Saturday, March 10, 2012

Wet Week at CyFair

.Work at the college eased up towards the end of the week and I thought I might finally get time to do some birding around the campus . Unfortunately, as work eased up the rains came down, and what little birding I managed to do was carried out mainly from my car.

The parking area near the nature trail was still attracting a score or more Savannah Sparrows. What delightful little birds they are!

Several more Purple Martins have now settled in to their houses. Their profile is distinctive, both in flight and when perched.


The Northern Harrier that arrived some weeks ago continued to make regular forays over the campus but I wasn't able to get any photos. Our pair of Red-tailed Hawks seemed to be spending most of their time perched on distant utility pylons, only occasionally venturing close enough for me to grab a photo.

We have a good array of birds on and around the retention ponds, including Ring-necked Ducks, Redheads, American Coots, Double-crested Cormorants, Great Egret and Great Blue Heron.  These have now been joined by a few small groups of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks.

Several pairs of Whistling Ducks used to raise their families around the ponds until construction work drove them away last year. I'm hoping that some of the current visitors will decide to stay and breed.

The rain seemed to dampen the spirits of the Eastern Meadowlarks and Red-winged Blackbirds that usually fill the air with their songs. Our Great-tailed Grackles and Brown-headed Cowbirds (below) were uncharacteristically quiet, too, even during the brief spells when blue sky re-emerged.

We've always had a couple of Loggerhead Shrikes at CyFair but lately I've been seeing Shrikes all over the campus and so I suspect that our population has grown. I hope so because they have long been one of my favorite birds.

As next week is spring break, I probably won't get down to the campus. Hopefully, by the time I get back there the rains will have stopped and I will be able to do a more comprehensive survey of the campus.

1 comment:

aj said...

Hi Jeff, I've been following your blog for a while now (found via the 'busy at bird feeder' thread on birdforum. I'm also a Brit, currently residing in Ottawa, and at the moment on a weeks jolly in Florida? Why is this of interest? Becuase I've spent much of the week spotting birds I've seen only on your blog before, and in particular bonding with a pair of Loggerhead Shrikes who have been visiting me while I watch my friends sail. I agree, fab birds, so full of character. Thanks for all the entertaining posts, its been a pleasure to see some of these birds in person at last!