Coastal Birds and Birders


[waves] [music] – CLIFF: Here we go Bolivar
Flats Shorebird Sanctuary, big group of birds over here
let’s go check em out! [camera clicks] Oh look at that flying in! Boom, cool! And if you watch that dark
morphed Reddish Egret, he’s just running around, looks
like he is going to fall over at times, kind of fun to watch! We are at Bolivar Flats
Shorebird Sanctuary on Bolivar Peninsula in Galveston
County and this is a Mecca for birds, for water birds,
for shorebirds that use the Texas coast. [Black Skimmer squawks] – Does everybody see
the skimmer, going right down that
very first wave? You can always go down to the
beach and see anywhere from 15 to 30 species of birds, no
matter whether it’s in the spring or the
hot summer time. [music] And most of the time they’ll be
just like we are seeing here, they’ll be in little clumps. – CLIFF: There are birds here
for many reasons, for foraging for roosting and some are
even here for nesting. This time of year we have
least terns and Willetts. – BIRDER: Did you see that least
tern went back to the nest? – CLIFF: Oh good, good, good,
yes excellent! You can see that it is pretty
small, but notice the white forehead and the yellow bill,
he is the only tern that is going to have that very
sharp small yellow bill with that white forehead. The nesting birds here are very
sensitive, and what we recommend is that you fish, swim,
and play at 50 yards away. Keep your distance, let
the birds have some space! [Rookery calls] Look in the scope there, there’s
a baby great egret, you have to look through some wispy limbs. – Oh yeah! – CLIFF: He’s really pretty! – BIRDER: That’s pretty cool! Hah! – CLIFF: The rookery here in
High Island is unique because it allows bird watchers
to get really close. [Roseate Spoonbill calls] [feet crunching leaves] – CLIFF: Trails are carved
for easy walking. There’s platforms and viewing
decks that make it really easy to set up your camera or scope. [camera clicks] [bird ruffles feathers] This here is the Great Egret,
notice the showy plumes on the back, they are very
fluffy plumes that are used for display. Yeah it’s funny to see these
spoonbills with their big clumsy spoonbills bringing sticks and
gently weave them together to make a platform nest and
they are very meticulous. [Roseate Spoonbill calls] This rookery here is very
important to a lot of these birds because it provides them
protection with the water around it, and there are not
many sights like this for Spoonbills and Egrets
to nest in! [Baby egret calls] Wow it looks like it’s painful,
these guys are over a month old, they are going
to fledge any minute. Look at that, ew, feeding away. She can’t carry food in her
talons or in her beaks, so brings it back in her
stomach, and they have to regurgitate it up to transfer
the food to the babies. [laughter] – They just finished the
meal ya know. Most of the birds just
finished the meal. In United States this is
probably the best one, [digital shutter] and I heard probably the
best in the whole world. [laughter] [digital shutter] Every day I come here for
three hours, from 6:30 to 9:30, for over 10 years. And I’ve been here for
over 500 trips. [digital shutter] I probably only get a
hundred good shots. So it means one shot
takes five trips! [music] [music] – CLIFF: The coast is so rich
with birdlife it’s great birding year-round every day
of the year. There’s so many varied habitats
and so many neat birds. It’s one of the number one hot
spots in the country if not the world to see birds. [music] – ANNOUNCER: This project is
funded in part by a grant from the Wildlife
Restoration Program.

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