Big Country Audubon Society

Stories from August, 2007

August 31, 2007 – DAFB

Highlights of this morning:

  • Eastern Bluebirds, 15 clustered around a fruiting vine
  • Wilson’s Warbler, 1 male

Complete List:

  • Mallard, 2
  • Wild Turkey, 25
  • Great Blue Heron, 1
  • Great Egret, 5 overhead
  • Green Heron, 3
  • Swainson’s Hawk, 1 juvenile
  • Killdeer, 4
  • Mourning Dove, 17
  • Yellow-billed Cuckoo, 1
  • Black-chinned Hummingbird, 1
  • Golden-fronted Woodpecker, 1
  • Ladder-backed Woodpecker, 2
  • Least Flycatcher, 1
  • Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, 40
  • Blue Jay, 1
  • Cliff Swallow, 3
  • Cave Swallow, 77
  • Barn Swallow, 3
  • Black-crested Titmouse, 2
  • Eastern Bluebird, 15
  • American Robin, 21
  • Northern Mockingbird, 1
  • Wilson’s Warbler, 1
  • Northern Cardinal, 7 (including a pair still feeding young)
  • Dickcissel, 1
  • Bullock’s Oriole, 3
  • House Finch, 8

Sightings by LgPacker at Mesquite Grove GC

August 30, 2007 – DAFB

Highlights of this morning:

  • Upland Sandpiper, 2 heard overhead
  • Least Flycatcher, 1
  • Eastern Kingbird, 1
  • Loggerhead Shrike: 1, impaling a cricket for later consumption
  • Orange-crowned Warbler, 2
  • Nashville Warbler, 1
  • Yellow Warbler, 5
  • Orchard Oriole, 3

Complete List:

  • Wild Turkey, 6
  • Northern Bobwhite, 12
  • Great Blue Heron, 1
  • Great Egret, 6 flying overhead
  • Green Heron, 1
  • Turkey Vulture, 2
  • Swainson’s Hawk, 2
  • Red-tailed Hawk, 1
  • American Kestrel, 1
  • Killdeer, 2
  • Upland Sandpiper, 2 heard overhead
  • Mourning Dove, 22
  • Golden-fronted Woodpecker, 2
  • Ladder-backed Woodpecker, 1
  • Least Flycatcher, 1
  • Eastern Phoebe, 1
  • Ash-throated Flycatcher, 1
  • Western Kingbird, 1
  • Eastern Kingbird, 1 juvenile
  • Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, 103
  • Loggerhead Shrike, 1 impaling a cricket for later consumption
  • American Crow, 2
  • Cliff Swallow, 61
  • Barn Swallow, 5
  • Bewick’s Wren, 2
  • Eastern Bluebird, 3
  • Northern Mockingbird, 11
  • European Starling, 25
  • Orange-crowned Warbler, 2
  • Nashville Warbler, 1
  • Yellow Warbler, 5
  • Lark Sparrow, 3
  • Northern Cardinal, 3: male and female feeding young
  • Dickcissel, 7
  • Eastern Meadowlark, 2
  • Common Grackle, 8 flying overhead
  • Orchard Oriole, 3
  • Bullock’s Oriole, 1
  • House Finch 7

Sightings by LgPacker in the grassland and riparian habitats around WSA

August 29, 2007-DAFB

Best bird(s) of the morning:

  • Upland Sandpiper, 16
  • Long-billed Curlew, 1
  • Yellow-billed Cuckoo, 1 juvenile, in my hand (picture coming soon)
  • Grasshopper Sparrow, 3

Complete List:

  • Northern Bobwhite, 16
  • Green Heron, 2
  • Swainson’s Hawk, 3
  • Killdeer, 6
  • Upland Sandpiper, 16
  • Long-billed Curlew, 1
  • Mourning Dove, 44
  • Yellow-billed Cuckoo, 1
  • Common Nighthawk, 3
  • Western Kingbird, 2
  • Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, 44
  • Loggerhead Shrike, 1
  • Horned Lark, 6
  • Barn Swallow, 22
  • Black-crested Titmouse, 1
  • Northern Mockingbird, 2
  • Grasshopper Sparrow, 3
  • Eastern Meadowlark, 29
  • Western Meadowlark, 2
  • Great-tailed Grackle, 36
  • House Sparrow, 125

Sightings by LgPacker, most of these birds were seen on the airfield.

