Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Friday at CyFair

Friday morning was my last chance to look around the CyFair campus before my Mexico trip. It was glorious weather and there were plenty of birds around. As usual this spring, though, the wind was southerly, which meant that there was again little chance of seeing migrants.

Most of the birds were common residents and they were all in very good voice. Red-winged Blackbirds were trilling away everywhere, although I didn't actually get to see any of them. Purple Martins flew overhead every couple of minutes, filling the air with their chattering. A Carolina Chickadee surprised me by perching and singing a beautifully slow and soulful version of "chick-a-dee" rather than the typical fast and staccato "chickadee - chickadee - chickadee - dee - dee".

High on a tree, a Western Kingbird contributed its rattling calls before dashing away when it noticed me. No doubt our Kingbirds will be more tolerant of my presence once they've settled in and start working on their nests.

Dominating the whole area were the songs and calls of male Northern Cardinals. They generally started with the usual "pretty - pretty - pretty" song. But then they went through several others: a strident "look-at-me look-at-me," a rapid "cookery - cookery - cookery" and a medium-paced "chee-you chee-you choc choc choc".

Flyovers included Mourning and White-winged Doves, Black-bellied Whistling Ducks and a Red-tailed Hawk.

Migrants were as scarce as I had expected but I was pleased to get a distant sighting of a male and two female Indigo Buntings and a close-up look at a Pine Warbler.


My final sighting as I walked to my office was of a Double-crested Cormorant heading towards our retention ponds.


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