Smith's Oaks, High Island
Smith Oaks is larger than Boy Scout Woods and contains larger areas of both woodland and open water. we visited here only twice, once on the 15th and once on the 16th.
Our first visit was really to visit the rookery – the island were a large number of wading birds nested. We started off in a wooded area and saw three Yellow-billed Cuckoos. We then moved to the first pool where we only had three Black-necked Stilts. Having now oriented ourselves we aimed for the rookery and, after about a ten-minute walk, reached the lake were it was. Although we didn't see any new species it was well worth the effort – the birds were noisy, close and abundant! We sat on a bench and watched nesting Roseate Spoonbills, Tricolored Herons, Snowy and Great Egrets and White Ibis. We could see every detail on the birds through the 'scope plus into the nests where there were both eggs and young.
Also here we had Anhingas, Common Yellowthroat, Neotropic Cormorant, Purple Martin, Tree Swallow and a Red-shouldered Hawk. In the woods again we added Worm-eating Warbler and two Tennessee Warblers.
On the 16th we were back again, this time only in the woods. In one small area we had Red-eyed Vireo, Tennessee Warblers, Black-and-White Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler and a fine male Bay-breasted Warbler. A Common Nighthawk flew over and, just as we were leaving, we heard news of an Eastern Screech-owl which we headed back for. As last year it was a rufous phase and in almost exactly the same place!
Below are some photos taken at the heronry in Smith's Oaks.