.When it comes to birding locally, Dee and I usually head for sites that lie to the south of Cypress. However, on Sunday we decided to do the opposite and to head north to W G Jones Forest in Montgomery County. Our main reason for heading up there was because it's one of the few places where you can see the endangered Red-cockaded Woodpeckers.
We got to the forest at 10:00 a.m. and walked down the trail to the "Stop" sign that marks the boundary of the area where the birds are currently nesting. We stooped near a pine tree whose trunk had been marked with white stripes and had had a nesting box inserted into it. Sure enough, within a couple of minutes a Red-cockaded appeared.
It climbed the trunk, checked out the nesting box and then continued on its way up the trunk.
We spent an hour walking the trails in the forest but didn't see another Red-cockaded. In fact, we saw surprisingly few birds: a Red-headed Woodpecker, an American Crow, a Pine Warbler, a Carolina Wren, a Turkey Vulture, a Northern Mockingbird, a few Chipping Sparrows, a couple of Eastern Bluebirds and Carolina Chickadees, several Brown-headed Nuthatches and White-eyed Vireos, and a flock of maybe 100 Cedar Waxwings.
To round off our visit, we went over to the garden near the headquarters building. To our amazement, the trees and feeders there were absolutely crowded with dozens of Pine Siskins, accompanied by only a handful of American Goldfinches.
The garden was also attracting some nice swallowtail butterflies.