Saturday, April 5, 2008

Hooded Warbler

Friday morning I took a couple hours off from work to see what new birds Thursday night's front might have blown in. I watched the weather radar from home until the last cell of thunderstorms had passed over. Then I drove to the Town and Country playing fields. Near the new hike-and-bike trail footbridge I found a Lark Sparrow, the first one I've seen this year. Its white outer tail feathers and white tail corners caught my eye when it flushed from beside the creek. Then I got a good look at it when it landed in the short grass. Its chestnut, black, and white face pattern is striking.

But the bird of the morning was a male Hooded Warbler I found near the new hike-and-bike trail parking lot. I was watching a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher foraging relatively low on the edge of some brush when something yellow and green chased it away. I took a couple steps to see what it was and got a great look at this unmistakeable bird. I even watched it fan its tail open and closed, showing the white inner feathers. I did not get a picture, but I sure did enjoy seeing this bird. For whatever reason I haven't gotten a good look at a Hooded Warbler in years. It reminded me of taking a field trip years ago to High Island with Bob Barth's ornithology class at UT. Hooded Warbler was one of the most common migrating songbirds we found.

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