Saturday, September 20, 2008

Recycling the Neighborhood

Out near the Lake Wichita Spillway there is an overpass that houses a lot of pigeons underneath year around and in the summer, hundreds of cliff swallows along the outside, under the overhang of the road. The cliff swallows have headed south, abandoning their nests for the year. As soon as the cliff swallows leave, the house sparrows move in. Last winter, almost every nest had house sparrows. So far this year, it appears to be about half. I am sure the nests provide better shelter than most of the places the house sparrows nested. The openings point down, which would keep the rain off and help make the shelter less accessible to predators. However, I do note that it appears the house sparrows gravitate toward nests that have some damage (and therefore, a wider opening)--at least at first.

I originally intended to check out the tank to see if any ducks were coming yet, but youth football season has started and the park was packed, so I headed toward the spillway. In a short walk along the biking/walking trail between the spillway and Southwest Parkway, I saw a great blue heron, American phoebe, killdeer, blue jays, mourning dove, Eurasian collared dove, white-winged dove, starlings, barn swallows, chimney swifts, pigeons, house sparrows, red-winged blackbirds, and an immature red-bellied woodpecker. There was also an Empodonax flycatcher I was unable to clearly identify. As usual. I also heard a belted kingfisher, but did not find him. So nothing spectacular, but the weather was beautiful and since I only had 45 minutes to spend before I had to get back to Wild Bird Rescue, it was good.

Later in the morning, I did see a green heron at Wild Bird Rescue.


Beverly Stowe McClure said...

I haven't noticed any ducks on our tank yet. We usually have a few that stop for a rest, but so far none have shown up.

The hummingbirds have gone too. For the past 3 or 4 days, I've seen only a couple of adults. And then yesterday and today only 1 juvenile has been at the feeders when I've looked. She looks so lonesome. Hoping more show up to keep her/him company.

Penny Miller said...


I am still seeing an individual hummer here and there, but I haven't yet seen any winter ducks. I am going out Sunday to see what I can find.