Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Migrants - At Last!

The CyFair campus saw a lot of bird activity last week. Unfortunately, though, much of it was during periods of bad weather, which made photography difficult.

I had brief glimpses of a Swainson's Thrush.

Three Western Kingbirds appeared. These should be the first of many, since several pairs nest on the campus every year.

I saw my first Chuck-will's-widow of the year and then the first of the several Common Nighthawks that usually spend the summer on the campus. 

Six species of migrants turned up on what was a dark, miserable day: an Eastern Wood-pewee, a Tennessee Warbler, a stunning male Blackburnian Warbler, a male Painted Bunting, two Baltimore Orioles and three Orchard Orioles. I could have gotten some good shots of the Orioles if one of our flocks of Cedar Waxwings hadn't kept flying in and scaring them off!

I consoled myself by taking a picture of a flock of American White Pelicans that flew over.

In anticipation of more Orioles arriving, I hung orange halves on various bushes along the nature trail boardwalk.

When I checked the trail in mid-morning, Orioles had been chomping away at the oranges.

It turned out to be quite a day. 
At various times I saw up to nine Baltimore Orioles. They were very skittish, however, and I managed only a couple of photos.

I managed to get just a single photo of one of all the other birds that turned up: a Black-and-white Warbler (below), a White-eyed Vireo, a Gray Catbird, a Common Yellowthroat, a Chestnut-sided Warbler, a Golden-winged Warbler, a Yellow-breasted Chat, two Summer Tanagers, a Rose-breasted Grosbeak and seven Indigo Buntings.  

As soon as the rain stopped, I found three birds skulking in the thicket off the nature trail: Gray Catbird, Swainson's Thrush and Wood Thrush. No photos. Then a Black-and-White Warbler and a Common Yellowthroat in mesquite trees outside the library. Again no photos.

I thought about going home but decided to sit for a while on one of the outdoor classroom benches. I'm glad I did. Almost immediately a Black-throated Green Warbler appeared, soon followed by a Northern Parula. Both birds stayed in the area for well over 30 minutes and so I was finally able to get some photos!

Black-throated Green Warbler

Northern Parula


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