him, but eventually got disgusted and flew off to calmer fishing grounds.
TERNS: Just off Pelican Point, with plenty of fishing areas to go around, a big Caspian Tern began chasing and harrassing a Common Tern. The big bully had no justification to be so mean and greedy in my opinion. The Caspian reminded me of a typical bully Hummingbird.
Greed is not just a human trait.
PILEATED WOODPECKERS: After an unusually long period of silence the Pileateds have become raucus.
HAWKS: A rather large Hawk has taken up residence in the area of Pelican Point. I failed to identify him in the field but took numerous photos as he perched on the top of the flag pole. The bird is virtually tame.
PELICANS: During the weekend illegal vehicle traffic on the beach across from Hawg Heaven frightened the 1,000+ White Pelicans that had been using an adjacent sandbar for their daytime roost. Yesterday they came back and I can hear them feeding at various hours during the night. Sometimes they are only about 50 feet outside my window and make quite a racket driving fish toward shore with their huge wings.
30 October 2005
For some reason the lake was practically devoid of birds near the Eagle Sanctuary, save a few Vultures, a Great Blue Heron, Little Blue Heron, a few Cormorants and a Snowy Egret. Gone were the thousands of Pelicans, Cormorants, and large flocks of Vultures that had been parading in front of the house the last few days. I decided to take a walk along the shores of the Eagle Sanctuary. A small gathering of Turkey Vultures were hanging out on the beach and as I approached they flew into the air and began circling overhead. Soon they were joined by a juvenile Eagle. The Vultures soared onward but the Eagle seemed interested in me and where I was going. The curious bird followed me for at least 200 yards as I walked slowly down the beach. Almost everytime I looked up the Eagle would be soaring almost directly over my head. As I was walking rather slowly looking for Indian rocks, the big bird must have spent several minutes following me and hovering over me.
Eventually it flew down to Princess Point where it perched in a tree waiting for me to arrive on foot.
28 October 2005 Wilderness Cathedral
A lady who loves Waterwood because of the wildlife was being interviewed for an infomercial. She said that she had never seen an Eagle. At that moment a flock of Vultures began circling over the Wilderness Cathedral. I said, "sometimes Eagles fly with the Vultures" and suddenly at that very moment two adult Bald Eagles flew from the Cathedral and joined the Vultures. After the Vultures left they put on an acrobatic display which lasted several minutes.
A few weeks ago I was talking to my parent's next door neighbor about birds. He is 70 years old and said that he had never seen an Osprey. I told him to stay alert and he might see one. Within a minute an Osprey flew right overhead.
A couple of years ago I encountered a group of bird watchers on Doral near my parent's house. I told them that if they were lucky they might see an Eagle even though I hadn't seen one in some time. One of the couples said that they had never seen an Eagle. At that very moment I looked up and three Eagles were flying overhead. The bird watchers were sore amazed.
Now if we had a resident population of these birds these strange convergences might not seem so strange. For example, Ospreys had been missing from this part of the lake for many months. Sometimes months go by without a single Eagle spotting, much less two or three at a time, and then at the very moment that I was discussing those birds with elderly bird watchers who had never seen one in their entire lives, the Eagles present themselves in all their majestic glory. Waterwood seems to be a spiritual vortex for the apparition of "Strange Convergences"!!!
25 October 2005
Alligator Ranch -- Lake Livingston
Daughter Karen Lee called from England around 8 a.m. I was staring out our bedroom window while talking to her. Suddenly a beautiful adult Bald Eagle glided past about 40 feet from the window and directly over the American flag in the front yard.
Sometimes I could kick myself for not always having a video camera by my side.
Around 10 a.m. I was chatting with Eric Estrada (old Chips star) near Pelican Point when two Eagles flew out and frolicked together.
25 October 2005
Lake Livingston, Lake Conroe and NW Houston
We saw a Roadrunner in Montgomery County today. A few years ago there were several at Waterwood but I haven't seen any for some time. I haven't seen an Avocet for a few years but suspect there are more because of the exposed mud banks. There have been flocks of up to 40 tiny Sandpipers on the lake.
The huge gatherings of Pelicans have been breaking up into smaller flocks. I was awakened this morning around 5:30 am by 100+ fishing outside our bedroom window.
Yesterday evening at least 250 Turkey Vultures were circling before roosting near Waterwood Bay.
