Sunday, August 9, 2015

Summer Songbirds and Waterbirds Hope to See You Soon

                                                            Female Great-tailed Grackle

                                                      Female Red-winged Blackbird

                                                    Juvenile Male Red-winged Blackbird

                                                                  Eastern Phoebe

                                                                  Eastern Kingbird

                                                                 Great Blue Heron

                                                                Red-winged Blackbird

                                                                 Great Blue Heron
                                                                 "Silent Sentinel 5"

0715-0935/81 to 90 degrees F/partly cloudy/17 mph wind gusts

The weather has had a bit of a damper on photography for the past few days, but the breeze helped
this morning.  With dead air, birds don't want to be out in the open any more than we do, as they also feel the same effects of the weather, most notably the dark birds.

This year has had very few butterflies to speak of, which I have been diligently watching for.  I see
a few stragglers here-and-there, like monarchs, swallowtails, and gulf fritillaries.

It is a little early, but some of our local Downy and Red-headed Woodpeckers have been doing a
little drumming, but that could be attributed to the juvenile males asserting themselves.  There have
been a few more than usual, and Brown-headed Cowbirds and European Starlings have been keeping
a watchful eye on their activity, to see where they can usurp their roosting cavities.

Migratory activity is gearing up, and some birds like the eastern group of ultralight-led Whooping Cranes will be flown south in September from White River Marsh to St. Marks and Chassahowitzka NWRs in FL.   I'm looking forward to working in Aransas NWR in TX this February with the group that winters there.

Hawkwatch is underway in our area.  There are Mississippi Kites, the American Kestrel, and it
is a good idea to begin looking for Red-shouldered and Red-tailed Hawks.  The youngsters will be
arriving within the month.  Best of luck on your hawking activity.