.Dee and I spent a couple of hours at El Franco Lee Park on the south side of Houston. We arrived a little late for good birding but we still enjoyed walking around the lake and there were some interesting birds.
First up was a male Vermilion Flycatcher - in exactly the same place that I saw him last winter.
This time I saw the female, too. Not as spectacular but still a pretty bird.
The water had hundreds of American Coots and a variety of ducks, as well as a few Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets and Great Blue Herons.
We had to tread carefully along one section of the trail ...
My final sighting was a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher; like the Kinglet, the Gnatcatcher is a small bird with lots of personality.
The ListI added to my 2011 list even before we left home, when I looked out of our front windows and saw a House Sparrow on our feeders and a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker on our elm. Then the park added six more new year birds.
Friday was a busy day at work but walking between buildings at the college I startled a Great Horned Owl. As it flew off, it was no more than ten feet above my head. As I was leaving work in the afternoon, a Double-crested Cormorant on one of the retention ponds took my list to 82 species.