Today's big sighting was NW of Houston. A huge swarm of Hawks were spiraling on the updrafts at great heights and drifting at high speed SW toward Mexico. This was at 2:45 pm. Attempts to get an accurate count were futile, as they were almost up against the sun by the time I was able to retrieve my binoculars from the car, but I feel confident in stating that there were far more than 1,000. It was the biggest Hawk migration that I have seen for several years.
23 October 2005
Greater Wilderness Cathedral
PELICANS: The huge flocks of White Pelicans have sub-divided into smaller flocks of from 50 to 1,000 birds. Today the updrafts were great and many flocks were soaring to great altitudes of at least several thousand feet, apparently just for fun. About 1,000+ were chilling on the far shore across from the Alligator Ranch.
TURKEY VULTURES: The Turkey Vultures and a few Black Vultures were having a great time soaring about. There had been 70 or so on the power lines yesterday at the Cathdral and today flocks of up to 30 or so birds were hovering about the house and the Eagle Sanctuary. 6:18 pm 30+ Vultures are soaring just outside my window. The Eagle was not with them.
BALD EAGLES: At lunchtime a 3 yr. old Eagle flew over to a tree in the Sanctuary and hung out for quite awhile. Another junenile bird and an adult were also seen flying about with the Vultures at the same time. Later in the afternoon an adult and a juvenile were flying together. The young bird flew behind the adult and then appeared to attack it. (Bad Baby) The adult was calling out in a loud voice and for about five minutes I watched them circling the cove adjacent to the house. The video camera was in the car and I ran to get it but by the time I got back the two Eagles had departed.
OSPREYS: Ospresy were seen at the Cathedral and at Zwickey Creek. Ospreys, Vultures, and Eagles were all seen soaring around together both at the Eagle Sanctuary and at Zwickey Creek. One Osprey dove down to harass an Eagle.
ALERT: 6:12 pm The adult Bald Eagle just flew past my window and is now soaring with the vultures. I ran to the car and got the camera. The Eagle was up pretty high but I got some fairly good video.
GREAT EGRETS: At 6:00 pm 21 Great Egrets flew past my window. Greats are all around the lake.
GREAT BLUE HERONS: The Great Blues were also enjoying the beautiful weather and the updrafts and were seen soaring with the Eagles, Ospreys, and Turkey and Black Vultures this afternoon at the Cathedral.
CORMORANTS: The Cormorants were having fun just roosting on the power line towers as well as fishing in flocks of 100 birds or so.
ALERT: 6:25 pm The adult Eagle and the two babys are flying together above the Eagle Sanctuary along with a dozen or so Vultures.
SANDPIPERS: I have seen flocks of up to 20 tiny Sandpipers during the last few days. None today.
TERNS: A few Common Terns and Caspian Terns have been fishing today.
SNOWY EGRETS: The Snowy Egrets seem more numerous this year.
KINGFISHERS: Solitary Kingfishers have been sighted at various points along the shoreline including one that hangs out at Pelican Point and likes to fly under the boathouses.
DANGER ALERT: It is not wise to venture alone and unarmed around the lake, especially at this time. With the water down 4 feet "Pot Hunters" have access to miles of beaches. At about 5pm I was at Princess Point when two "Deliverance Movie" types walked up. They had been hunting for Indian rocks. I told them that it was illegal to take Indian rocks from a State Archaeological Landmark but they kept hunting anyway. One man reached down and picked up an arrowhead. I had already told him that anything that they found had to be turned over to me for safe keeping. After he handed it to me he wanted it back. He and his buddy were quite threatening in both appearance and disposition. I told them that I was leaving and walked toward the jeep. They followed me. I reached inside and grabbed my .380 and stood behind the door with it hidden behind the door. They kept coming toward me in a threatening manner and were definitely on our property at that point.
I pulled out the .380 and told them to get the hell away, popping off a round into the dirt for effect. They jumped back and started walking away but very slowly as they were still looking for Indian rocks. I popped off another round and told them to move faster which they did. I followed them in the jeep on our new road as they walked around the shore toward their boat which was just beyond Debbie Beach.
With my binoculars I made out the number on their boat: TX 5705 XE. I would like Steve to find out who the owner of the boat is and if that person has a criminal record. They certainly looked like ex-cons. In the future I will carry my weapon with me. I was lucky that they didn't assault me before I got to the Jeep and grabbed my gun.
