Saturday, November 1, 2008

Winter Birds and a B-17

I found 37 species of birds in the neighborhood this morning, starting from my house on Broadmeade and walking down Stillforest and Meadowheath to the Lake Creek Trail. The streets had lots of car traffic for a Saturday morning, which made the birding less enjoyable, but I did find one nice mixed-species foraging flock on Stillforest with a Blue-headed Vireo in it. At the end of Meadowheath I got this picture of the sunbeams coming through the clouds over the T&C playing fields. It was a beautiful fall morning. I took the trail west to the trail head parking lot.

Near the trail footbridge I heard a chip note similar to a cardinal's, but just a bit softer. I recognized it as a Yellow-rumped Warbler and saw the bird a minute later. This is a very common winter-resident bird here and this was the first one I've seen in the neighborhood this fall. Ruby-crowned Kinglets, also common winter residents, are getting more plentiful -- I counted 10 this morning and heard their typewriter-like call all morning. On the trail I also heard a Northern Flicker several times. There were some Orange-crowned Warblers around as well. I heard a few of the soft call notes that native sparrows make, but I never could get a look at one. Near the end of Holbrook I got this picture of a favorite year-round resident, a Northern Cardinal.

I spent a few minutes at the edge of the creek near the trail parking lot looking for shorebirds and only found a single Killdeer and 2 Least Sandpipers. And then I got a surprise when a World War II era bomber flew right over me! I got this picture, and after a quick search on the internet I think it's a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress. You just never know what you'll see in our neighborhood!

On my way back home I got to add one more returning winter resident bird to my fall list. While talking to a neighbor I saw a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, one of the 5 species of woodpeckers I've seen in the NASWC area.


Steven said...

The B-17 pic made me chuckle because I got a pic of the plane also as it flew over my house. I found the plane's website, it is actually on tour right now and is flying out of Georgetown. Some quick stats- it was delivered to the US Army on May 18,1945 and while it didn't see any WWII action it is one of 15 B-17's still flying today. Here's the website -


Mikael Behrens said...

That's just amazing! Let me add that we also briefly saw the same plane today at the end of my monthly bird walk.

Annie in Austin said...

Thanks for the photo, Mikael.

I saw the sunbeams through clouds as I left for the day, and upon my return Saturday evening, my husband told me he'd seen the B-17 flying while he was driving up Lake Creek... he knew about the rides but they are expensive.