Bad weather and a bad cold put a crimp in my birdwatching activities at the end of the week.
I took a longer-than-usual drive home, via the Katy Prairie, in hopes of adding Brewer's Blackbirds to my year list. I saw a score of Brewer's at a local ranch but I was even more pleased to come across a male Red-winged Blackbird singing his heart out in a tree.
There may be more beautiful birdsongs but the distinctive song of the Red-winged is one that never fails to stop me in my tracks.
The campus was generally very quiet. However, I spent my coffee break sitting by the nature trail watching a couple of dozen White-winged Doves and no fewer than 50 Cedar Waxwings.
I had intended to spend the day visiting a few local sites for the GBBC: Great Backyard Bird Count. Unfortunately, I had caught a cold and had to spend the day at home instead. The morning produced only a handful of birds and it looked like my count was going to be much lower than in previous years. Then noon came around and the birds arrived for lunch. Over the next hour I logged 14 species, with the most numerous being 16 American Goldfinch. A flyover by 40 Cedar Waxwings brought the day's total of individuals to 40.
The most exciting development, though, was not the number of species or individuals. It was the presence of Downy Woodpeckers. On Thursday I blogged that I hadn't seen any woodpeckers in our yards this year. So I was thrilled to see a pair of Downys in our front yard on Saturday. At one point the male and female settled down together on the same suet feeder. A very pretty sight with which to end the week!