Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Picking Up - After a Slow Start!

Until today, I'd done very little birding since the start of the new year. Dee and I went out for a drive around the Kay Prairie on Sunday, but it was so cold and windy that there were few birds and we never really got out of the car. The only sighting of note was a distant immature Bald Eagle.

Surprisingly, though, I'd already seen 51 species by the end of yesterday, mainly in our yards and at the college where I work.
As this morning dawned bright and sunny, I set off early to do a little birding on the way to work. My hope was to see some Sandhill Cranes in Prairie View that a co-worker had mentioned yesterday. Sure enough, there were twenty Sandhills exactly where she'd seen them, and they were accompanied by a dozen Snow Geese.

Sandhill Cranes in the distance

I drove on to work via Paul Rushing Park and Longenbaugh Road, two other sites on the Katy prairie.

Paul Rushing had mainly expected birds: Savannah Sparrows, Killdeer, Horned and Horned Larks. However, I also spotted a Marbled Godwit and I was thrilled to see a Wilson's Snipe. I'd only seen a Snipe once before, ten years ago in Martinez, California.

Wilson's Snipe

Longenbaugh was quiet, except for more Savannah Sparrows. (These are the only sparrows I've seen in numbers this winter.) As usual, American Kestrels lined the road.

American Kestrel

The lone Pyrrhuloxia was at the Bear Creek bridge, accompanied by yet more Savannah Sparrows, a Winter Wren and a Brewer's Blackbird.

Brewer's Blackbird

At the college, the soccer fields were as busy as usual with flocks of Savannah Sparrows, American Pipits, Brown-headed Cowbirds, Red-winged Blackbirds and European Starlings. A White-throated Sparrow, an American Robin and a pair of Double-crested Cormorants moved my 2009 list to 60 species.


Birdwoman said...

We're hoping to get out to the prairie tomorrow. Fingers crossed that we have as good birding as you!

Jeff said...

Good luck! The college campus was good this morning, which augurs well for the prairie.
BTW, if you ever want to visit the college, call me on 832-482-1024 and I'll see if I can show you around.

Birdwoman said...

Thanks. I may take you up on that.