Wood Storks, Roseate Spoonbills And Great Egret On Drying Pond Of Lake Houston



This post will contain lots of pictures so give the page a little time to load.

Yesterday as Leecy and I were driving back from the grocery store, I noticed a large flock of water birds in this pond on Lake Houston.  When I say pond, it’s a pond now because of the drought, but it’s actually part of Lake Houston.

Some of the birds looked a little unusual to me, so I did a quick u-turn to take a look.  Since I didn’t have my camera with me, I had to make do with my iPhone.

Allow me to build this story just a bit.  Yesterday I took some pictures with my iPhone.  Today I went back to see if I could find those unusual birds I saw yesterday.  When I took these first pictures yesterday I remember thinking how sad it was that so much of Lake Houston has dried up.  When I went back today, there were a couple of onlookers watching the birds.  One gentleman walked by and said to this lady “It’s a real shame, huh”?  She replied, “no, I think it’s beautiful.”  I guess that proves it depends on how one views things.  For some it’s an opportunity, for others it’s a disaster.

These first 3 pictures are from yesterday.

Lake Houston Drought

Lake Houston Drought

All of the brown area used to be covered in water.  Now it’s just dry, parched grass and twigs.

Lake Houston Drought Showing Previous Shoreline

Lake Houston Drought Showing Previous Shoreline

This picture is facing the other direction.  You can see just how far the water has receded.

Lake Houston Drought Showing Pond That Was Part Of Lake

Lake Houston Drought Showing Pond That Was Part Of Lake

In the above picture, you may be able to just make out a few of the birds.  This part of the lake is now just a pond.  The lake is so low, this pond no longer connects with the lake.

This morning when I returned, the picture was completely different.  There were lots of Wood Storks, which are somewhat rare birds I believe.

Line Of Wood Storks On Shoreline Lake Houston

Line Of Wood Storks On Shoreline Lake Houston

Overall, there were probably over 20 Wood Storks, 5-10 Roseate Spoonbills, and lots and lots of Great Egrets.

Wood Stork About To Land On Water Lake Houston

Wood Stork About To Land On Water Lake Houston

Wood Stork Landing On Water Lake Houston

Wood Stork Landing On Water Lake Houston

You can tell from the above pictures that the Wood Stork is a pretty large bird, especially compared to the Great Egrets.  If you want to read more about Wood Storks, here’s a link to Wikipedia.

Wood Stork Eating A Fish Lake Houston

Wood Stork Eating A Fish Lake Houston

I mentioned in the beginning of this post how one person saw the drought effect of Lake Houston as “sad”, whereas another person thought it was “beautiful.”  Not that the drought is beautiful, but all the birds centered on this pond was beautiful.  It certainly presents an easy opportunity for the Wood Storks to easily catch fish.

Besides the Wood Storks catching fish, the Great Egrets were able to catch lots of fish.  This one bird nearly lost his catch.

Great Egret About To Eat A Fish Lake Houston

Great Egret About To Eat A Fish Lake Houston

Last, but not least are the Roseate Spoonbills.  These are really pretty birds, a nice shade of reddish-pink.

Pair Of Roseate Spoonbills On Lake Houston

Pair Of Roseate Spoonbills On Lake Houston

Pair Of Roseate Spoonbills With Heads Down On Lake Houston

Pair Of Roseate Spoonbills With Heads Down On Lake Houston

What’s my take on the “beautiful” versus “sad” part of this story?  I honestly see both, but lean more towards sad.  Yes, this pond that was part of Lake Houston has presented a wonderful opportunity for some birds.  I wouldn’t think the opportunity would last very long, this week we’re supposed to have record highs, and the fish in this pond surely cannot survive for long.

Don & Kate - Very cool pictures, but it is kind of sad how they came about. Spoonbills are some of our very favorites. We saw something similar at Ding Darling on Sanibel (SW Fla), but it was due to the low tide. Those storks are almost dwarfing those great egrets.September 14, 2011 – 5:42 am

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