Monday, April 11, 2011

Sunday Birding

Turkey display at Rosemont cemetery.
I decided to bird Lake Wichita on Sunday. It was a pretty morning on the trail. I walked along the chat trail, around the barrow pit and across the bridge to the opposite side of the wooded area along the drainage area and then headed over to the spillway.

When I got out of the truck, I heard singing in the live oaks at the head of the chat trail. There are usually pretty good birds there and that held true on Sunday with several clay-colored sparrows and a few warbling vireos flitting among the leaves. Several white-crowned and at least one white-throated sparrows were on the ground below. I saw my first chimney swifts of the season. They are among my favorite birds. I decided to drive to the spillway instead of walk the dam. On the way, I pulled into Rosemont Cemetery. I don't often see many good birds, but I do often see turkeys and I was in the mood to try to catch a glimpse. Sometimes, it is better to be lucky that good as I had the opportunity to watch a tom turkey doing his best to court a hen. She wasn't paying him much attention. I don't know how she could resist--he was definitely a handsome fellow. I was able to get reasonably close in the truck and get a couple of good shots without scaring the birds.

This is a good time of year to bird--many of the winter birds are still here, the summer birds are arriving and migrants are passing through. Couple that with some decent weather and you have the makings for a good morning of birding. In the short time I was out, here are my sightings: mallard, ruddy duck, northern shoveler, bufflehead, blue-winged teal, pied-billed grebe, earred grebe, American coot, double-crested cormorant, American white pelican, Canada goose, mourning dove, snowy egret, great blue heron, killdeer, black-necked stilt, turkey vulture, red-tailed hawk, Eurasian collared dove, white-winged dove, rock pigeon, wild turkey, house finch, red-winged blackbird, brown-headed cowbird, great-tailed grackle, European starling, blue jay, chimney swift, cliff swallow, northern cardinal, robin, brown thrasher, cedar waxwing, Eastern phoebe, scissor-tailed flycatcher, northern mockingbird, yellow-rumped warbler, warbling vireo, American pipit, Carolina wren, spotted towhee, white-crowned sparrow, white-throated sparrow, clay-colored sparrow, lark sparrow, and house sparrow.

Good birding!

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