August 28, 2007-DAFB

Best bird(s) of the morning:

  • Upland Sandpiper, 11; 6 flying overhead and 5 foraging in a large field
  • Long-billed Curlew, 1
  • Empidonax, 1
  • Yellow Warbler, 2

Complete List: (Seeing some fall migrants and some familiar breeding birds)

  • Northern Bobwhite, 22 (yep, came upon a covey)
  • Mississippi Kite, 1
  • Swainson’s Hawk, 3
  • Upland Sandpiper, 11
  • Long-billed Curlew, 1
  • White-winged Dove, 27
  • Mourning Dove, 43
  • Yellow-billed Cuckoo, 1
  • Common Nighthawk, 2
  • Chimney Swift, 3
  • Black-chinned Hummingbird, 1
  • Golden-fronted Woodpecker, 5
  • Ladder-backed Woodpecker, 3
  • Empidonax, 1
  • Ash-throated Flycatcher, 2
  • Western Kingbird, 2
  • Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, 24
  • Blue Jay, 2
  • Cliff Swallow, 40
  • Cave Swallow, 136
  • Barn Swallow, 18
  • Black-crested Titmouse, 1
  • Cactus Wren, 2
  • Bewick’s Wren, 3
  • Northern Mockingbird, 8
  • Curve-billed Thrasher, 1
  • Yellow Warbler, 2
  • Canyon Towhee, 2
  • Lark Sparrow, 4
  • Northern Cardinal, 3
  • Pyrrhuloxia, 1
  • Painted Bunting, 3 (all were either juveniles or females; no males were seen)
  • Dickcissel, 9 (and two were still bringing food. Wasn’t able to confirm nesting but females didn’t swallow food. They perched and held the bug in their mouth until I moved on)
  • Eastern Meadowlark, 1
  • Bullock’s Oriole, 1
  • House Finch, 5
  • House Sparrow, 36

Sightings by LgPacker, in Mesquite Shrub and Grassland habitats

Rufous in the Big Country

RUHU

Rufous Hummingbirds have hit the Big Country! Member Jay Capra photographed this beautiful male the first week of August at a private residence in the Buffalo Gap area. He says; “I was MOST excited about the hummer, having only seen a Rufous on our place once before and never 2 days in a row. He has been here 4 days and has a spot in one of our cedar trees where I know he’ll be if he isn’t chasing the Ruby-throats away from his favorite feeder. The Rufous is still hanging out here (as of August 27th) and this past weekend I thought I saw the female.”

Another bird enthusiast, Marjorie, photographed a young male Rufous in the Cedar Gap area. She was so thrilled to have one visit her feeders that she had trouble holding the camera still. I know how she feels.

Not only did Jay send hummingbird pictures, but he sent other bird and wildlife pictures. You can check them out at the Rufous in the Big Country Album. Thank you, Jay and Marjorie, for sending us your pictures.

And by the way, if you’d like to share your summer birding stories/pictures with us, let me know. If it was interesting to you, it’ll be interesting to us. I’ve already got a wonderful report from a couple who vacationed in Colorado and another personal birding adventure in Big Bend to tell you about.

See ya in the next blog!

August 27, 2007-DAFB

Best bird(s) of the morning:

  • Spotted Sandpiper, 1
  • Long-billed Curlew, 10 flying overhead
  • Yellow Warbler, 2
  • Wave after wave of Scissor-tailed Flycatchers flying south as dawn broke. By the time the sun rose I had counted over 200.

Complete List:

  • Wild Turkey, 18
  • Green Heron, 5
  • Turkey Vulture, 1
  • Mississippi Kite: 1, juvenile. Didn’t find any adults; but noticed one large (75+) kettle of kites August 19 near Seymour.
  • Swainson’s Hawk: 2, one juvenile and the other the adult male.
  • Killdeer, 3
  • Spotted Sandpiper, 1
  • Long-billed Curlew, 10 flying overhead
  • Rock Pigeon, 2
  • White-winged Dove, 5
  • Mourning Dove, 29
  • Common Nighthawk, 2
  • Chimney Swift, 17
  • Ladder-backed Woodpecker, 3
  • Western Kingbird, 5
  • Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, 217
  • Blue Jay, 3
  • Cliff Swallow, 2
  • Cave Swallow, 7
  • Barn Swallow, 2
  • Black-crested Titmouse, 1
  • Bewick’s Wren, 3
  • Eastern Bluebird, 8
  • American Robin, 47
  • Northern Mockingbird, 6
  • Curve-billed Thrasher, 1
  • European Starling, 86
  • Yellow Warbler, 2
  • Northern Cardinal, 4
  • Dickcissel, 4 (including one female still bringing food to a nest site)
  • Great-tailed Grackle, 200+
  • Bullock’s Oriole, 3
  • House Finch, 44

Sightings by LgPacker, at Mesquite Grove GC

August 26, 2007-Area Sightings

Here are a few sightings from:

Lake Ft Phantom Hill:

