A Year on Clear Lake-Aug 03, 2013

The Rookery at Armand Bayou–August 3, 2013

I had the pleasure of visiting the rookery at Armand Bayou. It’s located on the west bank on the preserve, which is not open to the public. My husband and I volunteer at the Nature Center. Today, we did work on the west bank and had the opportunity of stopping by the rookery. It is almost vacant now. Most of the breeding action has already taken place, and the young birds have developed their flying skills and left. Even though only a  few birds remain, it was still exciting to see.

We are fortunate to have the  Armand Bayou Nature Center and its 2500 acres of preserve, one of the largest urban preserves, located so close to us. The preserve includes tall grass prairie, bottom land forest and wetlands. The bayou feeds Clear Lake on the north side. I hope to bring you more info and photos from this incredible natural resource in the near future.The birds pick a location like this one which is an island. The surrounding water affords the birds some protection from raccoons and possum which love to raid the nests for the eggs.  Here there is added security provided by an alligator which lives in the pond. The gator is definitely a deterrent to would be nest-raiders. At the height of its occupancy, I’m told it hosted snowy egrets, great white egrets, little blue heron, great blue heron, tricolor heron, ibis and roseate spoonbills.

All quiet on the peninsula this evening. I did have a deer sighting, but no fawns. When I spotted her, I stopped in my tracks and stood perfectly still. The deer seemed more comfortable–at least she did not bolt as in the past. She stared for a long time, and when she lost interest, she just turned and continued on her way. I don’t know what to make of the fawns not being present. It might be a different deer. I know there’s more than one of the peninsular.

Not much activity in the bird realm at the peninsula–a lot of flyovers. The roseate spoonbills were missing this evening. It looks like the water level may be rising–that will impact the hunting grounds.

The sun continued to deliver breathtaking skies.

Green Thought:In our bones we need natural curves of hills, the scent of chapparral, the whisper of pines, the possibility of wildness. ~ Richard Louv, The Last Child in the Woods