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.


Birdwoman said...

I agree with you that one of the best bonuses of living in this area is the great diversity of bird life that is available to us every time we walk out our door. It's a great incentive to walk out that door.

Jeff said...

It really is a great area for birds. I can see why so many birders from overseas come to visit the UTC.

Dave said...

At least you have something to take your mind off of the traffic. What a great place to drive and bird!

Thanks for the link, I really appreciate it.

Dave Dolan