Monday, February 23, 2009

Birding CyFair Campus

As I’ve been neglecting the birds at CyFair College lately, I decided to start today with a half-hour birding tour of the campus.

The tour started well. The northern lake on the Barker Cypress entrance road had not only its usual four Pied-billed Grebes and Great Egret but also a line of eight Snowy Egrets. That’s the most Snowy Egrets I’ve ever seen on the campus.

The southern lake was empty of water birds but the trees there had a couple of Mourning Doves and a dozen or so Savannah Sparrows.

The area near the start of the nature trail was disappointing: a White-winged Dove and a Northern Mockingbird. However, a little pishing immediately drew in some Yellow-rumped Warblers and two Northern Cardinals, soon followed by a House Wren and a Gray Catbird.

The soccer fields had their normal complement of Killdeer and American Pipits, plus a pair of Loggerhead Shrikes, while the trees nearby had seven Red-winged Blackbirds.


The most common birds here, though, were Savannah Sparrows: A quick check revealed about forty. I was just going to walk back to the office when I remembered reading somewhere that Field Sparrows often hang out with Savannahs. As the Field Sparrow is one of my favorite sparrows and as I hadn’t yet seen one this year, I stopped to examine the sparrow flock more carefully. And the very first bird I looked at closely was – a Field Sparrow.

Field Sparrow at CyFair in 2007

A beautiful little bird, and one that takes my 2009 list to 141 species.

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