August Doldrums


Gone is the predawn chorus. No longer do birds defend territories by singing. Most of the neotropical breeders have moved south and migration has started. There’s a quiet stillness in the air. So what’s there to find when birding these days? Plenty! John and I bring you pictures of mid August birding, completed before the sun’s oppressive heat forced us inside. The Swainson’s Hawk parents are still hanging around on Dyess AFB (see how a summer of tending young wear the feathers away), Mississippi Kite young are still demanding food from parents, and shorebirds are showing up at the edges of our lakes and ponds. Lake Kirby produced Greater Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Plover, Willet, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, Wilson’s Phalarope, in basic (winter) plumage, and Common Moorhen this past week. There were a few Black Terns and Forster’s Terns also. And the Red-winged Blackbirds and Brown-headed Cowbirds (since they’ve finished defending territories) are gathering in large flocks.

Enjoy the end of August and keep birding! You’ll never know what will fly by.