I haven't yet seen any nesting activity from the Western Kingbirds that returned to the campus a couple of weeks ago. Last year, two pairs raised broods here but so far this year only one pair has returned. They appear to be spending most of their time flycatching from the tops of the lamp standards around the tennis courts.
By contrast, our Purple Martins are already busy nesting. We seem to have at least four pairs of adults.
We also have what I assume are several sub-adult Martins; that is, birds that were born here last year and have just spent their first winter in South America.
We normally have several pairs of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks nesting and raising their young around the two retention ponds near the campus entrance. However, there is a lot of construction work going on in that area at the moment. I hope it doesn't deter the Ducks from nesting here this summer.
Dee and I are heading to the coast later this morning and will spend tonight on Galveston. We're hoping to catch the tail-end of songbird migration at Lafitte's Cove and High Island. We're also going to be looking for migrating shorebirds and other sea-related birds on Galveston and on Bolivar Peninsula. We might also look in on the wading bird rookery at High Island and, time permitting, perhaps even do a quick drive around Anahuac NWR to see how the refuge's post-Ike recovery is coming along.
I'll start blogging about our trip on Monday morning.