Last week I used one of my lunchtimes to drive onto the Katy Prairie, hoping to see the Great Kiskadee that has been wintering at Paul Rushing Park. I missed the same bird when it was at the park last winter and, so far, it had eluded me this winter.
I parked near where the bird had been most often seen and began walking up and down, scanning the trees and fields.
An Eastern Phoebe was busy flycatching from a tree.
A single White-crowned Sparrow watched as I passed by.
A small group of Savannah Sparrows was less tolerant of my presence, although one of them was slower to fly off than the others.
After 20 minutes I had to give up in order to get back to work. So I got in the car and started driving off. I hadn't gone more than 30 yards when I noticed a patch of bright yellow in one of the trees. At last the Kiskadee!
When I looked more carefully, I realized I was wrong and it wasn't the Kiskadee.
It was a Couch's Kingbird, another bird that is comparatively rare in our area in the winter.
While it was not the bird I was looking, the Couch's was a beautiful bird and certainly one that was worth seeing.