Monday, July 28, 2008

BIrds I've Seen While Not Birding, Etc.

I don't have much bird news to report. It's not because we're in the summer doldrums, I just haven't had time for birding. My binoculars have been in the closet since we got back from our last trip to Louisiana. Accidentally I still manage to see a bird now and then. On Saturday I was working in the yard and spotted an adult Swallow-tailed Kite circling to the northeast. Seeing one here is a rare and happy occurrence. I've also been seeing (and more often hearing) Mississippi Kites in the neighborhood, and suspect they are nesting somewhere in the vicinity. Yesterday a male Summer Tanager visited our birdbath, which has seen a lot of activity during this period of hot dry weather (we only got a few drops from the outer bands of Hurricane Dolly). That sums up all the "bird news" I have.

So what have I been doing? Caring for babies of course. They were in swim lessons last week. Both made it through the course without drowning (much). Been converting part of the garage into a workshop with Troy's help. A few other things have been going on, but I'll leave those for another time.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Recent Birds, Goodbye Mr. Pipa

Time to get caught up on the bird news from my neck of the woods, which ain't much. On June 15 Michelle and I saw a flock of about 10 Wood Storks flying east over Highway 69 not far from home. Not-so-coincidentally a flock of similar size was reported the same day near Sour Lake, just a few miles to the west. On June 29 I saw a Mississippi Kite flying over our yard - bird #218 for the year list.

Pileated Woodpeckers have been more conspicuous in our neighborhood lately. I often hear them when I'm out in the yard. On the fourth of July I was down in the garage when Michelle spotted a couple in our front yard. She alerted me, and I grabbed my camera. The pair was actually part of a family of four, and I was able to get a few decent photos. They seem to be less wary when accompanied by young birds - at least that's been my experience.Here's a juvenile bird with some odd white splotches.Blurry photos taken from a distance really accentuate the extent of the white in the wings, but then we knew that, right?Pipa is gone. Between the demands of work, babies, and maintaining a household we didn't have enough time to devote to a dog, and the more we neglected him the worse his behavior became. Michelle found some nice people who will provide him with a good home and more attention than we could have given him. It's sad to see him go, but it's definitely for the best. Under the circumstances it would have been unfair to Pipa if we had kept him.