Jun 262014

Time sure gets away from me.  I’ve not published anything in a month.  I have been birding, just not as much as usual, lots of things vying for my time.  Some of the them I wish I could just skip, work and mowing spring to mind.  Others are things I should have been doing all along, but have been slack about and now am trying to make some of it up before it’s too late.

So, here’s a some of the summer birds I’ve seen around the panhandle the last month.

Common Yellowthroat.  These little birds make an amazingly loud sound that rings throughout the canyon.  There are several at Spring Canyon this year.Common Yellowthroat (15) (1024x726)

Painted BuntingPainted Bunting (50) (1024x691)

Eastern KingbirdEastern Kingbird (25) (1024x616)

Mississippi KiteMississippi Kite (3) (1024x683)

Northern Mockingbird.  This is a display behavior called Skylarking–quite entertaining to watch–involves launching itself into the air and singing loudly and floating back down to the perch.Northern Mockingbird (78) (1024x706)

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher.  Lots of these guys around every year.Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (157) (1024x684)

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (162) (1024x608)

Yellow-billed Cuckoo.  Not uncommon, but only see them once or twice a year.  They are quite shy.Yellow-billed Cuckoo (17) (1024x684)

Snowy Plover.  All alone in the parking lot at Spring Canyon.Snowy Plover (18) (1024x711)

Great Blue Herons building a nest.Great Blue Heron (148) (1024x672)

These last 3 are unusual for summer in the Panhandle

Bald Eagle.  I haven’t seen a Bald Eagle since early May.  This one really caught me off guard.Bald Eagle (1024x686)

Cooper’s Hawk.  I could be wrong, I often am, but the bird was making this sound (the one marked “Near Nest”,) which is pretty distinctive.  Usually a winter bird here.Cooper's Hawk (1024x584)

Cooper's Hawk (6) (1024x620)

Common Merganser.  Lone bird on the large pond at Spring Canyon.  He’s been there for the last 2 months.  Not sure why he stuck around.  Doesn’t seem to be hurt.Common Merganser (22) (1024x593)

Palo Duro Reservoir

Palo Duro Reservoir

I drove up to Palo Duro Reservoir north of Spearman, Texas a few days ago and logged one of the highest species counts I’ve ever had-31 different birds in about 3 hours of hiking and driving around the lake and the area below the dam.  One of the sightings was a Swainson’s Thrush.  They aren’t [Read the full post...]

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

I’ve been watching a Great Horned Owl raise her babies since Valentine’s Day. On May 11 there was a huge fire at Lake Meredith that destroyed over 200 homes and buildings and damaged a hundred or so more.  The bright spot of this disaster was that there were no deaths or even serious injuries, but [Read the full post...]

More April Birds

More April Birds

Black-necked Stilt Spotted Sandpiper Northern Cardinal from the Missouri trip Blue Jay, also taken in Missouri Great Blue Heron in Missouri.  All three of these birds are common in the Texas Panhandle.  Green is not. Scissor-tailed Flycatcher after a bath Yellow-headed Blackbird in a mesquite bush. Red-winged Blackbird on last year’s cattails Western Kingbird in [Read the full post...]



The day after we got back from Missouri we had our first real rain since last summer.  The next morning I went out to Spring Canyon to see if there was anything interesting down there.  While we were in Missouri an itinerant birder had posted on eBird that he had heard a Black Rail and [Read the full post...]

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds

My wife and daughters and I went to Missouri last week to visit my parents.  They live in the foothills of the Ozarks in a pretty thickly forested rural area.  The climate and geographical change between the Texas Panhandle and southwestern Missouri is stunning- from dry, parched prairie to lush, green, forest covered hills as [Read the full post...]

Birds  of Summer

Birds of Summer

I’ve really been enjoying the changing of the guard around here for the last month or so.  Most of the winter birds are gone, migrating shorebirds and warblers are still on the march, and in the last week or two the summer residents have started arriving.  Two of my favorites showed up this morning-a Swainson’s [Read the full post...]

More Photos from Monday's Outing

More Photos from Monday’s Outing

As promised, here’s more pictures from the Monday morning adventure.         Northern Cardinal Townsend’s Solitaire. Not a very good photo, but he was determinedly ignoring me. Baird’s Sandpiper (best guess, sandpipers are tough) Spotted Sandpiper Wilson’s Phalarope Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon’s) Western Kingbird Eared Grebe Great Horned Owlet

Palm Warbler!

Palm Warbler!

I got off work this morning after a pretty busy weekend, made a quick stop at Jesse’s Burritos for breakfast, headed out to the lake.  I like to get early morning pictures at Spring Canyon—it’s somewhat protected from the southwest wind, and the light from the rising sun reflects off of the canyon walls and onto the [Read the full post...]

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