Birding in the Fog

Admittedly, I was excited to go to Galveston Island, because I had the thought that a lot of the migratory birds would still be hanging around and I could see them. I didn’t count on it being a rather dismal day for photography, in which everything around was the same shade of brownish gray.

We certainly couldn’t see anything from our hotel room other than exotic Beach Pigeons (same as any other pigeon). The birds were probably all frightened away by the belching pseudo-volcano at the Rainforest Cafe that was the primary view from our balcony (we could also see the Gulf, when the fog lifted slightly).

Here I am pretending that the Rainforest cafe is 1) open or 2) fun.

Once we were awake (-ish, since the hotel didn’t have any reasonable coffee), we took a walk on the beach. This proved to us that it doesn’t have to be a warm and sunny day to enjoy the shore.

Look how well these birds blend in with the rocks and surf.

At first we didn’t see anything other than gulls, pigeons, and grackles, but once we walked down the jetty, we adjusted our eyes, and boom! There were some beautiful little ruddy turnstones busily picking at the moss and seaweed growing on the granite (from Marble Falls!). They were very industrious and blended amazingly well among the blocks. You really only noticed them when they moved.

Evrybody’s head is all tucked. Nap time?

We kept walking down the jetty until Lee stopped me and said, “Look!” Sure enough, there was a flock of what appear to me to be sanderlings, huddling together to stay warm, or something. They were at least a little easier to spot. They let us get nice and close, so I could get a good photo.

We also saw a willet, I think. It didn’t get close enough to get a good photo, but it looks very much like the ones who have visited our pond at the Hermits’ Rest. Since a godwit has a pinker bill, I think I am right.

Herring and laughing gulls. No, this photo is not in black and white. The earth was that color.

Of course there were herring gulls and laughing gulls. I always think they are smaller than they really are. Many pelicans flew by, but they didn’t show up at all in the camera, since they were the same color as the brownish waves. Not bad, anyway!

Galveston Island State Park

Hello, great egret!

We decided to use the rest of our limited time in Galveston to concentrate on my naturalist urges, which were to go find some un-touristy wetlands and locate some sandhill cranes or roseate spoonbills. Lee was kind enough to drive me off to the Galveston Island State Park, where we were theoretically likely to see some more shore birds.

I loved the scenery along the marshland, so even though the cranes were so far away they were only dots, and I didn’t see spoonbills until we were leaving town, I was satisfied.

You are disturbing my peace, Sue Ann.

I was looking at the kayak launch area when I heard a noise, and there was a rail, probably a king rail, coming out of the rushes. It let me take its photo before totally disappearing back in among the plants.

This is where the spoonbills weren’t, though they usually are there.

At the end of my exploration, I slogged my waterproof shoes through a very muddy trail to an observation deck. There my binoculars revealed an osprey, a cormorant drying its wings, a grebe, a very small hawk, mockingbirds, many song sparrows and savannah sparrows, and the second of two huge and glorious great blue herons we saw. Wow, those herons were amazing. I keep wondering if they were something else, since they had black on their wings, but they certainly weren’t sandhill cranes.

I look forward to coming back here on another winter’s day to see who’s around. It was very peaceful. The only other person we talked to was a fisherman who showed us his catch. The pompano were beautiful, and the whitefish were small but shiny. Some lucky Boy Scouts get to eat those!

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


All Things Crochet!

Crissi McDonald

Heartline Horse Training

sara annon

seeking the middle path

Tonya's Tall Tales

My life with horses, bunnies, chickens, ducks, and cows.

rfljenksy - Practicing Simplicity

Legendary Whining and Dining World Tour.

The Backyard Horse Blog

All about keeping horses at home

Hazel's Animal Adventures

My life on the ranch.

Katie Zapfel

Children's book author. Mom blogger.

365 Knit Socks

I knit a lot of socks and I make a few other things

Coach, author and educator

The daily addict

The daily life of an addict in recovery

Just Vee

A regular gal who likes to stop and smell the flowers.

Happy Heidi's Happenings

My life in the country.


A family of dog lovers, owners & breeders since 2015

The Adventures of a Mountain Coward

panic-stricken mountain adventuring!

Something Over Tea

Scribbles from my notebook

The Renegade Press

Tales from the mouth of a wolf

Heccateisis's Blog

Just another weblog

The Upstate Gardener

The Upstate Gardening blog with Gardening Information, Recipies, Home Improvement Ideas, and Crafts Projects to make your life more beautiful and healthy.

Read, Learn, Live

Look closely around and about you, and you will see all forms of beauty.

Nature And Photography

Bring Nature Into Life


no streetlights, just star light

Words and Stitches

woolgathering at its best

The Grief Reality

Normalising the conversation about Grief.

Art Studio Dumfriesshire

The Creative Pixie

eat up some crafty goodness with this creative mama

Writings of a Furious Woman

My thoughts, sentiments, and scribbles on womanhood

Paws Bark

Dogs Leave Paw Print in your Heart

Yeshua's Child Art

Art that Expresses the Heart

Chicken Coop Plans

Build Your Chicken a Home

Leaf And Twig

Where observation and imagination meet nature in poetry.

Hidemi’s Rambling by Hidemi Woods

Singer, Songwriter and Author from Kyoto, Japan.

Cathartic Tendencies

motivational posts, rants, and stories!

Featuring Fine Arts & Crafts created and sold by Texans

Seasons As My Teacher

Truth Written In The Wind


Aging & Attitude

The Tragedy Kween

A boisterous introvert illustrating her way through life.

%d bloggers like this: