Friday, March 20, 2009

Disappointing Birds of the Equinox

Birds of the Equinox

Today was the day I planned to observe a bunch of birds so I could participate in Birdstack's "Birds of the Equinox." I did participate, but I was very disappointed in that it seemed like all the birds were just hiding from me. I could hear them, but I couldn't see them. I know I've come to this conclusion before, and it seems true today: birdwatching is better done in the winter when there are no leaves on the trees. Spring has come to Dallas, and the trees are all budding out, obscuring the birds.

There was one bird of interest, which I saw twice, but I don't know what it was. I'll see if David from Birdstack can help me figure this one out with this sketchy description:
  • location - back yard, near the forest edge
  • size - small to medium, but not as small as a sparrow
  • tail - notched
  • bill - black and thin, not cone shaped
  • colors - kind of hard to tell, but I think white breast and gray body
  • behavior - swooped to snatch up flying insects in mid-flight
Tomorrow I'm hoping for better luck with bird watching. We're driving to Houston for a short visit and plan to stop at W.Goodrich Jones State Forest and see if we can find an endangered Red Cockaded Woodpecker.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Trip to the Trinity River Audubon Center

Today was the third Thursday of the month, so that means it was free admission to the Trinity River Audubon Center. This was our first visit. It was an interesting place, built it an eco-green style (recycled blue jeans for insulation, solar panels for electricity, etc.) and some nice hands-on displays that kids love, as well as some classrooms and research places. The building was, in general, more impressive than the hiking trails, which were so short we did them all in slow motion in less than three hours.

There were way too many noisy people there to do see many birds (it is spring break, so lots of kids were there enjoying the place), but I did get a very cool photo of a killdeer scolding us for getting too close:

I don't know what kind of sparrow this is, but I think it is a sparrow. Anybody know?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Can't Sleep

It is 2:09am and I can't sleep. So I'm trying to find things to do to make myself sleepy.

I've already had some milk.

I've cleaned off my desk, paid some bills, tried to call Hawai'i, and written a blog. Maybe I'll go fold a basket of laundry--that should put anyone to sleep.