Big Country Audubon Society

Stories from May, 2007

May 10, 2007 – DAFB

Best bird(s) of the day:

  • Black-crowned Night-Heron, 1
  • Blue-headed Vireo, 1
  • Yellow Warbler, 4
  • Wilson’s Warbler, 2
  • Baltimore Oriole, 1
  • Orchard Oriole, 2 @ Wilhair Park, Abilene, TX
  • American Goldfinch, 1 (late in the season)

Complete List:

  • Blue-winged Teal, 2
  • Wild Turkey, 1
  • Northern Bobwhite, 2
  • Green Heron, 1
  • Black-crowned Night-Heron, 1
  • Turkey Vulture, 2
  • Mississippi Kite, 4
  • Swainson’s Hawk, 2
  • Mourning Dove, 5
  • Yellow-billed Cuckoo, 3
  • Ladder-backed Woodpecker, 1
  • Ash-throated Flycatcher, 2
  • Western Kingbird, 2
  • Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, 16
  • Bell’s Vireo, 1
  • Blue-headed Vireo, 1
  • Blue Jay, 1
  • Black-crested Titmouse, 6
  • Bewick’s Wren, 4
  • House Wren, 1
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 1
  • Eastern Bluebird, 1
  • Northern Mockingbird, 10
  • Curve-billed Thrasher, 1
  • European Starling, 4
  • Cedar Waxwing, 14
  • Yellow Warbler, 4
  • Wilson’s Warbler, 2
  • Lark Sparrow, 1
  • Lincoln’s Sparrow, 2 (1@airfield, 1@GC)
  • Northern Cardinal, 7
  • Painted Bunting, 4
  • Great-tailed Grackle, 4
  • Brown-headed Cowbird, 2
  • Bullock’s Oriole, 3
  • Baltimore Oriole, 1
  • House Finch, 8
  • American Goldfinch, 1 (late in the season)

Sightings by LgPacker; areas covered: GC, grassland E of WSA

Well, Owl Be Surprised!

This evening a friend called and invited me to bird. Said she’d heard of a hawk’s nest out on utility poles south of Lake Fort Phantom and wanted to go take a look. Yawn, every year some Red-taileds nest there. I was tired; really didn’t want to go see another Red-tailed; but made the effort none-the-less. Before I could set the scope on the hawks, I noticed something different:

GHOW

Those weren’t hawks! They were Great-horned Owls! Well, “owl” be surprised! The parent sat to the right of the nest and we watched the nestlings preen, stretch their wings, and generally jostle each other because they’d outgrown their nest.

GHOW_nest

The owlets soon settled back into the nest to wait for the sun to set. I left re-examining my previous pre-concieved negative attitude. Nature is full of surprises if we’d only make ourselves available to observe it.

(The owls are out on FM 3308; the road that runs between West Lake Road and East Lake Road.)

May 5, 2007

Here are a few highlights of birds seen from various places:

  • White-faced Ibis (6) – Kirby Lake
  • Franklin’s Gull – 4 – Lk Fort Phantom Hill
  • Common Moorhen – 1 – Kirby Lake
  • Yellow-billed Cuckoo 1 – SeaBee Park (my FOS)
  • Blue Grosbeak (1 f) W Lake Rd
  • Grasshopper Sparrow (3) – SeaBee Park
  • Summer Tanager (1) Cedar Gap Farm
  • Dickcissel (5) – SeaBee Park

Above sightings by Lorie Black

Waste Water, May 5, 2007:

  • Black-bellied Whistling Duck, 2
  • Gadwall, 2
  • Mallard, 2
  • Blue-winged Teal, 24
  • Northern Shoveler, 6
  • Northern Bobwhite, 2 (h)
  • White-faced Ibis, 1
  • Mississippi Kite, 1
  • Swainson’s Hawk, 1
  • Black-necked Stilt, 5
  • American Avocet, 10
  • Spotted Sandpiper, 1
  • Greater Yellowlegs, 3
  • Lesser Yellowlegs, 1
  • Western Sandpiper, 2
  • Wilson’s Phalarope, 50
  • Clay-colored Sparrow, 2
  • Lark Sparrow, 8
  • Grasshopper Sparrow, 1 (h)
  • Painted Bunting, 1
  • Dickcissel, 10

Waste Water sightings by Kathy Hampton, Laura Packer, Heidi Trudell

At DAFB:

  • Least Flycatcher, 1 (5-4-2007)
  • Bell’s Vireo, 2 (4-30-2007)
  • Eastern Kingbird, 1 (5-4-2007)
  • Yellow Warbler, 1 (4-30-2007)
  • Black and White Warbler, 1 (5-1-2007)
  • Northern Waterthrush, 1 (4-30-2007)
  • Yellow-breasted Chat, 1 (5-3-2007)

DAFB sightings by Laura Packer

So Many Birds; So Little Time to Blog

NAWA

One faithful reader commented the other day, “I check your website everyday, but I’m not finding anything recent.” Ouch; I’m guilty as charged. But those close to me know I haven’t been slouching off. Quite the contrary. I’ve been birding almost non-stop since mid-April. Birding in and around Abilene, birding on the upper Texas coast, birding in Austin, and birding at Dyess. My eyes are tired and blurry from staring at tall trees and deciphering what little feathers are moving about in the canopy. Why the non-stop birding? It’s migration and millions of our breeders are returning to claim a territory, build nests, and raise a family. It’s so exciting (to me at least) to find warblers, tanagers, buntings, and others. If I blink I might miss something. OK, I’ll slow down and process the hundreds of photos I’ve taken the past few weeks. No, I’m not going to throw all of them up on the web. I wouldn’t do that to my failthful readers. But I did pick a good solid baker’s dozen to illustrate some of the warblers and others seen recently. So Many Birds; So Little Time; thanks for looking. And keep watching the trees and this website. I’ll throw up some more photos soon.

