Date: 4/4/17 2:08 pm From: Joseph Kennedy <josephkennedy36...> Subject: [texbirds] Brazos Bend today, 18 bitterns and other goodies
Started the day on the dock at 40 acre lake watching the sun come up. Not many birds there other than herons leaving the rookery not far to the west of the lake. The dawn chorus was loud with most songsters consisting of Carolina wrens, cardinals and white-eyed vireos. Heard a single field sparrow song and there were northern parula and prothonotary warblers.
The walk out to the tower, to elm lake and back and then around 40 acre had a total of 18 American bitterns feeding out in the open. When I took a quick check late in the am, they were still there. Its hard for a bittern to blend in standing in a hyacinth patch. A Nashville warbler was singing out there in the direction of the rookery off to the north. Good mix of herons etc. A pair of purple gallinules was fighting over ownership of the marsh out from the tower. A few swamp sparrows were singing along with a single Lincoln's sparrow.
I heard an upland sandpiper calling from high overhead but it did not seem to move. The call came from the middle of a tree where a mockingbird had the call down perfect and did not give any other calls for a bit.
A gray catbird mewed and in the thickest trees near the picnic area a swainson's thrush was on the path in an area where inchworm droppings sounded like rain.
Moving on to Creekfield lake, there were bank swallows over the parking lot and an adult pied-billed grebe feeding large young that still had stripey heads. They must have come from eggs laid back in February which is really early. A couple broods of baby alligators were also early.
Had hoped for migrating hawks but only had one late rising broad-winged hawk near Hale lake around 10. A distant perched red-tail was the only other hawk for the day. High clouds made a good spotting day for hawks but were wasted with empty skies. Even the vulture groups were hawkless.
A yellow-throated vireo was singing near a spot I think they nested in the past.
Drove a bunch of country roads looking for hawk streams or kettles and had none. Did not have a single wire bird the whole time but did have a singing least grebe on Davis Estates Road.
-- Joseph C. Kennedy on Buffalo Bayou in West Houston <Josephkennedy36...>