Sunday, March 16, 2014

Wind and Sun and Gnatcatchers

I spent a very enjoyable couple hours on Lake Creek Trail this morning. I got a late start (almost 10:00 AM) but ended up finding 44 species of birds including a few early spring migrants. At 11:00, I was pleased to see the sun emerge as the layer of clouds was blown away by the north wind:

Sun Emerging

One of the early migrating species I observed was Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. There were two individuals in the woods near the footbridge. These are a common north-bound migrating songbird in our neighborhood in the spring. Listen for their quiet, raspy call, and look for a tiny gray bird with a long tail with white outer tail feathers. Here's a photo of one I took on the trail about the same time of year back in 2009:

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

I was excited to find a pair of Cooper's Hawks in the woods between Braes Valley and the footbridge. It looked like the same larger pale female and smaller male that nested here last summer. I don't think their nest was successful last year, so I hope they try again!

Here's my complete list of birds. Despite the wind it was a beautiful day out there!

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