17 June 2017
**All italicized text copied from my field notebook. Bold text added to further discussion or add clarification. Underlined text is an active link**
Brazos Bend State Park, Fort Bend Co.
Meetup event organized by Southeast Texas Snake ID group.
18:00, 40 Acre Lake. Christian and I take short hike together before group hike. Observe WHIB (White Ibis) kill and swallow a small snake (Glossy Swampsnake, Liodytes rigida). Filmed and photographed. The snake showed some signs of life but was barely moving. The Ibis takes a while to maneuver the snake and swallow inch by inch, head first. It seems to have subdued the snake by repeatedly biting and/or smashing the head and body with its bill.
MIKI (Mississippi Kite) overhead, new species for year list. Caught up with the meetup group for hiking along trails. Noted alligators regularly at edge of 40 Acre Lake. Picked up a singing PRWA (Prothonotary Warbler) as a new year bird (species #359 in Texas during 2017). Birding list available here.
Christian and I lost count of alligators after 20. We noted nice anuran (frog) diversity with six species. Mostly noted by calls. Did not observe expected H. versicolor (Gray Treefrog). Group members found 2 A. piscivorus (Cottonmouth) along Elm Lake Trail. Good photos of one. Got stung by a wasp on the rear end while looking at the other.
Around 21:00 along Big Lake, another group member found a L. rigida (Glossy Swampsnake). One decent photograph. This is a species I have never before observed before today. I’m struck by the unique shape of the head. This snake specializes on crayfish and utilize specialized chisel-shaped teeth to manipulate the exoskeleton.
BADO (Barred Owl) is the only new species added on the hike back at dusk. L. catesiena is extremely common along the banks of the lake.