Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tomball and Cypress

Yesterday Dee and I spent a couple of h
ours in Spring Creek Park in Tomball.

As soon as we stepped out of the
car, we were surrounded by bird activity. The cloudy, gray morning was brightened up by the calls of Red-bellied Woodpecker, Carolina Wren, Northern Cardinal, Carolina Chickadees and Blue Jays. The pine trees around us had several flocks of small birds: Pine Warblers, Carolina Chickadees, Chipping Sparrows and American Goldfinch.

Dee spotted a Brown Creeper, a bird that I rarely see anywhere except Spring Creek Park. Unfortunately, it an
d most of the other birds were too high in the trees for clear photos, although I did get one recognizable shot of a Tufted Titmouse.

The next few minutes turned up several other species, including a Northern Flicker, an Eastern Bluebird, Yellow-rumped Warblers and Ruby-crowned Kinglets. A group of 11 Turkey Vultures passed slowly overhead, soon followed by four Black Vultures.

We spent an hour walking through the woods, only to find the latter were virtually empty of bird activity. All we saw was a flock of 20-30 Cedar Waxwings and a flight of nine American Crows. So a rather disappointing end to a morning that had started out very promisingly.

Back at home our yards were hosting most of the usual suspects, including White-winged Doves, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, House Finches and Carolina Chickadees.

Carolina Chickadee

The platform feeder, lawn and flower beds in the front yard were being worked over by some 30 Chipping Sparrows. Our female Downy Woodpecker was on the suet feeder.

As she's usually very aggressive towards competitors, I was surprised to see that she was willing to let one of the Chipping Sparrows share the feeder.

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