.I didn't get a chance to go outside much on Thursday or Friday, and then I spent all Saturday leading workshops at Houston Community College. So it was good to be able to spend a little time yesterday watching our yards. Unfortunately, they were very quiet and there were few birds around: N. Cardinals, Carolina Chickadees, N. Mockingbird, Downy Woodpecker, White-winged Doves and House Finches.
One reason for the lack of birds may be that a Cooper's Hawk has been lurking in a tree in our next door neighbor's yard. However, it may just be the time of year. Last week, I was complaining to Dee about the absence of winter arrivals and telling her that they should have made it to our yards by now. Then I checked my blog entry for October 25 last year. In it I complained that our winter birds were late and hadn't arrived in our yards yet. So I suppose I'm just being impatient. No doubt they'll start turning up soon.
In the meantime, the squirrels are driving me crazy with raiding the bird feeders. It's hard to be too cross with them, though, because they are very cute!
We've also had several anoles, including this one with an exceptionally long tail.
Yesterday morning we drove over to have breakfast in Bear Creek Park, where other birders have been seeing some interesting species lately.
We weren't so lucky. The first couple of areas we checked out had only a handful of birds: a few Red-headed Woodpeckers, Carolina Chickadees and Eastern Bluebirds.
The Tall Pine Trail was equally quiet, except for a pair of Red-tailed Hawks that circled briefly overhead, closely followed by a group of Turkey Vultures.
However, we still enjoyed walking the trail because it was really beautiful.
The American Beautyberry bushes were absolutely covered in berries.
Clumps of Palmettos were thriving, too.
Although everything looked very dry, various types of fungi were still present.
A Broad-banded Water Snake disappeared too fast for me to grab a photo but I did slightly better with a couple of the many butterflies that were flitting around.