Sunday, January 09, 2011

Great Sighting

On Saturday morning Dee and I drove up to spend an hour in Spring Creek Park, Tomball.

The north end of the park was virtually empty of birds: After an hour I had seen only a handful of yardbirds, an Eastern Phoebe and a group of 8 American Crows. So we started to leave. On our way out, I drove up the short loop road almost opposite the entrance/exit, because we usually see some birds there.

We had gone only a few yards when we saw a familiar bird fly across the road just in front of us. It was a White-breasted Nuthatch, a bird we've seen scores of times in California and Utah. It landed on a nearby tree trunk and so I got out to take a closer look. I was able to watch it for several seconds. It was in the perfect position for a photo. I raised my camera. Oh, no, I hadn't removed the lens cap. By the time I had taken off the cap, the bird had flown. 

I spent the next few minutes exploring the area and saw a good selection of other birds - Cedar Waxwings, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Pine Warblers, Eastern Bluebirds, Lincoln's Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow - but I didn't get another look at the Nuthatch.

On the way home, we stopped off for a few minutes at Theiss Attway Nature Park next to Walmart in Tomball. All we saw there was a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker but the Walmart parking lot had a pair of Red-shouldered Hawks.

This morning (Sunday) our front yard was busy with birds, including 20 White-winged Doves, half-a-dozen House Finches and 40-50 American Goldfinch. I stood at a front window for a while hoping to spot a Pine Siskin among the Goldfinch. And it wasn't long before one turned up!

That's year bird #84 and a new bird for our yard list.

Sorry about the quality of the photos. My zoom lens has serious issues and I haven't yet been able to find a replacement.


Birdwoman said...

Pine Siskins finally showed up in my yard last week, too. I'll have to plan to get over to Spring Creek Park and look for that White-breasted Nuthatch. I've been hoping for a return of the Red-breasted ones this winter, but no luck so far. Plenty of Brown-headeds though!

Jeff said...

Apparently the White-breasted is still in the same area, so you should be able to find it.