Tuesday, January 15, 2013

UTC 077: McHale Park

The Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail
Upper Texas Coast

Brown Pelican
I was on my own this weekend, so I visited tiny McHale Park on the western shore of Galveston Bay only a 10 to 15 minute drive from my home.  Possibly because rainstorms prevented me from arriving until early afternoon, I didn't see any flotillas of white pelicans as my map / guide suggested I might in winter.  I did spot a couple of Brown Pelicans under the Kemah bridge.  

Brown Pelicans, the state bird of Louisiana, are the only non-white pelicans in the world.  I hope to capture a photo of one diving.  They fly over the water looking for fish, then point themselves like an arrow and plunge headfirst from the air.  It's an impressive sight.      

Willet, winter plumage.
I spotted the willet from the viewing platform in the park.  It's a first for me, and I had to rule out other birds.  It doesn't have yellow legs, doesn't have a short or curved bill, etc.  Some breed along the Gulf Coast, but it's quite likely a winter visitor, spending summers as far north as central Canada.

Part of the fun in bird-watching, for me, has been reading about the birds I've seen.

McHale Park is a very small waterfront park in League City consisting of a parking lot, grassy area with two benches, rocky beach, and a gazebo-type viewing platform.  
No entry fee.  
No overnight stays allowed.
No restrooms or drinking water are available.
No picnic tables or grills.
The viewing platform is wheelchair accessible.

Species sighted this visit:  Boat-Tailed Grackle, Ring-Billed Gull, Laughing Gull, Willet, American Coot, Brown Pelican, Turkey Vulture 

Since many people find my blog posts via Google these days, I'm including info that might be useful to them.  Constructive suggestions are welcome.    

I'm linking up with Wild Bird Wednesday.  Visit to see more beautiful birds from all over the globe or link up your own photos.   


Brian Miller said...

sounds like a pretty cool place...and def a cool sight on the pelicans...

the blueberry ibuprofin is hard to find but my boys have no problem taking it...

TexWisGirl said...

cute little willet. such a purposeful strut.

Martha Z said...

Texas is a great place for birding. When we visited relatives in Houston we always went down to Brazos Bend to see the birds and the 'gators.

Anonymous said...

Great shot of the Willet and Pelican, Jen. I too spotted my first Willet not to long ago.

eileeninmd said...

Love the Pelican and the Willet. Great post, Jen!

Anita said...

The gray tones of the water and the pelican are a beautiful blend accented by the yellow on head. I can look at that photo all day! The willet ain't bad either. :)

Keep up the good work at becoming a great birder!

Stewart M said...

Nice pelican - ours are almost pure white!

Thanks for the link to WBW.

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne.

PS: sorry for slow reply - I been out of internet range in Tasmania!

Wally Jones said...

Very nice images and information. Pelicans are one of my favorite subjects. Maybe it's because we have so many of them here in Florida. The American White Pelicans are mainly winter visitors and usually show up in large numbers.

Happy New Year! --Wally

Tempo said...

Very unusual Pelican, ours are all white. We have lots of Stilts (birds) some of them come from Russia every year to Southern Australia.

Rob Strickland said...

Glad to see you are still going the any place named park and that the Toyota lives on, Jen! Reminds me there's still places here I've not seen...

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