Friday, November 20, 2015

Winter Ducks Are Back

I spent part of Wednesday lunchtime in what used to be Horsepen Creek Park but has now been renamed Deputy Darren Goforth Park. (It is located directly across Barker Cypress Road from the CyFair campus.) I was hoping that at least a few of our winter ducks had arrived.

At first glance, all I could see were a couple of Pied-billed Grebes and scores of American Coots (below).

Then I noticed that a couple of female Blue-winged Teal were mixed in with the Coots.

A male Mallard and three females (below) were hanging out nearby.

Far out on the water were several more ducks, including Northern Shovelers. A little closer there was a group of Lesser Scaup (below).

There were a couple of dozen Ruddy Ducks also but only a few females came within camera range. Last winter the pond often had 100-200 Ruddy Ducks.

Over on the other side of the pond I could just make out what looked through my binoculars like two Red-breasted Mergansers. A photo that I enlarged later showed that they were indeed Red-breasted Mergansers. That's a good bird to see on an inland lake or pond in our area.

As usual at this park, there were a handful of Great and Snowy Egrets, including the Snowy shown below.

As I was leaving, I spotted an Osprey flying from the park over to the college. When I arrive back on the campus, the bird was preening on a utility pylon.

It shouldn't be long now until many more ducks arrive in our area and so I'll be keeping an eye on the park pond from now on.

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