Monday, April 14, 2014

Nice Morning at Lake Arrowhead State Park

I am just now getting around to writing a summary of our morning at Lake Arrowhead State Park. Saturday, April 12, was the monthly bird walk at the park. A beautiful morning, although a little cool and nippy. One of my regular walk attendees, June, came as well as Karen, one of the new class of the Rolling Plains chapter Texas Master Naturalist. Robert Mauk with Inland Fisheries stopped by for a few minutes, although he was in the park primarily to take some nature photos.

On my way to the park, I noticed my first flock cattle egret of the year in Archer county and then came across a small flock of black vultures around a carcass on FM 1954 in Clay county.  That was a good start for what turned out to be a decent birding morning. Several summer birds have arrived--both snowy and great egrets were around the lake and everyone's favorite, scissor-tailed flycatchers, were everywhere. The highlight was probably the large group (probably easily 300 birds) of white pelicans massing over the park. A front was moving into the area, so perhaps the birds were preparing to head north. No sign of any gulls, so they have apparently all left--I haven't seen any around Lake Wichita for several days now. Some winter birds are still around--most noticeably the white-crowned sparrow.

We spent two hours birding. The birds cited included: Canada goose, white pelican, double crested cormorant,  killdeer, great egret, snowy egret, mourning dove, Eurasian collared dove, turkey vulture, red-tailed hawk, sharp-shinned hawk, Carolina chickadee, northern mockingbird, northern cardinal, eastern phoebe, eastern bluebird, red-bellied woodpecker, ladder-backed woodpecker, cliff swallow, scissor-tailed flycatcher, Bewick's wren, red-winged blackbird, eastern meadowlark, brown-headed cowbird, common grackle, lark sparrow, savannah sparrow, white-crowned sparrow, and house finch.

Overall a pleasurable couple of hours.

Good birding!

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