Monday, September 3, 2012

And the Drought Continues

Yesterday I went out to the Lake Wichita spillway. I intended to spend most of the morning birding but forgot I had promised to help accept donations for the Wild Bird Rescue garage sale and fold newsletters at 9 AM, so was only able to stay for a short time. Although the lake is way down, this is the deepest part of the lake so there is still a fair amount of water. Numerous yellowlegs, both greater and lesser, were present. Generally it is difficult to tell one from another without hearing their call. This time I was given extra assistance as some of the birds were close to one another and the size difference was readily apparent. Many killdeer were also present.  There was a lone redhead duck a little further out in the water. Overall, not a lot of birds, but not bad for a quick stop. The birds seen included: robin, starling, pigeon, killdeer, greater yellowlegs, lesser yellowlegs, snowy egret, great blue heron, great egret, white pelican, spotted sandpiper, mourning dove, white-winged dove, Eurasian collared dove, red-winged blackbird, mallard, black-necked stilt, yellow warbler, red head duck, house sparrow, and great-tailed grackle.

This morning I went to Lake Wichita Park and walked the chat trail and down to the barrow pit, which although not completely dry, is well on its way, although there were a large  number of black-necked stilts, killdeer and some peeps I wish I had been able to identify.
Barrow pit--nearly dry

I also wanted to check out the new wildlife observation platform, which I had heard was completed. And sure enough, it was.
Wildlife viewing platform in Lake Wichita Park

View toward pelican point this morning
It is where I wanted it to be placed, which was at the end of the barrow pit overlooking the well-concealed inlet and out toward pelican point. Right now, the view is not so great as the lake has almost completely dried up at this end.

Overall, a fairly disappointing half hour. I did see a group of scissor-tailed flycatchers and an orchard oriole. As always, the cardinals were plentiful. Unfortunately, so were the mosquitoes and flies. I only got bit a couple of times by the mosquitoes but the flies were driving me nuts.

I decided my luck had to improve so in spite of the heat, which was already becoming oppressive at 8:30 AM, I decided to make a quick stop at Crestview Memorial Park on Hwy 79--often a good spot. However, both ponds are nearly dry--no birds of note.

I am looking forward to the promised rain later in the week and the cooler weather forecast for next weekend. Next Saturday is our regularly scheduled bird walk at Lake Arrowhead State Park.

Good birding!

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