May 4, 2007 – DAFB

Best Bird(s) of the Day:

  • Eastern Kingbird, 1 FOS and first time to document on base
  • Nashville Warbler, 1
  • Clay-colored Sparrow, high numbers

Complete List:

  • Northern Bobwhite: 2
  • Green Heron, 2
  • Turkey Vulture, 2
  • Mississippi Kite, 3
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk, 2
  • Killdeer, 4
  • Spotted Sandpiper, 1
  • Mourning Dove, 23
  • Yellow-billed Cuckoo 1
  • Golden-fronted Woodpecker, 3
  • Ladder-backed Woodpecker, 2
  • Ash-throated Flycatcher, 4
  • Western Kingbird, 17
  • Eastern Kingbird, 1 (FOS)
  • Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, 39
  • American Crow, 1
  • Chihuahuan Raven, 1
  • Cliff Swallow, 95
  • Black-crested Titmouse, 2
  • Bewick’s Wren, 4
  • Eastern Bluebird, 9
  • Northern Mockingbird, 15
  • European Starling, 6
  • Cedar Waxwing, 12
  • Nashville Warbler, 1; strange to find it in mesquite shrubland E of WSA
  • Cassin’s Sparrow, 7
  • Chipping Sparrow, 4
  • Clay-colored Sparrow, 88
  • Lark Sparrow, 25
  • Grasshopper Sparrow, 10
  • Lincoln’s Sparrow, 4
  • White-crowned Sparrow, 2
  • Northern Cardinal, 2
  • Dickcissel, 8
  • Red-winged Blackbird, 19
  • Eastern Meadowlark, 4
  • Common Grackle, 11
  • Great-tailed Grackle, 4
  • Brown-headed Cowbird, 14
  • Bullock’s Oriole, 4
  • House Finch, 16
  • House Sparrow, 4

Sightings by LgPacker; areas covered: GC, WSA, Picnic/Hosp., s. grasslands, s. DD

May 3, 2007 – DAFB

Best Bird(s) of the day:

  • Northern Harrier 1, (late in the season?)
  • Least Flycatcher, 1
  • House Wren, 2 (also fairly late in the season)
  • Nashville Warbler, 3
  • Yellow-breasted Chat, 1

Complete List:

  • Northern Bobwhite, 2
  • Great Blue Heron, 2
  • Northern Harrier, 1
  • Swainson’s Hawk, 2
  • Greater Roadrunner, 1
  • Golden-fronted Woodpecker, 1
  • Ladder-backed Woodpecker, 1
  • Least Flycatcher, 1
  • Ash-throated Flycatcher, 1
  • Western Kingbird, 3
  • Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, 5
  • American Crow, 1
  • Black-crested Titmouse, 3
  • House Wren, 2
  • Northern Mockingbird, 7
  • Nashville Warbler, 3
  • Yellow-breasted Chat, 1
  • Canyon Towhee, 1 (heard)
  • Cassin’s Sparrow, 3
  • Chipping Sparrow, 12
  • Clay-colored Sparrow, 29
  • Field Sparrow, 5
  • Grasshopper Sparrow, 2
  • White-crowned Sparrow, 2
  • Northern Cardinal, 4
  • Painted Bunting, 3
  • Red-winged Blackbird, 2
  • Great-tailed Grackle, 2
  • Brown-headed Cowbird, 4
  • House Finch, 1

Other wildlife: Porcupine

Sightings in Mesquite Shrub area by LgPacker

May 1, 2007 – DAFB

Best Bird(s) of the day:

  • Black-bellied Whistling Duck, 2
  • Least Flycatcher, 1 (FOS)
  • Chihuahuan Raven nestlings just a few days old, 3
  • Yellow Warbler, 1
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler, 1
  • Black and White Warbler, 1

Complete List:

  • Black-bellied Whistling Duck, 2 on GC
  • Mallard, 2
  • Northern Shoveler, 1
  • Wild Turkey, 6 on Green 10
  • Great Blue Heron, 2
  • Green Heron, 3
  • Mississippi Kite, 7
  • Swainson’s Hawk, 2
  • American Kestrel, 2
  • Spotted Sandpiper, 2
  • Yellow-billed Cuckoo, 1
  • Least Flycatcher, 1
  • Chihuahuan Raven, 5 (this includes 3 nestlings)
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 1
  • Eastern Bluebird, 2
  • American Robin, 2
  • Cedar Waxwing, 15
  • Yellow Warbler, 1
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler, 1
  • Black and White Warbler
  • Chipping Sparrow, 30
  • Clay-colored Sparrow, 32
  • Lark Sparrow, 8
  • White-crowned Sparrow, 2
  • Painted Bunting, 1
  • Bullock’s Oriole, 2

Sightings by LgPacker @ GC

May 1, 2007 – Cedar Gap Farm

Highlights:

Black-capped Vireo, 2
Lazuli Bunting, 4
Indigo Bunting, 1
Painted Bunting, 6

Sightings by KHampton and LgPacker