Thursday, January 13, 2011

Campus Nature Trail

On Tuesday I took a brief walk along the nature trail on the CyFair campus.

Several Northern Mockingbirds perched near the start of the trail seemed to be feeling the cold as much as I was.

The Mockingbirds didn't move as I passed within feet of them. They're certainly not skittish birds. In fact, they're usually very bold. And curious. When I walk the trail, they often fly right down to where I am, presumably to see what I'm up to.

The Great Horned Owl that I've been seeing recently has acted very differently. I usually only get to see its back as it flies off as soon as it hears me approach. This didn't happen on Tuesday, though.  I rounded the first bend on the trail and there was the Owl, sitting in the branches and looking straight at me. Perhaps it had gotten used to my appearances along the trail and had decided that I didn't pose a threat. Or perhaps it thought that its camouflage was so good that I couldn't see it. It's hard to know what birds are thinking!

There weren't as any American Robins as on Monday. I counted only about 40 this time. As before, they panicked and flew higher in the trees - or flew away - as I approached. 

Maybe they'll get used to me over the coming days. However, I doubt it. I find that Robins tend to be standoffish. 

If Robin numbers were down, Cedar Waxwing numbers were up dramatically. I counted at least 100. Most of them were far from the trail but a few were in the trees near what used to be a wetland area. If other years are any guide, I'll soon get much closer looks at the Waxwings. Once they have settled in to the area, they tend to be very tolerant of my presence. I hope this happens, because I love watching and photographing Waxwings. They are such incredibly elegant-looking birds.



Paul said...

Good photos. I've been hearing an owl lately as I bathe before work about 3:00 AM. We are in the CyFair area as well. I think the owl must be perched on the roof right above the tub. It must be attracted by the light in the window and the sound of running water. Also, we saw waxwings outside our kitchen window last Easter wolfing down the red berries on our Nandinas. Nice to see these photos.

Jeff said...

Thanks, Paul.
There have been Waxwings around our subdivision as well as on the campus. We're at Spring Cypress and Grant.
I suspect more will arrive soon.