6:50 pm. The Vultures have nearly all gone to roost but one of the Eagles is still soaring about in front of my window.
16 October 2005
3 Scissor-tailed Flycatchers perched on a wire on the N. side of the lake in Trinity County.
3:45 PM An adult Bald Eagle just flew over our house and over to the Eagle Sanctuary.
Several thousand White Pelicans were still roosting on a sand bank across from Emerald Point.
The Hummingbirds are all gone. I haven't seen any for several days now.
Great Egrets are in great abundance and Cormorants are numerous.
As I was typing this a pair of Ospreys suddenly flew out from the Eagle Sanctuary. One seemed to the chasing the other one. They took several turns in front of the house and then flew back to the Sanctuary.
10 October 2005
It was raining and an Osprey was out fishing in front of the house, then flew past my window.
Another thing that has occurred with the lowering of the lake is the exposure of thousands of stobs. The Great Egrets are especially fond of perching on the stobs while fishing. I counted 140+ Great Egrets while scanning the stobs within view from Pelican Point yesterday.
9 October 2005
We went first to The Wilderness Cathedral and an Osprey flew out of a nearby tree and circled us before flying on. As we headed up river a Bald Eagle flew past.
8 October 2005
7 October 2005
Alligator Ranch, Lake Livingston
Most of the Hummers have flown south for the Winter. There are perhaps a half dozen left from a peak of as many as 250.
Yesterday I startled a rather large raptor on the beach in front of the house. While I turned around to look for my binoculars the bird flew off. The glimpse I caught of it indicated the features of either a Marsh Hawk or Osprey.
This morning, while studying the pictures of Ospreys and Marsh Hawks in my Sibley Guide, Sue said, "Look, is that Mr. Blue or Eegie?" It was neither. It was an Osprey gliding right over the same beach that I had seen the raptor fly from yesterday which indicates to me that the large bird I saw must have been the same Osprey.
While I was writing these Bird Notes, flocks of Cormorants began flying over. Each flock consisted of around 100 birds or more and there were numerous waves of birds passing. I would guestimate somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 birds.
While I was watching the Cormorants an adult Bald Eagle flew toward me and about 300 feet out dove down and plucked up a fish which he carried over to a tree on the shores of the Eagle Sanctuary.
Overhead were several Turkey Vultures soaring about above the Eagle Sanctuary and flying with them was a second Bald Eagle.
A single White Pelican flew by as well.
September 23-October 2, 2005
18 September 2005
For the last few days the number of Hummingbirds has been increasing. As I am writing this post to "Bird Notes", a swarm of Hummingbirds is at our three feeders.
It is impossible to even guesstimate how many there are. There are up to 100 or more at or directly around the feeders at a time while others are resting in the nearby trees and others are flying back and forth from their rest perches to the feeders. I suspect that if it were possible to count them that there would be at least 250+.
The mean bird with the crest was thwarted by moving the feeder he was terrorizing away from his domain. My mother named him "Hitler".
We took a small feeder to my mother's house yesterday. Almost immediately two Hummers showed up and this morning my mother woke me up to refill the feeder as about 15 birds had already emptied it.
A friend dropped by and I told him to watch birds perch on my finger. He said, "No way". Within 15 seconds an adult male perched on my extended finger.
I was really worried about the Hummingbird population as there were very few birds last year.
12 September 2005
2 Anhingas soaring. Lots of Green Herons in addition to the usual numbers of Great Egrets and Great Blue Herons. Lots of Night Herons at dusk.
9 September 2005
The Hummingbirds have been increasing in number at our two feeders. This morning Sue noticed a strange and extremely aggressive hummer dominating one of the feeders. He would perch on the top of the feeder and defy any other bird to come close. About 25 or so hummers had to share the other feeder, which they did in relative peace.
The strange thing about his macho bird was that he had a top-notch much like Woody Woodpecker. I checked my "Sibley Guide" and the only hummer mentioned that had a raised crest was the Magnificent Hummingbird, but the bird did not appear "blackish overall".
I spent time in the morning and then again in the afternoon attempting to determine what kind of hummer this mean-spirited bird was and statistically, he must be a Ruby-throated, but I have never seen one with a pronounced crest and at one point I detected the color red in the crest just like Woody.
