The Great Backyard Bird Count is this weekend, so Friday night I sent a late notice email to my bird walk email list to see if anyone wanted to contribute to the GBBC by counting birds Saturday evening at the Parmer Village drainage pond. There ended up being 5 of us (me, Barry Noret, Bill Dodd, and John and Cathy Mandel). We enjoyed a very pleasant 90 minutes watching the sun set and observing birds. As soon as I arrived I found these 5 Greater Yellowlegs on the edge of the pond. (And that's a male Northern Shoveler to the left of them.)
Other bird highlights were the Cave Swallows returning to their roost under the Parmer Lane bridge, 2 Western Meadowlarks, Wilson's Snipe, a Great Egret hunting in the pond, and a Loggerhead Shrike. We ended up recording 21 species. But there were also some non-bird highlights. About 20 minutes after the sun set we found a bat flying around over the streets behind us. And a few minutes later, we realized that the bright light in the sky that was slowly moving north wasn't a plane -- it was the International Space Station! What an unexpected surprise!