Sunday, August 7, 2011

NASWC Bird Walk

Despite the heat eight of us participated in the monthly NASWC bird walk this morning. We found 41 species of birds and enjoyed breezy partly cloudy conditions for part of the morning.

NASWC Bird Walk

Here's a link to our bird species list. And here are some highlights from the walk:

Most of us got good looks at a male Painted Bunting and 2 male Orchard Orioles in the creek bed between the Parmer Village model homes and the last dam on the creek.  Orchard Orioles are an early south-bound migrant moving through central Texas right now.

The water by the last dam was full of minnows. We found two Blotched Water Snakes that feed on them and I got this photo of one:

Blotched Water Snake

A little further upstream we found a Red-shouldered Hawk, Green Herons, Snowy Egrets, an immature Little Blue Heron, a Great Blue Heron, and an immature Tricolored Heron. I was most excited to find the Tricolored Heron. This is mostly a coastal species, but this time of year a few usually immature birds can be found inland. I got this poor photo.

Immature Tricolored Heron

We found several interesting dragonflies and damselflies by the creek. Some of them are strikingly colorful, like this Eastern Pond Hawk.

Male Eastern Pondhawk

At our turn-around point an immature Red-tailed Hawk soared right over us. Young Red-tailed Hawks don't have red tails yet, but they can be identified by the dark leading edge of their wings. Sukumar Veena got this great photo showing that field mark.

Immature Red-tailed Hawk

Thanks to all who joined me this morning. Don't let the heat keep you indoors all summer. There are still plenty of birds out there this time of year, and early in the morning it's not too bad out there!

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