It would be very helpful if a hummingbird expert were to come and study the hummers at our feeders and especially the mean macho one with the erect crest.
16 August 2005
Pretty Princess Point
A Great Egret was followed by a Snowy Egret. The Snowy gained ground in the race and soon passed the Great. It was a very funny sight.
14 August 2005
Was exploring our proposed Canebrake Rattlesnake Sanctuary and flushed at least 6 Green Herons. Also present were Great Blues and Great Egrets and one Wood Duck.
13 August 2005
At Sunset Services, 7:30 pm, I looked up as two Ibises passed overhead. I was concentrating on the beaks rather than the coloration but I feel relatively confident that they were juvenile White-Faced Ibises.
They were flying almost directly from South to North.
17 July 2005
Steve Loy reported a Bald Eagle at Bad Boy Point. He was mowing our 11 acre pasture when the Eagle spotted a mouse, swooped to the ground, grabbed it and then flew off.
Around noon it started to rain very heavily and I heard a Mississippi Kite screeching near the Chapel of the Nativity. The bird was soon spotted on a branch at the top of a dead pine.
Bad Boy Point
San Jacinto County
14 July 2005
9 White Pelicans roosting at mouth of Palmetto Creek.
Hundreds of Purple Martins flying around point and over water.
10 July 2005
4:15 PM Eagle Sanctuary
Three Caspian Terns feeding just outside my window.
10 July 2005
San Jacinto County
At first I thought that the bird was a Great Blue Heron but it was extra small--more the size of the Great Egret that it was standing beside, but it didn't look like a Great Blue because it had patterns of whitish color.
When it flew there were much larger patches of white. At first I thought it must be a Tri-colored Heron, but when I consulted my Sibley guide, the picture of the Tri seemed different and the white patches larger.
Is it possible that I saw a hybrid between a Great Blue Heron and a Great Egret? Is there a Great Egret morph that has patches of gray-blue?
Princess Point, Lake Livingston, San Jacinto County
9 July 2005 5:00-5:15 pm
I watched a BROWN PELICAN diving for fish for about 15 minutes this afternoon. The bird was quite fearless and was fishing at relatively close range to me and even closer to a boatload of beer swillers who were making quite a bit of noise.
The bird would dive head first for a fish, then fly up about 50 feet and dive again every few seconds.
The Purple Martins were staging at Bad Boy Point in the evening before heading toward the Hwy 190 bridge over Lake Livingston.
21 May 2005
Holy Trinity Wilderness Cathedral 6:30 pm
A beautiful Osprey was perched in the top of an old oak overlooking "The Rock of Anointment". I feared that the bird would fly if I got too close but it seemed so tame that I allowed the boat to drift just offshore beneath the tree. Unfortunately I neither had binoculars or video camera.
After a few minutes the bird spied a fish and swooped down from the tree making too failed attempts to catch the fish and then flew around the little point and disappeared.
Just as we were about to begin the "Meditation Moment" during our sunset services around 7:25 pm, the Osprey returned to the same tree just a short distance away. Everyone grew so excited attempting to get a glimpse of the bird through the branches that it flew off.
Returning home by boat a Little Blue Heron flew past. The first I have seen this season. Several Night Herons flapping about in the dusk.
22 May 2005
Eagle Sanctuary 2 pm.
For the first time, Snowy Egrets outnumbered Great Egrets and Great Blue Herons on the shore across from my window.
3 Great Egret
1 Great Blue
Eagle Sanctuary 3 pm.
The tables have turned and now the Snowys are outnumbered again.
There are at least three places where Red-headed Woodpeckers may be observed at this time.
The Country Club
Along the Golf Course
At the Chapel of the Nativity
There are just a few White Pelicans left at the mouth of Palmetto Creek
Two Eagles were hanging out at the Pyramid last week. The Osprey doesn't like the Eagles very much and so may have chased them off.
One lonely Gull today at Pelican Point along with a few very pretty and tameWhistling Ducks.
The Barn Swallows and the Purple Martins at Pelican Point seem to get along very well together. One mud Barn Swallow nest was so full of babies that I couldn't count them all. The Martins hate the Crows and are very mean to them. Strange how a Martin can chase off a crow that can chase off an Eagle.
9 May 2005
About 30 Common Nighthawks feeding over the Waterwood Firestation at dusk.
