Sunday, March 2, 2014

Birding on Broadmeade Walk

14 folks participated in this month's group walk. We met at the Parmer Village pond at 8:00 AM and spent about 2 hours birding Lake Creek Trail. What started as a mild, humid, overcast morning near 70 degrees, ended in the mid-40s with a bracing north wind. After the front hit (at exactly 8:43 AM) about half the group turned back and went home. The rest of us toughed it out and made it back to our cars at about 9:45, just before the rain started.

On Friday, Sue and Steve Whitmer saw a female Vermilion Flycatcher by the Parmer Village pond. This morning we couldn't find this locally rare bird. but we did see some other cool stuff. Near the last dam on the creek, just above the treetops, we saw two Barn Swallows heading north. These birds are summer residents in central Texas and most of north America, and they were the first Barn Swallows I've seen this year. Shortly afterwards we saw a group of three Great Blue Herons flying in the distance. In central Texas we have Great Blue Herons that are here all year long. But this species is also migratory. This time of year we always see increased numbers of these large birds on our creek because there are birds here from further south that on their way further north. Later we saw a group of five of these herons, and I got this photo of two of them:

Migrating Great Blue Herons

The creek had lots of ducks on it, which are also on their way north. We saw larger-than-average numbers of Gadwalls and American Wigeon, and I saw the first Blue-winged Teal that I've seen on the creek this winter. Other duck species included Northern Shovelers and Green-winged Teal. And several large Double-crested Cormorants flew over us while we were out. Despite cold and wet weather, we found 43 species of birds. Here's our complete list.

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