Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Summer at Paul Rushing

Paul Rushing Chain of Lakes Park on the Katy Prairie is at its best during the winter, when the lakes are crowded with ducks and geese. While the site is much quieter in summer, there are still always some birds to look at.

On a recent visit there were several large wading birds - Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Great Blue Heron - but they refused to let me get within photo range. A solitary Black-bellied Whistling Duck was more obliging. 

As usual, the many Killdeer were skittish, although I managed a quick shot of one as it flew by me, complaining loudly.

There were only a couple of Black-necked Stilts.

However, when disturbed their scolding calls were loud enough to drown out the complaints of the many Killdeer.

I was hoping to add Cliff Swallows to my Harris County year list. Most of the dozens of swallows I saw were Cave Swallows, distinguished by their dark throats. There were dozens of them but, boy, are they difficult to photograph!

I eventually managed a picture of one that had a lighter colored throat and so was probably a Cliff Swallow. 

Male Red-winged Blackbirds were everywhere. Some were resting or displaying on park fences.

Others were perched on vegetation.

One kept circling over my head again and again, calling loudly as he did so.

From the fuss he was making, I realized that he and his partner probably had a nest nearby. So I left, no doubt leaving him feeling proud that he had driven away a potential predator.

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