8 May 2005
A beautiful male Baltimore Oriole flitted around between two trees in front of my window for some time this morning, giving me the best look I have ever had of one of these birds. It was the second Oriole I have seen this season.
Several Hummingbirds are enjoying the feeder.
Great Egrets are still lining the shore from time to time during the day.
The prettiest male Prothronotary Warbler I have ever had a chance to admire up close, hung out in a bush just outside my window last week.
Several species of Flycatchers have been moving through including Scissor-tailed.
The Red-headed Woodpecker is spending more time in his favorite cavity. The other day, I stopped the car at his snag and did not see him to told him to stick his head out of his hole, which he promptly did.
There are still numerous Terns on lake as well as Turkey Vultures.
A few Black-bellied Whistling Ducks have been hanging out at my Pelican Point.
The woods are full of various Warblers and the like but they are high in the trees and I am too ignorant to be able to identify them from their various twitterings.
I hear numerous Summer Tanagers in the trees but haven't seen one yet.
7 May 2005
From my porch I watched a mating season comedy. A Great Blue Heron and a Great Egret, both males in full courtship plumage were standing on the same log not 18 inches apart. No females were anywhere nearby yet both "boys" preened and seemed to compete with each other as to which was the grandest bird of all. After a few minutes preening one or the other would look cockily at the other in the most humerous show of macho madness I have seen in a long time. I laughed so loud that it scared the Great Egret away. Mr. Blue stood alone and defiant.
There have been up to five Mississippi Kites flying around the area in a group. It seems as if either the local population is growing or Kites are coming through during migration.
Alligator Ranch 27 April 2005
48 Great Egrets on shore and roosting in trees along shore of Eagle Sanctuary.
April 25, 2005
Waterwood Parkway 7PM
A juvenile Eagle flew W. on the Parkway toward the Chapel of the Nativity just above the tree tops. Several crows called out as the Eagle passed by but did not chase it.
April 26, 2005
A great deal of bird activity along the shore of the Eagle Sanctuary this morning including:
1 White Pelican
27 Great Egrets
3 Snowy Egrets
6+ Great Blue Herons
2+ Turkey Vultures
25+ Terns (small and medium sized)
April 25, 2005
14 April 2005
11 April 2005
8PM Bad Boy Point at mouth of Palmetto Creek
5 April 2005
This morning I went out to take down the old tattered American flag in front of the Alligator Ranch house and replace it with a new one. Just as I lowered the old flag, an Eagle flew out of the Eagle Sanctuary and down the shoreline across from the flagpole as if to check on the raising of the new flag.
30 March 2005
The Whip-Poor-Will awakened me at around 5 am and sang for around 20 minutes. The other night, when the bird was singing there was a pause between verses. This morning the bird sang verse after verse in rapid succession.
29 March 2005
At around 8:20 pm I drove up La Jolla to our driveway and parked in the street. I had a strange premonition that Screechie the Screech Owl was somewhere about althouth I hadn't seen him for many weeks. A few seconds later I heard a Screech Owl off in the far distance beyond the house.
I walked up the drive and looked up at the basketball goal. There was Screechie perched on the hoop looking down at me. I talked to him but he didn't reply--just sat there staring at me so I went into the house hoping that Screechie would find a juicy little mouse for supper.
27 March 2005
Holy Trinity Wilderness Cathedral - Easter Sunrise Service Avian Attendees
Great Blue Herons
11 PM 25 March 2005
Whip-Poor-Will calling from the Eagle Sanctuary. First I have every heard out here. Chuck-Will's-Widows far more common.
February 11, 2005
9 AM Eagle Sanctuary - Lake Livingston
George H. Russell
December 4, 2004
Kenneth L. Russell
November 24, 2004
We awoke this morning to one of those sights of nature that people travel thousands of miles to see and are frequently disappointed At day break the sky was blue with not a cloud in the sky. Soon the clouds started drifting in as a few white pelicans started arriving, presumable to spend the day sleeping as they have several mornings this past week.
Kenneth L. Russell
November 23, 2004
The Dance of the Pelicans
We experienced a wondrous sight this morning from 6:30 till around 9.
