Friday, March 04, 2011

Katy Prairie

On Wednesday I had an hour free at lunchtime to visit Paul Rushing Chain-of-Lakes Park on the Katy Prairie. As it had been a while since I had been to the park, I wasn't sure what birds I would find but I was hoping for Horned Larks, which are residents there.

I carefully scanned the grass between the parking lots, which is where the Larks usually hang out. Although I didn't see any Larks, I did get to watch a group of American Pipits grooming.


There were plenty of Eastern Meadowlarks and Savannah Sparrows in the short grass, too.

Savannah Sparrow

The edges of the lakes had a nice variety of birds: White-faced Ibis, Great and Snowy Egrets, Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs and a Wilson's Snipe. A pair of Dowitchers were pottering about in the shallows.


Further out in the water were Northern Shovelers, Blue- and Green-winged Teal, and some Gadwall.


Several Canvasbacks were paddling around, some accompanied by Pied-billed Grebes.


I checked the field beyond the southern fence for Larks and N. Bobwhites but all I saw were more Eastern Meadowlarks and Savannah Sparrows, plus lots of singing Red-winged Blackbirds and a Northern Harrier.

As it was almost time to return to the office, I walked back towards my car. Yes! Half-a-dozen Horned Larks were grazing in a fenced area near where I had parked.

So, all in all, my visit to Paul Rushing had turned out to be very worthwhile. I must be sure to check on the park regularly over the next few weeks, because it often attracts some vey good birds during shorebird migration.

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