.So far this first week of January has been a good one for birding. Although bird numbers in our area are well down on last month, there are still plenty of good birds around.
For example, yesterday I was surprised to spot a group of Lark Buntings in a children's playground only a couple of hundred yards from our house. Later, I was pleased to find that the female Pyrrhuloxia that had been hanging out on Longenbaugh Road is still present.
While the CyFair campus has been largely empty of birds apart from American Coots and Ring-necked Ducks, it did produce the sighting of an Osprey (carrying a fish) the other day.
The Katy Prairie still has a good range of sparrows (which I will blog about on the weekend). However, it also has a lot of large scavengers and predators. Yesterday some roadkill on Sharp Road had attracted several Turkey and Black Vultures as well as three Crested Caracaras.
American Kestrels and Hawks are plentiful. Over the past few days I've seen Red-shouldered and White-tailed Hawks as well as a Merlin.
However, the most numerous predator is the Red-tailed Hawk. They are everywhere. Unfortunately, although they are omnipresent, I've been finding them hard to photograph. They typically stay perched on a utility pole while I park the car and get my camera ready. Then, the instant I open the car door they are off. So yesterday I was delighted when I finally came across a Red-tailed that was not so skittish.
Keeping TrackMy 2012 year list of species is moving along nicely and has already reached 74. Dee and I are heading to the coast this weekend and I'm hoping we'll see a good variety of new birds on our trip.