Thursday, February 26, 2009
One of the things I love about living and working in Cypress is that birds are so abundant here that I see a lot without actually going birding. Let me give you an example of what I mean.
The other day I got up a little earlier than usual and so I decided to take what I think of as my back route to work. I drove up 290, turned onto Becker and then the Katy-Hockley Cutoff, went east on 529 and turned north on Barker Cypress to the CyFair campus.
Walking out of my front door disturbed several White-winged Doves, a Red-bellied Sapsucker and a pair of House Finches.
As I was driving down our very short street, I passed two Eurasian Collared Doves and a Blue Jay, while I noticed several Common Grackles on the feeder in a neighbor's yard.
Spring Cypress had several Black Vultures and the junction with Barker Cypress had European Starlings, House Sparrows and an American Crow.
Just before turning onto 290, there was a Spotted Sandpiper on the edge of an ornamental pond.
On 290, I was too busy surviving freeway traffic to notice any birds, except for a couple of Turkey Vultures that swooped over the road.
Becker Road had Northern Mockingbirds and an American Kestrel.
Several Red-tailed Hawks and Loggerhead Shrikes lined the Katy-Hockley Cutoff, and a Northern Harrier was quartering a nearby field. At one point the roadside had Killdeer and Eastern Meadowlark.
The 529 had more Red-tailed Hawks, Northern Mockingbirds, Black Vultures and Loggerhead Shrikes, as well as a Crested Caracara, some Mourning Doves and lots of Common Grackles.
Just before entering the CyFair campus, a Double-crested Cormorant and a (Ring-billed?) Gull crossed overhead.
The north lake at CyFair had a Great Egret, several Snowy Egrets and 3-4 Pied-billed Grebes.
Crossing the parking lot, I stirred up a group of Great-tailed Grackles.
As I parked, a flock of Savannah Sparrows was feeding on the grass 15 feet in front of my car.
I think that adds up to 28 species. Which isn't a bad total for a 30-minute commute with no stops (except for traffic signals and Stop signs) along the way.