Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Brillant Morning at Lake Wichita

It was a gorgeous morning on Lake Wichita and a great day for birding. I decided to start at the spillway, cross the dam and then bird the chat trail and the barrow pit.

When I got out of the car at the spillway, I knew it was going to be a great morning, even if I didn't see another bird. I heard dozens of clay-colored sparrows as soon as I got out of the car and as soon as I looked into Holliday creek, there were 12 snowy egrets. Things continued to get better with a flock of yellow-headed blackbirds at the top of the dam.

Even a poor day birding is a good day, but some days you remember for a long time. Today was one of those days. The thistle plants were all going to seed along the dam and there were hundreds (and probably thousands) of chipping and clay-colored sparrows rising up all around me as I walked. In fact, sparrows were good all the way around: in addition to chipping and clay-colored sparrow, I saw house sparrow, song sparrow, lark sparrow, savannah sparrow, and white-crowned sparrow.

A couple of first of season birds: yellow-billed cuckoo and male orchard oriole.

Here's my bird list for the two hours this morning (51 species): common grackle, great-tailed grackle, European starling, mourning dove, house sparrow, cliff swallow, killdeer, great egret, red-winged blackbird, snowy egret, great blue heron, Canada goose, eastern meadowlark, scissor-tailed flycatcher, yellow-headed blackbird, white pelican, chipping sparrow, song sparrow, Western kingbird, Savannah sparrow, American coot, yellow warbler, yellow-rumped warbler, barn swallow, chimney swift, double-crested cormorant, cedar waxwing, mallard, cardinal, turkey vulture, robin, house finch, blue-winged teal, ruddy duck, brown-headed cowbird, white-crowned sparrow, mockingbird, eared grebe, spotted sandpiper, red-tailed hawk, white-winged dove, blue jay, rock pigeon, American pipit, white-faced ibis, Eurasian collared dove, Carolina wren, orchard oriole, American goldfinch, yellow-billed cuckoo, and lark sparrow.

Good birding!


Traveler Literary Gnome said...

I saw my first Yellow-headed Blackbird at Wild Bird Rescue. Their color is amazing.

Penny Miller said...

They are beautiful...did you get a picture?