It seemed like this was the first weekend morning in a while where the wind was calm and it was not too overcast. With the temperature not climbing into the 90's until noon or so it is still pleasant to look for some birds. I come to this park frequently and know pretty much what I'll see on a given day and where. This summer a male Blue Grosbeak has been seen off and on, and I really wanted a better picture than what I've been previously able to get. Unfortunately, not the bird of the day today. If we were going strictly by numbers, the BOTD would have to be the Turkey Vulture. There were plenty of these prehistoric looking birds on the ground, in the air, and in the trees. I took a photo of this one as we checked each other out.
Some of the other birds I saw today were Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Carolina Chickadees, Black-crested Titmice, Mourning and White-winged Doves, Cardinals, and White-eyed Vireos. The BOTD was this Summer Tanager. He was also the first bird I saw of the morning. I snapped this picture almost as soon as I got out of the truck.
As you can see, they are similar in color and size to the Northern Cardinal. Sometimes, we can get desensitized to the beauty of a Cardinal, and this is a reminder to check them out anyway during the summer months. Even if it JUST a cardinal, you'll be treated to an excellent show. Next time, maybe the grosbeak!
One last thing, as I was leaving I noticed a father and son fishing at the edge of the lake. I'm not sure the third member of their party was invited.
Welcome to Bird of the Day!
You might notice some recent changes to the blog. For one, the banner image above has changed from Mustang Island on the Gulf coast to a picture of a local birding spot near my house. Likewise, I plan to focus many of the upcoming posts on birding that area. On the right hand side of the page you will also see the addition of a new gadget that lists what birds have been seen in that area in the last 30 days. Further below, there is a link to ebird for more historic information about the birds seen at Bella Vista Creek. Feel free and contact me on the blog about what you think. Click on images to enlarge. (All photos by gbmcclure)
May 27, 2010
No time to officially bird today, but as I was leaving work I heard the distinct sound and saw the distinct white bars on the wings of a Common Nighthawk (Chordeiles minor) passing back and forth high above the school. Interestingly, these birds are neither related to Hawks nor are they strictly nocturnal. These Nighthawks are common throughout most of North America in the summer and will migrate to South America for the winter.
May 26, 2010
Today I stopped by Cypress Creek Park to see what might be hanging around. The oaks were filled with the usual suspects: Norther Cardinals, Black-crested Titmice, Carolina Chickadees, and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers. The Bird of the Day (herein referred to as BOTD), though, was this White-eyed Vireo (Vireo griseus).
While not uncommon here in the summer, this was the first one I've seen at this location (helped by the fact this is the first May I've birded this park). As I angled to get a better photo he did the same, until the BOTD and I had craned our necks about as far as they would go. This got me to thinking about the magnificent flexibility of birds, specifically their necks. As a kid I'm pretty sure I thought Owls could continually turn their necks around as though they were basketballs being spun on a finger.
Posted by gbmccclure at 5/26/2010