Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Windy Morning and Relaxing Evening

I got a late start this morning, but I still spent about 2 hours birding Lake Creek Trail starting at Parmer Village. It was quite windy and cool. Today was probably the last day I'll wear a light jacket until fall. I didn't see much around the marshy area by the Parmer Lane bridge until a flock of 14 Franklin's Gulls flew by, following the creek on their way north. It's always fun seeing these gulls during spring and fall migration in our neighborhood. It makes me feel like I'm on the coast. I got this poor photo.

On my way upstream to the last dam I ran into fellow neighborhood birders Barry Noret and Ken Williams. Barry reported a possible Golden-cheeked Warbler in the nearby woods. I was quite excited because I had never seen this endangered species in the neighborhood, but it was possible one could be passing through. Ken and I tried but failed to find the bird where Barry had found it. We did find 2 Black-throated Green Warblers, which can look very similar, especially in poor light like there was this morning. We also watched an Olive-sided Flycatcher catching multiple insects, including this dragonfly.

Upstream at the edge of the playing fields Ken and I found some shorebirds on in the creek bed. They were mostly Least Sandpipers but we found 1 Pectoral Sandpiper and a juvenile Killdeer. I got this photo of the Pectoral Sandpiper.

In the middle of the playing fields we found a Blue-headed Vireo softly singing in a juniper tree, and then we split up. I headed back to Parmer village and in the large baseball field I found the first Bronzed Cowbirds I've seen in the neighborhood this year. I got this poor photo through the fences. You can just make out its red eye.

I ended up finding 44 species, not bad for a late morning in May. Later this evening I needed to clear my mind so I grabbed my binoculars and went for a quick walk on the streets around my house. I was hoping to find an interesting warbler or 2 in the trees. I only found 1 nice male Yellow Warbler, but I realized it was the first time in quite awhile I'd gone out birding with no camera, no notepad, and no GPS logger. Just my binoculars. It was simple and fun, and it cleared my mind nicely.

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