Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Week at CyFair

I haven't had much time for birding CyFair this week, and what I have seen on walks around the campus has varied greatly from day to day.

Tuesday was the quietest day I can remember there for birds. My total sightings were two Northern Cardinals, a Northern Mockingbird and half-a-dozen Purple Martins. I didn't hear much either, except for Eastern Meadowlarks and Red-winged Blackbirds. The many White-eyed Vireos that had arrived last week seemed all to have disappeared.

Wednesday and Thursday were better. Several White-eyed Vireos were back and they were joined by at least one Gray Catbird and a Ruby-throated Hummingbird.

 White-eyed Vireo

I don't know which is louder, the constant chattering of the Vireos or the does-anyone-want-to-mate-with-me calls of the male Northern Mockingbirds.

Definitely not as noisy but much more melodious is the call of the male Red-winged Blackbirds. This one called for ages from a tree right by the college cafeteria but kept trying to hide from my camera.

Most of our normal birds were easy to see and/or hear: Great Egret, Purple Martins, Mourning Doves, Northern Mockingbirds, Northern Cardinals, Brown-headed Cowbirds, Red-winged Blackbirds and Eastern Meadowlarks.

A few new-for-2011 birds have turned up. A Chimney Swift flew over on Wednesday and a Swainson's Thrush on Thursday. Also on Thursday I noticed a Green Heron fishing on the waterfall above the retention ponds. So my year list is now 203.

The nature trail is festooned with blossoms - mainly honeysuckle but also some plants I don't know.

Away Again

By the time you read this, Dee and I will be away on a mini-trip. We're going to visit High Island and Bolivar on Friday, hoping for lots of migrants as well as for good nesting activity in the High Island rookery. We'll spend the night on Galveston and then try for migrants again, this time at Lafitte's Cove. Wish us luck!


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