Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Oklahoma Ornithological Society Fall Meeting

I am so happy for the beautiful fall weather.

The Oklahoma Ornithological Society (OOS) Fall Meeting is coming soon to Stillwater, OK. If you aren't a member of the OOS, you are still welcome to attend. They have a couple of nice field trips and an interesting speaker for the banquet lined up. The agenda and registration form are here.

Note that you can register on site for the meetings and field trips but the banquet requires registration before September 30, so sign up now if you want to go.

Good birding!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Save the Dates! Big Sit and Christmas Bird Count

It's a serious bummer for me, but the annual Wichita Falls Big Sit event will be October 10, 7:30 - 10 behind Wild Bird Rescue. Bummer for me as I will be out of town that weekend. The North Texas Bird and Wildlife Club will be hosting the event, along with Wild Bird Rescue, who graciously allow us access to their restrooms (an important logistical issue.) Terry McKee is coordinating. If you have questions, contact Terry at dgm59@aol.com. I'll post more details closer to the date.

Plan early to participate in the Wichita Falls Christmas Bird Count on December 18. This is an all-day event, but you can participate even if you can only take part for a portion of the day. Once the area leaders are assigned, I'll follow up with information. The North Texas Bird and Wildlife Club hosts a spaghetti dinner to compile the count results from the teams that same evening. It's always exciting to hear what other groups saw.

Good birding!

Next North Texas Bird and Wildlife Club Meeting

This month's North Texas Bird and Wildlife Club meeting is Tuesday, September 21 at 7PM. The meeting is the annual club picnic and will be at a member's home. I don't want to publish a home address to the world, but if you plan to come and are not yet a member of the club, just email me at txbirds@gmail.com and I will contact you with directions.

The home sits on Lake Wichita, and there are normally lots of birds. The program this month will be presented by Eldon Sund, "What are the Butterflies Telling Us?"

The meeting is free and open to the public. Bring your own sack meal, and we will enjoy the fall evening outside.

Good birding!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Rare Bird Alert--Brown Pelican at Lake Wichita

Photo of brown pelican courtesy of Calibas, Wikimedia Commons.

Last Friday I got an email with a rare bird alert from Terry McKee with the North Texas Bird and Wildlife Club. Robert from Texas Parks and Wildlife contacted Terry with the news.

I was out of town on Friday and had to teach class on Saturday, so didn't have a chance to go look for the brown pelican until Sunday morning. Of course, I was thinking it would be just my luck the bird would be gone already, and I would have missed him. But there he was, on the pier next to the spillway, where the pavillion used to be. Since I broke my camera on a previous outing and haven't yet replaced it, I didn't get a photo. I did attempt a photo will my cell phone, but the bird was too far out for a decent picture. Robert did take some photos on the 10th to document the bird. If I can get his OK to post one of his picures, I'll do that in the next couple of days.

The brown pelican is a threatened species. Although I have seen them along the coast, they are listed as accidental in the North Central Texas checklist. We have lots of white pelicans Fall - Spring, but not the brown. It is very posible the bird arrived with the Hurricane Hermine front that came through last Thursday.

I also saw my first pied-billed grebes of the season and my first orchard orioles.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Labor Day Birding

I spent Labor Day morning at Lake Wichita. I went first to Lake Wichita Park and then over to the spillway.

My favorite bird of the morning was a spotted sandpiper at the spillway. I like this shorebird, because it is easy to identify, even if you don't see it well. It teeters constantly. I did see some other peeps at the barrow pit, but was unable to identify them.

Another highlight was a belted kingfisher. The bird appeared to be an immature one in the short glimpse I had. I used to see a kingfisher almost every morning along the chat trail at Lake Wichita Park, but haven't seen one in months. However, Monday morning I was lucky. I am glad one has taken up residence in this area again.

Ducks are beginning to congregate again. Along with several mallards, there were 15 blue-winged teal on the barrow pit. From the spillway, I was able to see two large flocks of great egrets and snowy egrets as well as a number of individual birds (well over 100 birds.) They are getting ready to leave for the winter.

Lots of birds and wonderful weather. A great birding morning. Birds seen: Mississippi kite, Eurasian collared dove, cardinal, blue jay, scissor-tailed flycatcher, chimney swift, great blue heron, white-winged dove, mourning dove, turkey vulture, robin, red-winged blackbird, great egret, killdeer, blue-winged teal, double-crested cormorant, European starling, mallard, belted kingfisher, barn swallow, house finch, snowy egret, and spotted sandpiper.

Good birding!