Marjorie H. Russell
November 20, 2004
An immature Bald Eagle flew past my window around noon. A lone Crow was chasing it, scolding. The bird flew over to the Eagle Sanctuary where it perched midway down the crown of a Sweetgum tree with bright red leaves. The Crow could not rouse the other resident Crows so, finding no fun in harassing the Eagle, flew away, allowing the Eagle to enjoy its view of the lake from its perch.
November 14, 2004
10:30 A.M. 50+ Black Vultures and a few Turkey Vultures feeding on a deer carcass and hanging out in trees nearby.
November 12, 2004
About 1 P.M. I looked out my window and saw a raft of at least 1,000 Cormorants on the lake. Flying, diving and swimming along with them were the first Gulls that I have noticed this season. The Cormorants were quite sedate as they floated along, but the Gulls, of which I counted 24 individuals, were extremely active.
November 10, 2004
A family of Red-headed Woodpeckers were quite active at The Chapel of The Nativity this morning around 9 A.M. A dead pine is their favorite gathering place. The Red-heads have inhabited this spot and fledged young for the past several years. The only other Red-heads that I have regularly encountered have been active on our properties adjacent to the Country Club.
November 8, 2004
We were driving north toward our bank when we spotted a flock of hawks spiraling at a rather high altitude on updrafts. When the hawks underside was showing they appeared in the bright sunlight to be bright white, when their top sides were showing they appeared to be very dark. I did not have my binoculars with me so we rushed home to get them for a better look. By the time we got the binoculars and returned to where the hawks had been spiraling upward they had disappeared over the horizon to the right of I-45, apparently heading for the Texas coast. I "guestimate" their number to have been around 100 birds.
November 7, 2004
While writing this I have been watching 36 White Pelicans soaring over the Eagle Sanctuary, a Great Blue Heron with outstretched wings soaking in some sunshine, several Great Egrets flying to and fro, a few Cormorants and Terns flying about, a Belted Kingfisher resting in a tree, a Pileated Woodpecker calling, one Turkey Vulture soaring and about 200+ Pelicans resting on the far shore of the lake.
November 6, 2004
I need to revise my estimation of Pelicans in my last report. It was misty the morning that I was scanning the far shore of the lake which is from a mile to 1.5 miles or so from my window.
November 6, 2004
I had just emerged from the Ethician Family Cemetery were I checked on our latest burial and started to drive toward Waterwood Parkway when I saw a flock of raucous crows chasing what appeared to be a juvenile Bald Eagle from the grounds of the Chapel of the Nativity across FM 980 and down the Parkway toward the Country Club.
November 4, 2004
The cold snap brought in around 1,000 White Pelicans that are resting across the lake from our house.
October 9, 2004
5 Bald Eagles
September 8, 2004
No Pelicans were seen on the far shore. Around 9 a.m. a lone Pelican landed in front of our house and then took off again and joined a second Pelican. They both appeared confused as they kept flying in circles as if trying to find their friends and then disappeared from sight.
September 5, 2004
I took the boat out to attempt to get close enough to the Pelicans to get an accurate count with binoculars at about 4 P.M. As I was heading toward the Pelican's resting place two jet skis out of Haawg Heaven began to harass the Pelicans. The poor birds would rise and fly in a circle as the jet skis ran toward or right past them then they would land again to attempt to rest. The jet skis returned to harrass the birds and force them to fly two more times until the poor things finally flew away toward the bridge at Hwy 190.
September 4, 2004
About two dozen Hummingbirds have been consuming a large feeder full of sugar water a day.
August 8, 2004
White Pelican Report
This morning when I first opened my eyes I saw out the window beautiful rose colored sky, so I quickly put on my robe and shoes and went out to enjoy the sunrise. It was chilly for August and I was glad I had grabbed a warm robe. I took my seat down on the pier by the point and lo and behold I saw a row of birds that had the formation of white pelicans on the water. As this is August, I could hardly believe my eyes, but sure enough they were white pelicans. Not only that, but there were two other rows of them, about 22 in the closest row, over ten in the second and five on behind. I sat in awe and watched them with the brilliant colors of sunrise adding to the glory of the scene. After about ten minutes I decided to go get Kenneth so we could share the excitement. As I started toward the house a boat came by and the birds moved much closer to the opposite shore. By the time Kenneth came out and we settled on the bridge it was necessary for him to use the binoculars to be sure they were pelicans. They were!!! We have never seen white pelicans in the summer. George was surprised to see two of them a coupe of days ago. Bad things have been happening to them farther north making me wonder if they are changing their pattern. No matter what has caused the phenomena I am at least grateful for being privileged to see the 35 or so gorgeous creatures this morning. It pays to get up for the sunrise.
