This past weekend, we went on a long-awaited trip to the upper Texas coast to see some migrating birds. The songbirds weren't as diverse as expected, but its hard to complain when we were constantly seeing Scarlet Tanagers, Summer Tanagers, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Blue Grosbeaks, Baltimore Orioles, and Orchard Orioles. We also saw really neat looks at Roseate Spoonbills, Purple Gallinules, and even a secretive Least Bittern. Unfortunately, I don't have the right camera to capture those beauties. But here are some consolation prizes.
We got up early and were rewarded with a beautiful sunrise on our way to the coast.
We saw a number of cool serpents, but my favorite was probably this Western Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma). It put on a nice show for us, including flattening itself and showing the strikingly white mouth for which it gets its name.
We went night driving for more snakes, but didn't see any. However, we did see my first wild Green Treefrogs (Hyla cinerea)...
...and this neat little fiddler crab (Uca spp.).
These are the first American Avocets (Recurvirostra americana) I have seen in breeding plumage (some are still in molt). Also in photo: Reddish Egret (Egretta rufescens), Brown Pelican (Pelacanus occidentalis), American White Pelican (Pelecanus eyrthrorhynchos), and Willet (Catoptrophorus semipalmatus).