Summertime

“One of these mornings you’re gonna rise up singing, then you’ll spread your wings and take to the sky.” –Summertime by George and Ira Gerswin and DuBose Heyword, from the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess.

Summer drags on here in the Texas panhandle.  Temps have been around 38°C (100°F) for the past couple of weeks.  I thought today was going to be a little cooler because it was cloudy all morning and there were some showers around the county (not at my house, though.)  But the clouds cleared a little before noon and it’s now nearing the upper 30s again.  The wind hasn’t been too bad, though, and there hasn’t been many fires but all the grass is dry and brown.

I didn’t get out birding but a couple of times this week–it’s just been too hot.  On Monday I went to McBride Canyon, but didn’t see but a few Northern Cardinals and a Painted Bunting.painted-bunting-37-1280x833

Later that morning at Cedar Canyon I took this photo of a Spotted Sandpiperspotted-sandpiper-837x643 and heard something singing in the weeds and salt cedar that cover the old lake bed.  I waited for nearly an hour for the singers to show themselves and although they continued to sing, I never saw what it was.  Later that evening I listened to bird song recordings for a while and came across one that sounded nearly spot on.  Dickcissels seem to fit the bill pretty well.  According top the Birds of Texas by Arnold and Kennedy they live and nest in abandoned fields and weedy meadows, nesting near the ground, well concealed among tall, dense vegetation.  They are summer visitors to the Panhandle.  I’ll keep trying to get pictures.

This morning I went to Spring Canyon, but was unable to get any good photographs, although there were barn and Northern Rough-winged Swallows, Blue Grosbeaks and several Common Yellowthroats around.  I stopped by Cedar Canyon and sat around near the place where the unidentified singers were yesterday and they were still singing and still staying hidden.

At Fritch Fortress I took a pretty nice shot of a Rock Wrenrock-wren-23-1280x842 eating a grasshopper.  There were 6 Great Blue Herons and half a dozen American Avocets across the lake by Blue Creek but they were too far away to get good shots of.

On the way home from Fritch Fortress I saw this Northern Mockingbird.
northern-mockingbird-51-1280x925

northern-mockingbird-52-1280x854

 

 

Love these birds.  So, nothing exciting really, but I enjoyed sitting on the lake bed watching for the mystery bird.  It was quiet and reasonably cool, and it was peaceful.

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