Marjorie H. Russell
August 8, 2004
July 25, 2004
July 23, 2004
This morning there were four big eight point bucks grazing in front of the house. No does. I guess that is what you call a stag party.
Last night at near sunset we took a boat ride to the bridge where the purple martins congregate this time of year before they start south for the winter. On the way, hundreds of terns were diving for the little fish. There were also many of the big egrets.
As the sun was setting there were a few martins in the air, then gradually more and more. As it got darker, great clouds of martins began circling high over our heads, then lower, and lower over the bridge. I now know why they installed a high fence on both sides of the bridge for about a third of a mile. Cars were killing them so it easy to see why the fence was necessary as they flew in circles closer and closer to the bridge.
It was almost dark before they started finding a spot on the girders under the bridge. There are five beams with an edge on both sides that provides a place for the birds to roost.
As they flew in to roost they were only a few feet above our heads. Gradually each side of the girders seemed to be a solid mass of birds. Since there is at least two miles of perches we estimated that there were between 60 and a 100 thousand birds.
Yesterday morning I looked out at the bird feeder and two baby raccoons were having fun climbing up and down the tree, sitting on the porch railing and having a good time. One raccoon has learned to hold the trip door open so he can get at the bird seed. Night before last, while eating supper on the porch, a mamma raccoon and a baby came up to Marjories chair. This one has gotten very tame, much too much so for Marjorie. They can get to be a horrible nuisance and very destructive if they get in the house. We had to give up feeding them on the porch as they tore up two screen doors trying to get in the house.
A few evenings ago I had forgotten to close the garage door. Andrew went out to get something and there was a mamma raccoon with five babies feasting on the dog food.
Another day a woods rat with her two babies were swinging on the bird feeder trying get the seeds out of the feeder. These little rats are smaller than an ordinary rat and about three times bigger than a mouse. Their tail is twice as long as their body. Marjorie doesnt like them that close to the house.
We have not seen the skunk or the otter lately. Poachers have just about captured all of our alligators. We saw a big one near the pyramid area about three weeks ago. The five babies that George could actually pick up out of the water have all disappeared.
The fox comes by occasionally. The possum cleans the food dish about as well as a the dishwasher. He eats everything the other animals dont like.
We have some armadillos near the pyramid but none close to the house.
The huge water moccasin that frequently slept in a tree at the end of the Wilderness Cathedral peninsula has not been seen for several months.
Kenneth and Marjorie Russell
May 8, 2004
Mother's Day brought beautiful weather and several Snowy Egrets that joined the Great Egrets at Pelican Point. One might believe that the Snowies were the children of the Greats. All of the Egrets and Herons are in full breeding plumage and acting like teenagers in love. A Red-headed Woodpecker, the first of this Spring was observed examining a dead tree today.
May 3, 2004
I was even more surprised when perhaps as many as 300 Pelicans in associated flocks flew past just above water level and then circled, rising ever higher and higher into the sky until they were too small to see, even with binoculars. Does anyone know how high they can fly? They must have been well over a mile high.
May 1, 2004
A Summer Tanager joined us during our Sunset Services and perched on a branch just in front of us and sang a song.
April 26, 2004
I was even more surprised when over 100 Pelicans flew overhead.
April 25, 2004
I thought that all of the Pelicans must have gone north as I hadn't seen any since the Easter Sunrise Service so was quite happily surprised to see two White Pelicans soaring past on their way north.
April 12, 2004
I saw some strangers with binoculars at the intersection of Bay Hill and Doral. I stopped to talk and I told them that the Eagles liked to perch in an ancient pine at the top of the Bay Hill loop. The bird watchers, with one exception, had never seen an Eagle and were quite excited at the prospect of perhaps seeing one. I just happened to look up and circling right over our heads was the baby Eagle followed by both parents. Needless to say the bird watchers were sore amazed. One even went house shopping in Waterwood the next day because the bird watching was so good.
April 11, 2004
February 22, 2004
MUTE SWANS: Closer observation of the Swans this afternoon revealed that they are Mute Swans.
