I haven't been there this year until the summer and then several visits this fall. I am happy to see that they have recovered from the effects of Hurricane Ike in 2008 and the devastating droughts of the last 2 years.
The Fulvous Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna bicolor) is often seen there is large numbers, when it is uncommon elsewhere on the upper Texas coast. It is identified by the rusty color, dark back and white flank stripes and rump. The sexes are similar.
An identification problem that I often have is with the juvenile night-herons. There are normally a lot of Yellow-crowned at Anahuac, but seldom do I see a Black-crowned. On a visit on 8-11-13, I found both. They are easy to tell apart if flying or standing completely in the open. But if they are in weeds or grass, so that you cannot see the leg length, it is more difficult.
The Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) has extensive yellow on the bill and large white spots on the wings.
|Black-crowned Night-Heron - juvenile|
Here is the facial detail showing the yellow on the beak.
|Black-crowned Night-Heron - juvenile detail|
|Yellow-crowned Night-Heron - juvenile|
Here is a first summer Yellow-crowned. It is grayish, but the white facial stripe is starting to appear.
|Yellow-crowned Night-Heron - 1st summer|
At the old destroyed visitor center, many swallows nest. There are 2 species, barn and cliff and although they both build mud nests, the nest differences are readily apparent. The barn swallows have a typical nest with the opening on top. the cliff swallows build a gourd like nest with the opening on the side. Here is a Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) nest with 2 babies at the opening.
|Cliff Swallows in nest|
|European Starling - juvenile molting|
Happy birding and photography,
David McDonald firstname.lastname@example.org
photos copyright 2013 David McDonald
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