Apr 232014
 
Yellow-rumped-Warbler-Audubons-1024x684

Birding is always fun, even more so when the seasons start changing. I saw my first warblers of the year yesterday, a couple of Yellow-rumped Warblers.  One was a Myrtle subspecies and the other was an Audubon’s.  Both are males, I think, but the Audubon’s may be female-the yellow stripe on the top of its head is pretty pale.  YRWAs are some of the first warblers I see around here each year.  Yellow Warblers, Yellow-breasted Chats, and Common Yellowthroats are other commonly seen warblers in Hutchinson County and should be arriving in the next weeks.  The yellow-rumped parts of these birds aren’t visible in these photos, but it’s a yellow patch on the back at the base of the tail.

Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon’s)Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's) (1024x684)

Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) (3) (1024x684)

 

Meadowlarks are year round birds in the Texas Panhandle according to Sibley’s, but I never see them in the summer.  I don’t know if it’s because they leave and move north a bit or if they just hide out all summer.  Western Meadowlarks are the most common, but occasionally we get the Eastern race as well.  Easterns have more white in the face and tail than the Westerns and their songs are simpler, although they do sometimes change their tune a bit when they are around Westerns.  This one caught my attention making a metalic zeet, zeet call that the Western Meadowlarks don’t use.  Eastern Meadowlark calls and songs. Western Meadowlark songs and calls.

Eastern Meadowlark
Eastern Meadowlark (8) (1024x593)

 

Obligatory Great Horned Owlet photo.  The owlets are at least 3 weeks old-I first saw them on April Fools Day, but I don’t know how long it takes then to get big enough and strong enough to be seen over the edge of the nest.  I’ve been visiting the nest a couple of times a week since Valentine’s Day when I first noticed the adult pair on the nest.  I’ve only seen the female since.  They have grown astonishingly fast.Great Horned Owlet (27) (1024x660)

Spring in Hutchinson County

Spring in Hutchinson County

It’s been incredibly dry and windy here this year.  We’re already several inches behind the norm and we only get an average of 20 inches a year, though it’s been a while since we hit that mark.  The wind is rarely less than 20 mph and there have been hundreds (or so it seems) of [Read the full post...]

Mergansers

Mergansers

Common Mergansers are a common sight at Lake Meredith each winter, and although I haven’t seen  nearly as many this year as last, I have had several opportunities to photograph them the last few months.  Unfortunately, it’s not just the mergansers, all waterfowl populations have been down.  Populations of Red-tailed Hawks, Bald Eagles, Northern Harriers, [Read the full post...]

Great Horned Owlets

Great Horned Owlets

I try to get out to the Great Horned Owls nest a couple of times a week and I hadn’t been here in 4 days so I thought I’d check it out this morning.  I first noticed her back on Valentine’s Day, although I don’t know when she actually started nesting in the old hawk’s [Read the full post...]

Birding with my Sons

Birding with my Sons

Jake and Isaac and I went back to Palo Duro Canyon last week to do some hiking, but it was raining pretty hard when we got  there so we just camped out under the bird blind behind the trading post for an hour or so.  Jake took these photos and I though I’d share them [Read the full post...]

More Palo Duro Canyon Birds

More Palo Duro Canyon Birds

Here’s a few more photos from my trip to Palo Duro Canyon a couple of weeks ago.  These were all taken at the bird blind. White-winged Dove White-throated Sparrow White-crowned Sparrow This one is a juvenile White-crowned Sparrow.  Notice the golden stripe down the middle of his head instead of white. White-crowned Sparrows at the [Read the full post...]

Wild Turkey at Palo Duro Canyon

Wild Turkey at Palo Duro Canyon

Palo Duro Canyon State Park is a little over an hour’s drive south of my home (as opposed to Palo Duro Reservoir, which is about an hour’s drive north of where I live, and another good birding site in the panhandle of Texas.)  They have several hiking trails around the canyon that are pretty good [Read the full post...]

Waterfowl

Waterfowl

Here’s a few photos of some of the late winter waterfowl I’ve seen in the last week or so. Redheads and Lesser Scaups at Spring Canyon. American Wigeons at Thompson Park in Amarillo Mallards and a hybrid Mallard or Manky Duck.  The hybrid is possibly a cross between an Mallard (note the curly tail feathers [Read the full post...]

Greater Roadrunner

Greater Roadrunner

As I was leaving Fritch Fortress at Lake Meredith this morning I came upon this Greater Roadrunner.  It ran along beside the truck for 20 or 25 meters and then stopped.  I stopped and took these photos through the passenger-side window of the truck.  The whole series lasted less than 10 seconds.  I’m not sure exactly [Read the full post...]

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