Friday, April 18, 2008

Flycatcher, Owl, and Trail

I had the day off and this morning birded the length of the new hike-and-bike trail, from the new parking lot to near the Parmer Lane bridge over Lake Creek. I was anticipating many migrating songbirds after the storm last night but I guess it's still a week or 2 early. But the morning was still fun. Near the new footbridge I got this picture of a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. In it you can even see some of the under-wing pink color on its shoulder. On the flood plain property I found a singing Swainson's Thrush and the first Summer Tanager I've seen in the neighborhood this year. I usually only see a couple of these per year in the NASWC area, just during spring or fall migration.

From the flood plain property I crossed the creek and walked along its north bank downstream back to the T&C playing fields. I found another first neighborhood bird for the year -- a male Common Yellowthroat -- in the strip of woods along the creek. Nearby I thought I saw part of a squirrel behind a tree trunk. But I soon realized it was a Great Horned Owl! I got this picture of it peeking at me through the branches.

Downstream of the playing fields I found one more first-for-the-year: a Lesser Yellowlegs among 4 or 5 Solitary Sandpipers, about 20 Blue-winged Teal, and 5 Northern Shovelers. Between there and the last dam on the creek I saw that construction on the remaining section of the hike-and-bike trail has started:

All-in-all I found 60 species this morning, including 8 Nashville Warblers and 9 House Wrens. That's more House Wrens then I've ever seen on one outing before. Many are moving through the area right now, and they're singing!


Shelley said...

Nice photos - I especially enjoyed the "peeking" owl.

Mikael Behrens said...


Anonymous said...

What a fabulous picture of the Great Horned Owl. You'll have to show me where you saw it!

I've never seen a House Wren but I'd like to. Wrens have always fascinated and delighted me.

Reading all your posts has me super excited for seasonal changes and the new birds it brings. It's so amazing that there are so many birds in the neighborhood that are seen at different times of year.