Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Kleb Woods

This morning, I was able to visit Kleb Woods, near Tomball, for a couple of hours.

In the first 30 minutes, I saw and heard only a few common birds: Northern Cardinal, Carolina Chickadee, Carolina Wren, Blue Jay, American Crow, Mourning Dove and Northern Mockingbird. As I’ve mentioned before, this seems to be the pattern for me when I start birding early.

As usual, things changed at about 9:00 a.m., when I spotted a group of White-throated and Lincoln’s Sparrows foraging under some bushes. They were joined, but only for a moment, by a Brown Thrasher. Then came one of the highlights of the walk: A Gray Catbird appeared and posed for a moment on a branch, the red under his rump absolutely glowing in the sunlight.

A few yards further on, a Great Blue Heron took flight at my approach and a male Red-bellied Woodpecker vented his outrage from the top of a tree. A Green Heron was more diplomatic and simply hopped up from the edge of a wetland area to the safety of a branch in shadow.

Back in the parking lot, movement in the tree tops caught my attention. Several birds were darting among the branches. When I finally got a good view of one, it had such bold black and yellow markings around its neck and chest that I thought it was a spring warbler. In fact, I soon realized it was a Myrtle form Yellow-rumped Warbler, much more brightly colored than the Yellow-rumpeds that I’m used to seeing.

Not all the birds there were Yellow-rumpeds, though. I caught several glimpses of a Yellow Warbler and then the sight of the day: An Indigo Bunting with its intensely blue plumage.

My final sighting at Kleb was of a Chimney Swift streaking over the parking area.

On my way to work, I drove along Longenbaugh and was amazed to see a group of eight Red-shouldered Hawks circling and swooping at each other right over the road. Quite a sight – although I have no idea whether they were playing or flirting or arguing!

The Yellow Warbler, Indigo Bunting and Chimney Swift take my year total to 169 species.


T Shaughnessy said...

Last Tuesday I counted 50+ Broadwings and Swainsons in and over the field at FM529 & Porter Rd End, W. of P.R.E and N. of 529. On Wednesday the same off of Fry Rd. half way between FM 529 and SH 290 near the signs for the new church. Around lunchtime both days.

It was quite a sight watching them dive for food, one after the other. Looked like seagulls feeding on shrimp at the coast.

Jeff said...

I wish I'd seen that. It's really unfortunate that having a job cuts into one's birding!

T Shaughnessy said...

Bring your 10 x 50's and/or a scope and set up on top of The Berry Center press box facing West :)
I can see The Berry Center from the spot on Fry.

Jeff said...

Thanks for the advice.

T Shaughnessy said...


After having a new yard bird today (Summer Tanager) I decided to head out to Kleb Woods after work tonight (Tuesday) with hopes of a few more FOS'. On my way North on Fry Rd. I observed the rather high numbers of hawks again in the same area as before. It was rush hour so I didn't pull over to the shoulder this time.

Oh, and nothing too spectacular at Kleb. Wish I could make the Wednesday Bird Walk.

Jeff said...

I'm going to try Fry Road today!
I wish they would change the Wednesday morning walk at Kleb - or Jim Hinson's walk at Edith Moore - to weekends. Wednesdays are usually impossible for those of us who work.