Thursday, February 16, 2012

Soggy at CyFair

We have had a lot of rain over the past weeks and non-paved areas of the CyFair campus are either waterlogged or covered in mud. While the rain is very welcome, it has produced less-than-ideal conditions for birding. Conditions have been even worse over the past couple of days because we have had thick fog each morning. So I'm afraid I haven't been able to take many photos.

The retention ponds continue to host a lot of birds every day - mainly Great and Snowy Egrets, American Coots, Double-crested Cormorants and Ring-necked Ducks. The Great-tailed Grackles which hang out in our parking lots have often been joined by Ring-billed Gulls, while small groups of Savannah Sparrows graze the surrounding lawn areas. Every so often a Northern Harrier flies across the ranks of parked cars, taking me by surprise every time it appears.

The nature trail has been quiet most days, perhaps because of the Red-shouldered Hawk that has taken to lurking there.

However, the hawk was absent yesterday morning and in its place there were maybe twenty Yellow-rumped Warblers, by far the most I have seen there this winter. I also spotted a group of Cedar Waxwings.

In previous winters we have had large numbers of Waxwings on the campus - sometimes flocks of 300-600 birds. This year the biggest flock I've seen has been only about a dozen strong.

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