Sunday, September 12, 2010

Post-flood Birding

Trash LineI spent 3 hours on Lake Creek Trail this morning, starting at the Parmer Village model homes, and I found 42 species of birds. This was the first time I'd been out on the trail since the heavy rains Tuesday night (9/7/2010) that flooded the creek and several houses in the neighborhood. Here's a trash line a little uphill from the last dam. From it I estimate the top of the dam must have been under 4-5 feet of water. One neighbor whose house flooded said it hadn't rained that much since 1984. There was lots of flattened grass, one tree I found pushed over, and more water in the creek bed by the Parmer Lane bridge than I've ever seen. Here's a photo Barry Noret took on Wednesday morning, showing how high the water still was.
Photo by Barry Noret
But today this dam was easily crossable. In the woods around the drainage creek that parallels Saddlebrook Trail I had the most luck finding fall migrating birds. As I was talking to a neighbor on the sidewalk I watched 2 Great Crested Flycatchers and a Yellow Warbler fly into these woods. Following them I got this photo of one of the flycatchers.

Great Crested Flycatcher

I spent about an hour in those woods and had a great time watching 1 loosely associated mixed species flock of songbirds in the tree canopy. I found a Bell's Vireo, Warbling Vireo, and Blue Headed Vireo in that flock, as well as more Yellow Warblers, Wilson's Warblers, and 1 beautiful male Black-throated Green Warbler. Here's a poor photo I got of the Black-throated Green.

Black-throated Green Warbler

Later on the trail through the playing fields I got to listen to the same trombone player we heard last week as I found 4 or 5 Baltimore Orioles and another Yellow Warbler. I was unable to get a decent photo of any of the orioles. They really are sneaky when the pass through central Texas during spring and fall migration, usually staying behind layers of foliage and out of view. But I did get this photo of the Yellow Warbler.

Yellow Warbler

Further upstream in the creek bed I checked for shorebirds and found Least Sandpipers, Solitary Sandpipers, and of course Killdeer. I also found 3 Inca Doves, our smallest and least common species of dove in the neighborhood. They have ann elegant scaly appearance and have reddish brown wing patches visible when they fly. This one let me get pretty close.

Inca Dove


Austin Eavesdropper said...

The Yellow Warbler is pretty, Mikael! Great shot.

Mikael Behrens said...

Thanks, Tolly!