Playas

Earlier this week we had 4 inches of rain fall in about 30 hours and some of the playa lakes in the area that have been dry for over a year finally have a little water in them. It didn’t take the birds long to find them and I was able to get some nice photos,…

Summer Raptors

The fields and pastures of the Llano Estacado support a wide variety of birds of prey. Red-tailed Hawks, Ferruginous Hawks, American Kestrels, Barn Owls, great Horned Owls, and Eastern Screech Owls live here year round. Winter brings Bald Eagles, Golden Eagles (but I’ve yet to get a good photo of one,) Sharp-shinned Hawks, Cooper’s Hawks,…

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…

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…

Silly Hawk

I was driving down a country road (we call them Farm-to-Market roads or FM around here) when I saw this juvenile Swainson’s Hawk on an electrical line (Texas panhandle slang for this is high-line wire (pronounced war.))  Usually the hawks perch on the utility pole’s crossbeam, so I don’t know what possessed this one to…

Peregrine Falcon

I saw a juvenile Peregrine Falcon earlier this week at the lake.  It’s a first for me. Swainson’s Hawk.  I can’t wait until the corn and milo harvest.  The combines clear the fields and disturb the mice and voles and Swainson’s and Red-tailed Hawks  follow the combines and feast. Cattle Egret.  60 or more of…

Swainson’s Hawk with Bands and a Radio

I was out at the playa just north of Panhandle yesterday and saw this Swainson’s Hawk hunting over the playa and surrounding pastures and fields.  He’s a beautiful bird, but the most interesting thing about him is the bands and a radio transmitter.  I don’t know anything about bird banding or radio or satellite tracking…

Ramblin’

Wandered a bit this week, spending  Monday morning at McGee Lake in Potter Co., and this morning at Palo Duro Reservoir in Hansford Co.  I didn’t see anything too unusual in my travels, but I did get some nice photos.  McGee Lake may be the only playa in the panhandle with water.  Most of it…

This Week in Hutchinson County

Since returning from Missouri I’ve only had a few days where the weather and my work schedule came together to allow me to go birding.  It’s been terribly windy around here the last few weeks, with a lot of very cloudy (but no rain) days.  We did get a tiny bit of rain one day…