04 March 2009

Pipits and Plovers on the Prairie…(Houston, Texas): 4 March 2009

With a few hours to spare before my flight to Oaxaca City, Mexico I went out birding with Glen Olsen again to the Katy Prairie. We had a great few hours sifting through sparrows, for White-crowned Sparrow among the dozens of Savannah Sparrows, Lincoln’s Sparrows, and few Swamp Sparrows, although the cream of the crop was a hulking Harris’s Sparrow amongst this cryptic crowd. Aside from these we also had a female Pyrrhuloxia, a small party of Cave Swallows, and a number of Loggerhead Shrikes. On the waterbirds front we found a few shorebirds strewn about with some large flocks of Least Sandpipers on some flooded fields, holding a few Pectoral Sandpipers amidst their ranks, as well as a nice view of Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs standing shoulder to shoulder. One dry field held a herd of Long-billed Curlews, although prize amongst the wader horde was a group of seven American Golden Plovers ‘hiding’ within a large group of Killdeer. Another highlight was watching two beady-eyed Sprague’s Pipits just a short distance from a small party of American Pipits. Other sightings included the odd ‘Butter But’ or Yellow-rumped Warbler, and a few Green-winged Teal. Although for me the morning’s showstopper was a brazen Bald Eagle standing sentry over his chosen lake. Finishing the morning with America’s national bird was a great send off.

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