Thursday, June 25, 2009

Paul Rushing Park

Yesterday morning I drove to the CyFair campus via Becker Road and Longenbaugh. As I forgot to take binoculars with me, I was rather limited in which birds I could identify! However, I was able to ID quite a few species on utility wires by the roadside. The most common birds were Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, followed by Northern Mockingbirds, Mourning Doves, Loggerhead Shrikes and occasionally White-winged Doves.

Paul Rushing (Chain-of-Lakes) Park had its usual complement of Killdeer and Eastern Meadowlarks. It also had perhaps a score of Black-necked Stilts.

The Stilts seemed very agitated by my presence and they circled over me, screeching loudly, wherever I walked. I don't know if they were nesting but they certainly acted like birds with nests to defend.

I don't think I've ever noticed before just how long Stilts' wings are.

As I was leaving, I noticed a vaguely gull-shaped bird circling and swooping high above me. From its flight pattern, I guessed it was a Common Nighthawk. A few moments later it was joined by another similar bird. Although the birds were far overhead, I snapped a couple of photos in the hope that these would help with the ID. As you can see from the photos, the Common Nighthawk's white wingbars really stand out even at a great distance.


Birdwoman said...

Stilts are such elegant birds. It's always a pleasure to see them.

Nice catch on the nighthawks.

Jeff said...

I wish I'd gotten a good picture of a Nighthawk flying. I tried again today but failed once more!

Kyle said...

I know what you mean about catching the Nighthawks in flight, Jeff. I watched about five of them wheeling around the skies above Quintana last month for at least half an hour, and only walked away with one shot that was even close to good enough to post.

Nice shots of the stilts, by the way. I even didn't know they would come inland as far as the Katy Prairie!

Jeff said...

Hi, Kyle.
I haven't noticed so many Stilts around here before. Perhaps they've been displaced by the effects of Ike on the coast.