Tuesday, June 22, 2004


Saw a Red-headed Woodpecker and a family of Summer Tanagers chasing each other around the front yard this morning. A bird that (based on shape) must have been a Mississippi Kite sailed over, causing a momentary ruckus, and promptly disappeared. I'm seeing the usual activity at the feeders, lots of Carolina Chickadees and such...looking out my window just now I saw a very scruffy looking Summer Tanager (probably juvenile) perched on the shepherd's hook that my feeders hang from. Turks cap and shrimp plant are in bloom around the yard.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

California Trip, Backyard Stuff

It's bug season here in the swamp. It's almost always bug season here. Yesterday I found one of those weird stick insects attached to one of my window screens. It was a biggun'...several inches long from end to end. Looked just like something you would see in a documentary on huge tropical insects and their incredible camouflage.

I was in California from the 2nd to the 10th of June, and spent a few days birding and visiting with family and old friends. Highlight of the trip was finding a singing Yellow-throated Warbler at Manzanita Lake in Lassen Volcanic National Park on June 8th. Here in Texas it's a fairly common species (and a backyard bird for me), but it's occurrence in California is quite unusual and requires review by the state rarities committee. The location of the find was particularly odd; in a lodgepole pine along the edge of an alpine lake. That same day, while driving through the park, we encountered a freak snowstorm. That's right, a blizzard in June!