Sunday, November 11, 2007

Warm and Breezy Morning

I birded the T&C playing fields and the area downstream this morning for about 3 hours. It was surprisingly warm and a little breezy. I was excited to see this grasshopper impaled on a barb on one of T&C's fences. Loggerhead Shrikes do this. They eat grasshoppers like this one and sometimes stick them on thorns or barbs to store or maybe to hold them steady for eating. (No one is sure why yet.) I've only read about this and seen pictures before. This is the first time I've seen it personally.

This Lincoln's Sparrow was in the reeds by the creek just downstream of the fields. It's one of our native sparrows that only lives here in the winter. Like most sparrows, it prefers low dense brush. Some of its distinguishing characteristics are gray in the face, fine streaking on the breast, and a band of yellowish buffy color across the breast streaks.

At least one Osprey was on the creek, and I'm expecting to see some wild ducks return any day now. I was excited to add bird #170 to my neighborhood list this morning -- Eastern Bluebird. 4 of them flew over the T&C playing fields at about 8:45 AM. The light was just right so I could see their blue backs and orange-red breasts even though they were flying pretty high.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There have been mixed ducks on the retention/drainage pond on Robinson Ranch land just south of 45 east - you can see it from the toll plaza - for the past two days. Some are coots, but there are buffy colored birds as well. I haven't been able to slow down to check them out too closely!