Tag Archive for: egret

Juvenile and Nesting Bald Eagles, Plus Other Area Wildlife Photos

Kingwood kayaker and wildlife photographer Emily Murphy has done it again. This time her great eye and quick reflexes captured this juvenile bald eagle flying over the San Jacinto West Fork near where Romerica proposes to build 25-50 story high rises. It’s evidence that eagles are nesting nearby.

Juvenile Bald Eagle photographed flying over the San Jacinto River West Fork by Emily Murphy. Catching birds in flight like this is very difficult. It requires a good eye and very fast reflexes. The equipment Murphy uses in her kayak weighs six to seven pounds, making it difficult to hold and maneuver while on the water.

The absence of white in the chin and cheeks of this eagle suggests it is very young and recently fledged. However, Fred Collins from Harris County Precinct 3, who is director of the Kleb Woods Nature Preserve in Tomball, thinks it is older. Says Klebs, “I think this is last year’s chick. I am fairly confident it is not this year’s hatch because it is molting.”

Regardless, the good news is that we seem to have an active and expanding eagle population on the San Jacinto and in Lake Houston. Below are a couple shots I took in January while on a ride-along with HPD Lake Patrol, graciously arranged by Houston City Council Member Dave Martin. Weather conditions were rough; the boat was pitching wildly. But we still photographed several eagles.

Bald Eagle photographed in Atascocita on Lake Houston from HPD Lake Patrol Boat on 1/31/2019 by Bob Rehak
Nesting Bald Eagle near Walden on Lake Houston. Photographed by Bob Rehak from HPD Lake Patrol Boat on 1/31/2019.

Other Area Wildlife

The Lake, River, swamps and wetlands this time of year teem with nesting birds of many species. Right about now, egrets are pairing up, building nests and laying eggs. So are the roseate spoonbills. Within a few weeks, chicks will hatch and by June, a new generation will be hunting the shorelines. Meanwhile, many other species are migrating through the area about now.

Get out and enjoy the wildlife in our wonderful parks! East End is a favorite location for birders. They have spotted more than 140 species there, including several that are threatened or endangered. Below are several shots that I took in the last two years.

Male great egret returning with stick to build nest. Photo by Bob Rehak.
Roseate Spoonbill in flight. Photo by Bob Rehak.
Female great egret preening on nest. Photo by Bob Rehak.
Great Egret Chicks. Feathers have still not unfurled. Photo by Bob Rehak.
Blue Grosbeak in meadow of East End Park. Photographed by Bob Rehak.
Tricolor Heron. Photo by Bob Rehak.
Black and White. Cormorant and Great Egret. Photo by Bob Rehak.

So grab your binoculars or camera and get out and enjoy this wonderful spring weather. After all, this is why we live here. Kingwood really is the livable forest!

Posted by Bob Rehak on 3/30/2019

578 Days since Hurricane Harvey

Day 400: Why We Still Care

Day 400 since Hurricane Harvey and absolutely nothing newsworthy  happened in regard to flood mitigation today. No news on floodgates. No news on the mouth bar. No news on upstream detention. No news on whether sand mines are willing to observe best practices. No news on sand mine real-estate appraisals. No news on the Ike Dike. It was a thoroughly depressing day. Just when I was ready to write it off…

Day 400 since Hurricane Harvey and nothing happened, except perhaps the most spectacular sunset I have ever seen. Could this be a sign?

BAM. A sign. Hope. Inspiration. Another reminder of why I still care so much about this place.

A scudding bank of dull, gray, featureless clouds exploded into vivid, yet subtle hues, revealing layer after layer of depth, dimension, subtlety and awesome power. It was the most beautiful sunset I have seen in years. It lasted for maybe a minute. Then the sun moved or a cloud moved and the extraordinary moment faded into dull gray clouds again.

Earlier, I caught these shots of a  spoonbill landing and a great egret taking wing.

Roseate Spoonbill

Taking wing

At moments like these, I feel at one with nature. I can feel the power of the creator breathing hope into every living thing.

So maybe tomorrow will be the day that the City Attorney’s office finds the deeds and easements for Ben’s Branch that it has been looking for for 22 years, and then the county can get on with its job of clearing the channel.

Posted by Bob Rehak on October 3, 2018

400 Days since Hurricane Harvey