Sunday, February 19, 2012

Rain, Rain, Rain

.It seems to have done nothing but rain for the past two weeks. Given that we're still in a drought, this is a good thing. However, it has made it difficult for me to get out to watch birds. Also, when there have been breaks in the rain, the skies have generally been so cloudy and dark that there hasn't been enough light for me to take photos.

At the college I haven't been along the nature trail lately because it has been cut off from the parking lots by a sea of mud. However, I have noticed that a flock of perhaps 20 Savannah Sparrows has been grazing near the entrance to the trail.

The stormy weather has meant that the campus parking lots have had several Ring-billed Gulls devery day.

Back at home a score or more Chipping Sparrows are rarely far away from our feeders. I never tire of watching them.

Unfortunately, the same is now also true of a group of 8-9 House Sparrows.

I haven't seen a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, a Yellow-rumped Warbler or an American Goldfinch for days but at least two Orange-crowned Warblers are still hanging out in our yards.

The Rufous Hummingbird that appeared some weeks ago is still visiting our feeders, too. Late yesterday afternoon she appeared for the first time at a feeder that I'd attached to our livingroom window. I grabbed my camera, switched on the flash and managed to get one shot before she vanished.

We've occasionally seen less common birds in or above our yards. Early in the week a group of five Sandhill Cranes flew over, while on Thursday 25 Cedar Waxwings spent a couple of minutes in the top of our oak tree. Dee has noticed a hawk flying through the backyard on several occasions. I suspect it is the Sharp-shinned Hawk that I've seen a few times lately in our neighborhood. From the little heap of Chipping Sparrow feathers that I found on our front lawn yesterday, I also suspect that the hawk has noticed the activity around our feeders.

Countless numbers of squirrels are constantly roaming around our yards, often digging up our lawn and flower beds to recover acorns they buried last year. They have learned that our seed feeders are squirrel-proof and so they leave them alone but at least one squirrel has realized that our suet feeders are accessible and contain tasty food.

I guess this means we'll now have to squirrel-proof these feeders too!

As today is supposed to be dry, we're going to get out to do some birding. We'll probably across to Baytown Nature Center and - mosquitoes permitting - spend a little time there. Then we may pop in at Sheldon Lake on our way home, where perhaps I'll finally get to see the Great Kiskadee that has been there for months.


Matthew Sim said...

I know what you mean, I haven't been able to get out for weeks here in Tomball because of all the rain. I went out yesterday for a short walk when the rain had stopped and no sooner had I walked out of sight of the house, on comes the rain!

Jeff said...

A much better day today, isn't it? This afternoon has been beautiful.

Shyra! said...

Although it's been raining you still manage to have a lovely pictures of those birds which were all beautiful. I hope you could have a better weather though. Great post.

Aviaries for Birds

Jeff said...

Thank you, Shyra. Yesterday afternoon and this morning were dry and sunny - but this afternoon is dark and damp again!