Monday, September 1, 2008

100 Mississippi Kites

I was pleased to be able to bird the neighborhood all 3 mornings of this Labor Day weekend. It was worth putting up with the heat and humidity to see fall migration really start to get rolling. Today I started at the Parmer Village development and worked my way upstream on the Lake Creek Trail. At 9:23 AM I came out of a small patch of woods near the last dam on the creek and saw a kettle of about 60 Mississippi Kites high in the sky. It was an amazing sight! (This is the same hawk I got pictures of perched yesterday.) I got this picture that shows only 17 of them. As I watched, they peeled off the kettle and streamed away headed south. For the next 10 minutes I counted about 40 more heading south behind them. Here's a small picture showing their classic profile when soaring.

Otherwise things were relatively quiet. I did find a Bell's Vireo and a Blue Grosbeak in the woods along the creek between the last dam and the T&C playing fields. The Bell's Vireo was a first for the fall and I haven't seen a Blue Grosbeak in the neighborhood since 2006. Plus, in the same area I found a new turtle for my neighborhood list. This Texas River Cooter was in the creek bed walking through the shallow fast-flowing water above one of the dams. Back at home I identified it by the pattern of yellow stripes on its head and neck.

1 comment:

Aaron DaMommio said...

We should call you a turtlewatcher. But it doesn't exactly flow off the tongue. I was happy to see a roadrunner on my bike ride home today. I actually haven't seen one before in the area.