Sunday afternoon I went over the the Junction city park, which is usually a good place for birding. We had checked it out the previous day but had found the park packed with people attending a fair. This time it was much quieter.
A Turkey Vulture was enjoying what looked like a piece of left-over b-b-qed chicken.
A couple of Eastern Phoebes were flitting about nearby.
One of them decided that this would be a good time for some preening.
A pair of Vermilion Flycatchers moved off as soon as I approached them, so I photographed a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher instead.
Shortly after this, the male Vermilion agreed to pose.
While I was photographing the Vermilion, he flew up into a tree. I walked towards the tree and, just at that moment, a Yellow-billed Cuckoo flew onto a branch. It was my first Cuckoo of the year. Although I had seen many others over the years, this was the first time I'd noticed what a pronounced yellow eye-ring this species has.
Since the park was otherwise quiet for birds, I drove up to the city's water treatment (ie., sewage) plant, hoping for shorebirds. The entrance area utility lines had Cattle Egrets as well as Barn and Cave Swallows (below).
I was disappointed to see that all the ponds were full of water and therefore shorebirds were absent except for a Solitary Sandpiper and five American Avocets (below).
On Monday morning I fitted it a very quick visit to the city park, where I hope to get photos of more Vermilion Flycatchers.
A Great Blue Heron was standing at the foot of the spillway.
Shortly after I arrived, it flew away.
The trees were full of roosting Black and (mainly) Turkey Vultures.
The adult Vermilions were nowhere to be seen but an immature male let me grab a quick picture.
A male House Finch was greeting the dawn from its perch on a chain-link fence.
The top of the same fence held a molting Indigo Bunting and a couple of Eastern Bluebirds (below).
My final sighting was of a bird we had missed seeing at South Llano River State Park: a Golden-fronted Woodpecker.
So if Junction hadn't produced as many birds as usual, it had at least produced a few nice ones.