Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Morning

This morning my neighbor Steven McDonald and I birded Lake Creek starting at the Town and Country playing fields and going all the way to the Parmer Lane bridge. Even with a chilly wind, we found 52 species of birds. There was more evidence of spring migration today. I counted 5 Great Blue Herons and 7 Great Egrets -- more than I have ever seen on the creek before. Just downstream of the playing fields there was a group of about 20 Blue-winged Teal, 7 Northern Shovelers, 8 Greater Yellowlegs, and 1 Solitary Sandpiper on the creek. The Solitary Sandpiper was the first I've seen this year and I took this picture of it.

Near the last dam Steven found this Pied-billed Grebe which is unusual for the neighborhood and also a first-of-the-year sighting for me. In my picture you can just make out the 2-toned or "pied" bill that these birds get during breeding season.

A couple weeks ago Steven found a Red-shouldered Hawk nest in this area and today we saw the female sitting on the nest with the male perched nearby. In this picture you can just see the hawk peeking at us over the edge of the nest. In the patch of marsh near the Parmer bridge we heard and briefly saw a Marsh Wren in the reeds, 2 Song Sparrows, and heard at least 2 Swamp Sparrows. On our way back through the playing fields we briefly saw a Merlin headed north.

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