.Yesterday morning I decided to take a quick walk around the two large retention ponds at the Barker Cypress Road entrance to the campus. I hadn't visited the ponds for weeks and I was curious as to what birds might be hanging out there.
A pair of Green Herons normally spends the summer at the ponds and so I wasn't surprised to see one of the herons fishing on the waterfall.
Nor was I surprised to see another at the edge of the northern pond.
However, I wasn't expecting to see a third fly in from the north ...
or a fourth patrolling the water's edge.
Our resident Great Egret, Snowy Egret and Great Blue Heron were absent, replaced by a solitary Cattle Egret, a bird that we rarely see on the campus.
The Egret left when it saw me but a lone American Coot just paddled off into the middle of the pond.
The trees around the ponds had several Northern Mockingbirds and a couple of male Red-winged Blackbirds. This male was busy calling for a mate but there didn't seem to be any females around.
Male and female Great-tailed Grackles were drinking at one of the ponds but most of them panicked at my approach and noisily flew up into the trees.
The noise attracted the attention of a Loggerhead Shrike, which flew in to check out what was happening.
This was the cue for me to leave the birds and get back to work.