Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Birding on Broadmeade Walk

On Sunday July 1, six people met me at 7:30 AM on the east end of Lake Creek Trail for the monthly bird walk. It was a breezy morning. That and partial cloud cover for the first half of the walk kept us from feeling too warm. Insects were already becoming active, and as I waited at the meeting spot this Western Kingbird hunted them over the pond, sometimes hovering over the aquatic plants:

Western Kingbird over Pond

We made our way upstream in the creek bed and as we approached the last dam on the creek, we started hearing a Painted Bunting singing. We got a brief look at it at the same location where Steven McDonald and I observed a female bringing food to a nest a few weeks ago. Last weekend I saw a whole Painted Bunting family there, both parents and four fledglings. This morning we only saw the singing male. We ended up getting two more good looks at it, and I got this mediocre photo:

Painted Bunting

As the morning progressed, dragonflies came out. I was excited when the group found this male Red-tailed Pennant. This is a species I've only seen once or twice before on the trail, and this was the first time I was able to photograph it:

Red-tailed Pennant - 1

We followed the trail upstream into the Town and Country playing fields, and we stopped at the first low water crossing and spent some time there before heading back. In a small patch of foam just beside where water was rushing under the crossing, we found a pair of small Plain-bellied Water Snakes hunting minnows. They were so tiny, and all you could see was their two heads in the foam. Some of us wondered if it was a single snake with two heads! But a little later one moved away from the other.

Two Snake Heads

Today I was excited to learn that iNaturalist picked my observation of these two snakes as their Observation of the Day!

Other things we found Sunday morning included more dragonflies (Four-spotted Pennant, Widow Skimmer, Common Whitetail, Comanche Skimmer, Neon Skimmer, and Eastern Pondhawk), two Eastern Cicada Killer wasps, and a Cooper's Hawk. We saw the Cooper's Hawk twice. It looked like an adult male, and both times it was carrying prey. The second time it was being chased by Western Kingbirds.

Here's our complete eBird list.

And here are a few more photos on Flickr.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

These photos are amazing! The snake photo is deserving of even more attention! Well done !!