Sunday, May 25, 2008

Slowing Down and Heating Up

Today was the first day in about 2 months that I did not see a single migrating warbler when I birded the neighborhood this morning. Spring migration is tapering off as the temperature rises and our summer resident birds get on with their lives. The Red-shouldered Hawk nest at Stillforest and Chester Forest had 2 nestlings in it. I got this picture of one of them peeking over the edge. The Broad-winged Hawk nest at Broadmeade and Norchester had one of the parent birds sitting on the nest. Hopefully there will be some young birds visible soon. There are many Carolina Chickadee family groups in our trees these days, the new birds still getting fed by the parents. Here's a picture I got of one chickadee near Stillforest and Meadowheath.

There were just 2 migrating birds I was excited to find this morning. One was an Olive-sided Flycatcher near the Lake Creek Trail footbridge. I saw one near this same spot last weekend and it's a bird I've only seen one other time in the neighborhood. The other was a single female Green-winged Teal on the creek just downstream of the playing fields. This is the first Green-winged Teal I've seen in the neighborhood in over a year. In previous winters I've found a few in this area on the creek but last winter I imagine the construction projects scared them off. Hopefully they will return this winter.

Birds aren't the only colorful animals we have in the neighborhood. Near the last dam on Lake Creek there were several male Longear Sunfish that had cleared off areas of the creek bottom as small territories in which to mate and protect eggs. The males are a striking combination of orange and light blue, with red eyes. I got this picture of one -- it's not great but even through the murky water you can see the color!


Annie in Austin said...

Hello Mikael,

I just found your blog [via Austin Bloggers Metablog] and I'm enjoying it a great deal! I'm one of the umpteen Austin Garden Bloggers rather than a birder, but many of us frequently note the appearance of birds in our gardens, with a few Painted Buntings reported around town.

I'm not too far to the west and south of you [on the other side of Research], and am amazed at the birds you see.
You're going in my bloglines, kiddo - don't want to miss anything exciting!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Mikael Behrens said...

Thanks Annie! Gardening with native plants is a great and straightforward way to help our diverse local bird population. I wish I knew more about it so I could promote it in my neighborhood too.