Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Nearer Home

.Saturday morning I made the short drive up to Kleb Woods, hoping to see migrating songbirds. After an hour I had seen only a couple of warblers and so I drove to the northern section of the woods to look for the Great Horned Owls that are nesting there.

There are two owlets but only one of them seemed to be standing up and looking around.

Then I noticed that the other had already ventured out of the nest.

Back at home, I cleaned and refilled a hummingbird feeder and hung it up in the front yard. It took less than five minutes for it to attract its first visitor. However, the latter wasn't a hummingbird but rather a male House Finch.

We have seen hardly any House Finches in our yards over the winter but a small group has now returned. They're always very welcome.

While I was weeding, I glanced up and was surprised to see three Anhingas circling high overhead. That was a new bird for our yard list.

Now that the drought has ended in our area, our yards are coming back to life and many plants that we thought were dead are growing again. With the arrival of spring, Anoles have re-emerged in larger numbers than we have ever seen before. Most of them are bright green but we occasionally see one that is brown.

Several years ago we put in a couple of passionflower plants in the hope that they would attract egg-laying Gulf Fritillary butterflies. Very few Fritillaries ever appeared and even fewer laid eggs. However, the passionflowers have flourished over the past few weeks and the butterflies have been busy. So now we have a score or more Fritillary caterpillars munching their way through the plants' leaves.

At least a couple of the insects have already changed into pupae.

With any luck we'll get to see the amazing transformation of some of the pupae into butterflies over the coming weeks.


Eric said...

My daughter and I are interested in seeing the Great Horned Owls at Kleb Woods. When you reference the northern section of the woods are you referring to the hiking trail from the park entrance off of FM 2920 where the picnic and campsites are located? Thanks, Eric

Jeff said...

Yes. Walk down the main track, the one on the left of the restrooms. Walk across the concrete pad with picnic stuff. Take the left fork after that. Then take the first left fork after that and almost immediately start looking up ahead and to your left. Hope you find them!

Eric said...

Thanks! We were at Brazos Bend on Easter Sunday also. We did see a pair of Barred Owls on Hoots Trail (off the 40 acre lake trail)near dusk.

Jeff said...

We usually have a Barred Owl on the campus but I haven't seen one this year.