  • Willet – 1
  • Lesser Yellowlegs, 6
  • Greater Yellowlegs, 3
  • Least Sandpiper, 6
  • Western Sandpiper, 5
  • Black Tern, 3
  • Cattle Egret, 300 +
  • Snowy Egret, 10
  • Great Egret, 1

Abilene State Park:

  • Cave Swallow, 25
  • Summer Tanager, 1

Lake Kirby, August 25:

  • Lots of Snowy and Great Egrets
  • Earlier in the week, Forster’s Terns

Sightings by Lorie Black

August 6, 2007 – Waste Water

Best bird(s)

  • Pied-billed Grebe next to a nest that contained one egg, and other Pied-billeds with young
  • Willet, 1
  • Solitary Sandpiper, 1
  • Baird’s Sandpiper, 2*
  • Olive-sided Flycatcher, 1
  • And the same shorebird assortment as August 1st.

Complete List:

  • Black-bellied Whistling Duck, 22
  • Blue-winged Teal, 16
  • Green-winged Teal, 4
  • Northern Bobwhite, 2 (female seen crossing the road in front of us)
  • Pied-billed Grebe, 10
  • Great Blue Heron, 1
  • Great Egret, 1 (off Loop 322 close to Boy’s Ranch Road)
  • Snowy Egret, 8
  • Cattle Egret, 75
  • White-faced Ibis, 6
  • Killdeer, 3
  • Black-necked Stilt, 11
  • American Avocet, 8
  • Solitary Sandpiper, 1 (*1 on Sat.)
  • Greater Yellowlegs, 4
  • Willet, 1
  • Lesser Yellowlegs, 8
  • Least Sandpiper, 12
  • Baird’s Sandpiper, 2*
  • Wilson’s Phalarope, 12
  • Black Tern, 4
  • Eurasian Collared-Dove, 1
  • Mourning Dove, 24
  • Golden-fronted Woodpecker, 1
  • Olive-sided Flycatcher
  • Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, 2
  • Loggerhead Shrike, 2
  • Cliff Swallow, 1
  • Cave Swallow, 1
  • Barn Swallow, 75
  • Northern Mockingbird, 6
  • Eurasian Starling, 60
  • Lark Sparrow, 3
  • Northern Cardinal, 1
  • Painted Bunting, 1
  • Dickcissel, 8 still singing
  • Red-winged Blackbird, 95
  • Yellow-headed Blackbird, 5
  • Brown-headed Cowbird, 4
  • House Sparrow, 2

Sightings by Kathy Hampton, LgPacker, 6 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.
*Sightings by Heidi Trudell, Pete Hosner on Saturday morning, August 4

August Collage, 2007

The first week of August brought several neat photos my way that I wanted to share with everyone. John English went to Colorado and took pictures along steep, winding, narrow mining trails:

Yankee Boy Wildflowers

Larry Millar shares his photos of a Least Bittern taken at Lake Kirby in June:

Least_Bittern

Bill Kerr from Northern Ireland shares photos of a white swallow:

BARS

Heidi, Kathy, and I invented lofty birding perches:

KH_HT

and I found a still singing Bell’s Vireo on territory at Dyess AFB:

BEVI

That was the speed-read version. For more information, pictures, and all the details, see the August Collage Gallery. Thanks to all who contributed pictures. I appreciate the Big Country birding updates from all!

August 3, 2007 – DAFB

Best bird(s) of the morning:

  • Bell’s Vireo, 1 still singing as if on territory.

Complete List:

  • Northern Bobwhite, 1
  • Green Heron, 3
  • Mississippi Kite, 8 (2 of which were fledglings)
  • Swainson’s Hawk, 1 (juvenile; didn’t see parents)
  • Rock Pigeon, 1
  • Mourning Dove, 15
  • Yellow-billed Cuckoo, 2
  • Greater Roadrunner, 1
  • Common Nighthawk, 1
  • Black-chinned Hummingbird, 3
  • Golden-fronted Woodpecker, 1
  • Ladder-backed Woodpecker, 2
  • Western Kingbird, 1
  • Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, 11
  • Bell’s Vireo, 1 (sang from 7:10 to 8:45)
  • Blue Jay, 1
  • American Crow, 4
  • Cave Swallow, 7
  • Barn Swallow, 6
  • Cactus Wren, 2
  • Bewick’s Wren, 4
  • Eastern Bluebird, 1
  • Northern Mockingbird, 7
  • Northern Cardinal, 3
  • Painted Bunting, 2
  • Dickcissel, 4 still vocalizing
  • Eastern Meadowlark, 1
  • Common Grackle, 2
  • House Finch, 10

Sightings by LgPacker at outdoor rec. area and hospital grounds.