Friday, September 16, 2005

ENV: Observations

It's been an interesting couple of days -- heavy overcast has settled in and with it has come some migrant activity and a stirring of the locals.

Three Great Horned Owls have been making a lot of racket the last couple of days, but this morning early it was a pair of Eastern Screech-Owls singing the tunes.

Yesterday there was a local influx of Scissor-tailed Flycatchers -- a little pre-migratory staging. This bird, already a spectacular critter, makes for one of our most impressive sights in migration. They stream by in large numbers. There was also a large number of Barn Swallows (with a few others mixed in) both here at RV and at Ingram Dam.

This morning i had Yellow Warbler -- we don't often see migrant parulids of any kind, but when we do chances are it's one of these -- still nice to see. One of the other more common parulids showed up later -- a Wilson's Warbler.

I also had a flock of 11 White-faced Ibis go over this a.m. That's a rare sight in these parts -- not because we're out of their flight path, but because we have a scarcity of places for them to set down and be seen. And speaking of waders, the adult Yellow-crowned Night-Heron was at the LWC again yesterday.

Among the other interesting birds today were 1 Chimney Swift, 4 Blue Jays, 20 House Finches in a flock, 3 Summer Tanagers, 1 Downy Woodpecker (resident bu t not often seen or heard), 2 Barn Swallows, and a lone Scissor-tailed Flycatcher.

There was also about a dozen Common Green Darners at the LWC early, early this morning. That's an impressive number of that species at our location -- and that early in the a.m. was a bit surprising as well. I suspect they were migrants and not locals.

Finally, a couple of cool bugs paid an office visit last night -- a bronze-colored, green-striped grasshopper (which i will update with an ID later if i can figure it out); and what i suspect is a male velvet ant. [Ha! It's my old friend, the Obscure Bird Grasshopper -- this one more colorful than the last couple i saw.]

Obscure Bird Grasshopper, Schistocerca obscura


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