Missing the morning jaunt around Houston Audubon's Boy Scout Woods in the migration Mecca of High Island would have been fine, if I had not received news from Luke Seitz, volunteering for Houston Audubon that the sweet Swainson's Warbler was still "shivering" back there, as only a Swainson's can. It managed to elude me today, (in an all too brief search) but please many others. My first real birding of the day was down on the shore, where Rollover Pass was a little light on birds due to a heavy contingent of fisherman, and a high tide scuppering our chances for some of the shorebirds we seeked. However, terns were out in force, and included Common, Forster's, Royal, Caspian, Sandwich Tern, and even a single Black Tern doing a bad job of hiding among the Least Terns actively feeding there. Along with Black Skimmer and a Gull-billed Tern or two hawking behind Houston Audubon Bolivar Flats we completed the nonet of nine regular tern species on the Upper Texas Coast.
Best was to come from Bolivar Flats though when some "pirates" were spotted in the sky: a couple of Magnificent Frigatebirds hanging in the light breeze, and never once showing signs of flapping, as they searched for any unsuspecting victims (i.e. terns and gulls etc.) to rob in the area. Down at ground level a group of 8 Red Knot, including a bricky bird, were noted along with a chodesque Piping Plover or two too. A single, bold, Long-billed Curlew and Marbled Godwits brought up the rear.
Back in the coastal woods in the afternoon, the Live Oaks were, well, not too lively save for a trio of male Scarlet Tanagers and Summer Tanagers, a lonely Yellow-throated Warbler, and a single Northern Parula. However, a grandstand finish was provided during a short visit to the photo blind in Houston Audubon's Boy Scout Woods, where a Worm-eating Warbler followed hot on the heels of a Wood Thrush and at least two Kentucky Warblers determined to bathe after their arduous Gulf crossing.
More from High Island to come, very, very soon...