Sunday, August 02, 2009

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As it is currently so hot and humid in our area, I decided to bird the prairie this weekend. It's just as hot (35-37C/95-98F) but much less humid.

Friday morning I spent a pleasant 90 minutes at Paul D Rushing Chain-of-Lakes Park. As usual, there was a nice range of wading birds, including Green, Great Blue, Little Blue and Yellow-crowned Night Herons.

Young Yellow-crowned Night Heron

Killdeer and Black-necked Stilts were everywhere but other shorebirds were limited to a Spotted Sandpiper and a Solitary Sandpiper. (The latter took my 2009 list to 259 species.)

The Katy Hockley Cut Off Road and Longenbaugh Road were fairly quiet except for several Red-tailed Hawks and Crested Caracaras.
. Crested Caracara on Longenbaugh
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Saturday morning Dee and I went over to the Attwater Prairie Chicken Refuge. We usually visit in early July, when the refuge is a mass of wildflowers and busy with butterflies and birds. Yesterday was very different, perhaps partly because there has been so little rain this year.

One of about 40 bison at Attwater

One of the few wet areas at Attwater
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We saw very few flowers and only a handful of butterflies. By contrast, the ground and the air were full of crickets and cicadas: We had to stop several times to clear them out of the car!
Birds were few and far between, too. I was hoping for flycatchers but we saw just one, a young Scissor-tailed.


The only significant sightings were five Crested Caracaras and a family of Northern Bobwhites. (The latter were another new species for my year list.)


1 comment:

Gigi B said...

Thanks for the help in identifying a bird i saw.. i looked on your site and think it's the same bird i took a pic of... i have some troube identifying these new ones as i am from Canada, but have been spending a bit of extra time in S.Carolina and do do alot of birding while there. If you have the time to help me identify maybe 5-10 birds fromm some pics i took i'd appreciate the help. my email is joannebella@myspace.com. hope to hear from you. Again.. amazing pictures here! Gigi Bella.