February 20, 2004
I received a call from a friend who owns a small lake a few miles north of Huntsville. He reported that a pair of Swans had arrived a couple of weeks ago and that they were joined by six additional Swans on Valentine's Day when they began mating rituals that were consumated. He believes that one or more pair are building nests in the reeds lining the lake.
February 3, 2004
January 9, 2004
December 23, 2003
December 11, 2003
December 9, 2003
December 7, 2003
Great Spirit Wilderness
December 4, 2003
November 12, 2003
Pelican Point 2 P.M.
November 3, 2003
November 2, 2003
November 2, 2003
For the past 10 minutes or so a continuous stream of Cormorants has flown past my window almost skimming the water. A conservative guesstimate would be 5000+ birds.
November 2, 2003
I am witnessing an amazing sight as 1000+ Cormorants tightly packed in a raft led by three Pelicans is feeding less than 200 feet from where I am sitting. Hovering above the Cormorants are 50 or so Gulls with one Great Egret circling about and one Great Blue Heron investigating the goings on. About a dozen Caspian Terns are doing their own thing nearby while about a dozen smaller Terns are mingling with the hovering Gulls. 100+ Pelicans, meanwhile, are ignoring the activity, as they doze and preen on the opposite shore of the lake. Meanwhile one Hummer is at the feeder.
October 31, 2003
Yesterday evening I saw bright flashes of sunlight coming from serious splashing in the lake about 100 yards offshore. Inspection with binoculars revealed dozens of Cormorants scaring fish by splashing vigorously with their wings, much like Pelicans do, except that the Cormorants were scattered while the Pelicans beat the water with their wings to drive the fish, as a team.
October 26, 2003
1-1:30 pm Pelican Point-Lake Livingston
October 20, 2003
Yesterday I was walking on the cemetery easement and spied a huge old pine. I saw pine sap on the bark high up under an old dead limb. There appeared to be a cavity as well so went back for my binoculars. There was indeed a cavity under the limb that appeared to be just the right size for an rcw. The tree is in the right-of-way of the proposed power line and would be destroyed. It is very near the other cavity tree. There are many old pines with red-heart and I discovered numerous Longleafs on the new easement that I had never seen before. Even if the colony is determined to be inactive, I believe that the rcw habitat in the general area is good enough to support the re-introduction of the bird.
October 18, 2003
CEDAR POINT, TEXAS
22 Brown Pelicans and 2 White Pelicans perched amongst thousands of Gulls on an old pier just offshore in Galveston Bay.
October 16, 2003
October 15, 2003
Today, I discovered what appears to be a Red-cockaded Woodpecker cavity tree on our new Green Cemetery Conservation Easement. Here are a few photos that I took of the tree and the cavities, one of which appears to have been enlarged by a Pileated Woodpecker.
If you would like to see the photo collection of the woodpecker tree, please click the blue text.
October 14, 2003
2 Adult Bald Eagles cavorting between Pelican Point and the Cathedral.
October 10, 2003
October 8, 2003
October 7, 2003
October 6, 2003
10 minute watch in front of house 8:45-8:55 a.m.
October 5, 2003
Late AfternoonHoly Trinity Wilderness Cathedral
September 20, 2003
At around 7:30 pm I was heading to my mothers house by boat from Zwickey Creek. Floating over the Trinity River channel of Lake Livingston was a huge raft of Pelicans, perhaps &Mac185; mile long. They were tightly packed. When I got close enough for binocular exam but not too close to frighten them I was able to conservatively estimate between 1,500 and 2,000 birds. More flocks were flying in to join the raft and on the northeast horizon were other flocks of up to several hundred Pelicans. This seems very strange to me as the weather is quite warm and normally the Pelicans arrive with a genuine cool or cold front.
September 19, 2003
August 27, 2003
This evening at around six pm I went by boat to the Zwickey Creek area to work on trails. The Caspian? or Royal Tern? was still hanging out at my parent's house. Dozens of tiny Sandpipers (Least?) were flying about near the shoreline. Hundreds of small Terns were also feeding by splashing loudly into the water.
April 6, 2003
George and Andrew Russell and Eric Keith were looking for Spider Lillies in our flat woods, that we call Frog Joy Woods, when we spotted an Indigo Bunting chasing a Cardinal with the same ferocity that a Crow chases and Eagle. The Bunting turned back toward his territory after making sure that the Cardinal was at least 100 feet away.
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