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.