At the water’s edge, take 3

(This trip took place on October 30, 2011)

This should positively end my travel for the year, which is pretty modest to begin with (no foreign travels, and even domestic ones are all very short). Interestingly, though, with my previous brief sojourns on the Atlantic Coast and Pacific Coast, I did round up all our coasts.

This time it is America’s third coast — the Gulf Coast, and the location is Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge, south of Houston, Texas.

Unfortunately for me, even this planned-to-be-brief visit had to be cut short because as I found out as soon as I arrived at the refuge that the most abundant wildlife is … argh … mosquitoes! They are numerous, persistent and vicious; as soon as I got out of the car I was covered with them. Even after I got back into my car, I had to try to kill the few that got in. When I stopped at any place, soon a mist of mosquitoes would envelop my vehicle.

The saving grace was that a loggerhead shrike, a flock of savannah sparrows, quite a few eastern meadowlarks and one killdeer greeted me just around the Discovery Center. I “bravely” got out for a short while and snapped a few pictures (getting a few mosquito bites during the process), the following are a couple showing a meadowlark and the killdeer.

Eastern Meadowlark

Killdeer

I did take a self-guided auto trail. Because of the record drought in Texas, many places in the marshes are bone-dry, a rather ghastly sight to behold.

Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge

Nevertheless, there were many birds, many of which I could not identify — which is really a shame, as my usual tactic is to “take pictures first, identify later”, and the vicious mosquitoes kept me in the car all the time.

But the day was not all lost yet … I decided to go to my usual stomping ground, Brazos Bend State Park, hoping the mosquitoes would be less numerous there (to be continued …).

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4 Responses to At the water’s edge, take 3

  1. free7one says:

    Great photos! I love to watch and listen to the birds in my forest and try to identify them. So far I know the robin, the steller’s jay, the black-capped chickadee, the crow, the barred owl, the song sparrow, the finch, and the red-tailed hawk. I would love to learn more. Nature is the healer of all.

  2. Pingback: Brazos Bend | Random thoughts from a traveler at home

  3. Greg says:

    Brazoria can really be a fantastic birding location but as you found the mosquitoes on the coast can be brutal. From what you have written it sounds like you might have tried the nature trail near the discovery center. I think that trail has the worst mosquitoes I have ever experienced anywhere in the world.

    Greg

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