August 29, 2011

AM, T=75 (!), clear

6:40am, jays rev up, squirrels are making their first leaps among the branches, first hummingbird at the feeder, spending more than a minute tanking up.

August 27, 2011

PM, T=106

Put two more hummingbird feeders out, front porch. Have now seen two hummingbirds at a time. They aren’t getting any push from cold fronts…

This morning there was a small flock (3-4) of the yellow mystery birds. They have dark/light wing markings like goldfinches but are much bigger, about the size of slender waxwings. Turns out they are female orioles, migrating through. Males are flashier and corroborate the ID.

August 26, 2011

Back to record-breaking hot temperatures.

Saw a hummingbird today—time to put the feeders out. I had only ¼ cup of sugar so put only one on back deck.

August 24, 2011

today is the first day it has not gotten to 100 degrees; cloud cover has kept the T down; rain south of I-10. But not nearly enough; they say 6 million trees in Houston are dead from the drought. The damage in Memorial Park is tragic.

There is the Mystery yellow bird hopping about in the althea/rosharon bushes. It looks a little like a prothonotary warbler, but bigger? Seems to be all yellow, w/o markings

August 10, 2011

KAS says she saw the hawk while she was on her morning walk; it was on Woodland, on a fence.

August 8, 2011

PM, nearing 100F…again….

3pm? Went into the kitchen for something and nearly had a heart attack when I saw a hawk standing in the water dish on the back porch. I went to fetch the camera; didn’t get a good still but took several short videos. It looks like an immature Cooper’s hawk: brown dashes on white breast, banded tail w/ distinctive white band on the end. It sipped and looked around nervously, then fluffed up its breast feathers and commenced bathing. How cool is that? It spent 15-20 minutes, then flew up to a pecan branch to preen. Soon gone.

I wonder if our lack of owls is related to presence of hawks? I wonder if this is a dispersed juvenile from a recent hatch? We have often seen a Cooper’s hawk around the neighborhood.

August 2, 2011

AM temperature=77, another 100 degree day, no rain.

6:20am, watching from the bedroom window C caught the flight of an owl up the driveway and N through the gap. Went to the bathroom window and, after a bit, saw it shift positions a couple of times. It is quite light, jays are calling—sort of late for getting to the roost spot. So if it is around the neighbor’s pecan this late perhaps it is roosting there. T says he heard some jay mobbing there this weekend, and I heard some last week in the afternoon.

PM, t=94F at 8:40pm At 8:34pm, female owl flew up to a branch over the driveway, arriving from the west (over the house, and past the oak).  A minute later, she flew north up the driveway and we lost sight of her.