.Birding the LSC-CyFair campus has been a very mixed bag so far this year. The nature trail has been almost totally deserted except for a handful of residents and the occasional winter visitor. By contrast, the retention ponds beside Barker Cypress Road have been busier than I've ever known them. This is mainly because they now virtually always host 100+ American Coots and 50+ Ring-necked Ducks. On Monday morning the ponds were even busier than usual.
The northern retention pond had its usual complement of American Coots and Ring-necked Ducks but these had been joined by a range of other birds. Most visible were Great and Snowy Egrets. I counted over 20 Greats around the pond.
Mixed in with the Egrets were a handful of White Ibis.
A dozen or more Laughing Gulls were circling overhead or floating on the water.
The biggest surprise was the number of Double-crested Cormorants. We often see one or two Cormorants on the campus but on Monday I counted about 70 on the northern pond.
The southern pond was much quieter and had only 40-50 American Coots. However, it also had a scattering of Snowy Egrets and another 20 Great Egrets.
I imagine that the new visitors to the ponds gathered there because of the weather that is moving in from the coast. So I wonder how long they will grace us with their presence.
P.S.Most of the birds were still there yesterday and they seemed to be unconcerned about a flyover by a juvenile Bald Eagle.