Monday, May 31, 2010

Hot and Noisy

I spent a couple hours birding Lake Creek Trail this morning, enduring the heat and enjoying our summer and year-round resident bird species. I did not see any north-bound migrants today, for the first time in 2 or 3 months. The marshy area by the Parmer Lane bridge has fewer species of birds in the summertime, but it seems louder. The cattails are full of nesting Red-winged Blackbirds and Common Grackles making almost constant noise this morning. Both are year-round residents in our neighborhood. I got this photo of a singing Red-winged Blackbird in the reeds.

By the last dam on the creek I got close enough to a Green Heron to get this photo. This is a summer-resident species that hunts on the creek but actually nests in the trees among our houses. I also saw Yellow-crowned Night-Herons, Snowy Egrets, Great Egrets, and a Great Blue Heron on the creek this morning.

It was fun getting some good looks at Yellow-billed Cuckoos in the woods along the creek. This is a summer-resident species that has a very distinctive song but can be very secretive and difficult to actually see. European Starlings seem to already have had a very successful breeding season. I counted 464 on the 1.5 miles of the trail I covered this morning, mostly on the Town and Country playing fields. I estimate at least half of these birds were hatched this spring.

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