Sunday, August 19, 2012

Yellow Warblers, Cooper's Hawks, Sandpipers

Here are some quick highlights from birding Lake Creek Trail this morning with Barry Noret. Yellow Warblers are one of the most common migrants we can see in the spring and the fall. Many are moving through the neighborhood now. Here's one of six I found on the trail this morning.

Yellow Warbler

Another common fall migrant moving through the area right now is Orchard Oriole. The females and first-year males are mostly yellow like the Yellow Warbler. The males are maroon with black heads and backs.

On the Town and Country soccer fields we noticed all the Killdeer and European Starlings take flight and make noise all of a sudden. They were running from a Cooper's Hawk that flew low over the fields and briefly perched on the fence around the large baseball field. Cooper's Hawks are here all year long, but there are many more here in the winter. There's no telling if this was a year-round resident bird or one moving south.

I was excited to find two Bell's Vireos by the creek near the large baseball field. We heard their crazy song first and then found them chasing each other in a nearby tree. This central Texas summer resident prefers breeding habitat we don't have in the neighborhood, so we only see them here in the spring and the fall. Here's the poor photo I got of one.

Bell's Vireo

On the creek bed we found a few Solitary Sandpipers and many Least Sandpipers. Least Sandpipers are winter residents here, and there are a few moving north or south through the area almost all year long. I got this photo of two. Most of the birds we saw today already had their gray winter plumage, but a few like the bird on the right still had its bright reddish brown breeding colors.

Least Sandpipers

In the next few weeks we'll see more and more south-bound migrating birds, and we'll start to see our winter residents returning as well. Here's the complete list of birds I found this morning.

On a completely unrelated note, I'm currently helping raise money for my favorite local nonprofit, Hill Country Conservancy. I'm doing a Bird-A-Thon from September 1-15. Here are the details. It'll be a fun way to help preserve open space in the Texas Hill Country. Make a pledge!

1 comment:

James said...

Hi – Will you please post a link to your Blog at The Birding Community? Our members will love it.
It's easy just cut and paste the link and it automatically links back to your website… it’s a win win. You can also add Photos and Videos and join Birding discussions if you like.
Email me if you need any help or would like me to do it for you.
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A lot of birders are sharing their Blogs with us.