Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge: Winter Birds

Crested Caracara
Yellow Crowned Night Heron
Roseatte Spoonbill
Tricolored Heron
Blue Winged Teal
Savannah Sparrow (?)
Marsh Wren
Red Tailed Hawk
A Peaceful Stretch
Not a Bird
Glossy Ibis
Northern Shoveler
American Coot
Eastern Phoebe
Mystery Bird – Orange Crowned Warbler?
Not a Bird. It’s Anahuac, after all!
Pied Billed Grebe
Shovelers….doing what ducks do
Coot, Scaup, Gallinule
Tons of Ibis, Cormorants, and various duck types


We spent the afternoon yesterday exploring a small part of Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge and the Trinity River area.  The daily total was 29 species seen, for a total of 49 for the year so far, not a bad start towards my goal of 200 species for the year.

I did not see the rails I came here to find, but we did have a rare treat while walking along the Willow Trail:  a bald eagle was spotted overhead, and then we spied another eagle sitting at the top of a nearby tree.  It was huge, much bigger than we would have expected a Bald Eagle to be.  It was brown and white streaked, even on the head, not solid brown on top like a juvenile Baldie.  We suspected what we saw was a Golden Eagle, which has been reported over there in that area (although maybe not in January?).  It would have been awesome to have a picture to show for that, but Jason did not bring the camera while we were walking around (what? why?).  Now that I am thinking about it, though, perhaps it was a big red tailed hawk?

We drove around Shoveler Pond (2.5 miles), and it ended up being a slow drive because these two ladies in a pickup in front of us kept stopping to look at the birds with their binoculars.  I get it…that is what we were all doing….but they did not have continuous forward movement and did not use pull outs to move aside for faster traffic.  There was a LOT of stopping and no way around them.

I was feeling some anxiety because my older kids were at home and had some issue with the oven while trying to bake a pizza for lunch – turns out they child-locked it, I did not even know that was a thing – and also wanted to get home to make use of some Sebastian nap time to get things done.  Also, after a bit, it was the same birds over and over again.  Look, more coots, more herons, more egrets…okay nothing to see here, time to move on.  I don’t know what is the proper etiquette for this kind of thing, but I felt like giving those slow ladies a piece of my mind.  At the very end, they finally pulled to the side at one of the pull outs, and then gave us a dirty look while we passed.  I gave it right back!  Thought about adding a hand gesture, too.  I don’t know what that says about me.

I have this idea of exploring all the wildlife refuges within driving distance of Houston this year, and this was a nice start, despite those ladies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *