I hadn’t been out to the Playa Lake near Panhandle in Carson County for a while. It’s been pretty dry since early June and the last time I was by there it had dried up completely. We had a couple of nice rains last week so I decided to drive down to Carson County Sunday morning and see if there were any birds there. It turned out to be a good idea. It didn’t really look like Carson County had gotten the rains like we did in Hutchinson but runoff from the irrigated corn fields had partially filled the eastern side of the lake. Highway 207 splits the lake in half and the western side is surrounded by pasture and the eastern side by irrigated fields of wheat, corn and milo. If we get a lot of rain the western side tends to fill more.
Anyway, there were lots of birds, but getting good photographs was difficulty because I was having to shoot into the sunrise. I may go back in the evening later this week and see if I can get any better photos. A few turned out nice though. Here’s a Red-tailed Hawk (that’s a irrigation system he sitting on. A huge honkin’ diesel motor powers a pump that lifts water from the Ogalala 300 or more feet down and into a pivot system and through these pipes into a sprinkler system at the end of the smaller blue pipes. The entire system slowly turns on large wheels around the central pivot. On satellite maps look for the large green circles)A Swainson’s Hawk.
A friend of mine had taken photos of a bison herd near Amarillo last week and there were some Cattle Egrets following the herd. This photo doesn’t have anything as exotic as bison, but there was a couple of Cattle Egrets. My friend’s wife told me that she had heard stories when she was growing up in south Texas of the King Ranch introducing Cattle Egrets into Texas
There were also lots of Barn and Cliff swallows, Mallards and Blue-winged Teals (maybe one Cinnamon Teal), Killdeer, aLesser Yellowlegs, 20 or more White-rumped Sandpipers and possibly even a dowitcher, although I couldn’t be sure because of the light.
For more photos of these and other birds visit the galleries.