Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Bear Creek Park

Finally, I'm done with the older posts and working on the newish ones.  I may never be completely current.

On September 28, I chased a bird closer to home.  Just because it was spotted in the Houston area doesn't mean I didn't drive an hour and a half each way, though.

Bear Creek Park is on the northwest side of the city.  My information was that a rare bird was spotted near restroom number 9.  I wasn't familiar with the park and the first restrooms I saw had no numbers.  How do you know if it's number nine?              

I found quite a large group of Black Vultures at the pond near the War Memorial.  

I found these beside the same pond.  My first thought was did a whistling duck hook up with an ugly domestic muscovy?  They need to stop that...  I was able to identify it as an Egyptian Goose by looking through my field guides.  These are imported as ornamentals and some of them escape.

They brought it here on purpose?  Why?  Our native species are much more attractive.

I worked my way around the park, past the zoo area, past the ballfields, around to the picnic pavilions.  Here is where I found Eastern Bluebirds, Pine Warblers, House Finches, and Titmice.  I thought maybe I found my special bird, but I wasn't positive.  

I continued further into the park and finally found the wooded area with the numbered restrooms.  The special bird wasn't here, but I found plenty more bluebirds, chickadees, and titmice.  I got my first ever good photograph of a Tufted Titmouse.

I went home, uploaded my photos, and confirmed... was him by the pavilions!  He's got the longer tail, slender crest, pale lower mandible, and blended underparts that identify him as the Greater Pewee.  What's more interesting than the fact that he is supposed to be found in the western U.S. and Mexico is that he's not lost.  This is believed to be his third winter here in Bear Creek Park.

I wonder where he spends his summers?  If someone were to tag him, would he avoid returning next year?        

I'm linking up with Wild Bird Wednesday.

September 2014
Upper 80's
Species Identified(14):  Great Egret, Black Vulture, Egyptian Goose, Graylag Goose - domestic, Muscovy Duck - domestic variety, Mallard, Mourning Dove, Eastern Bluebird, House Finch, Greater Pewee, American Crow, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Pine Warbler


  1. You're obviously very good at identification ... I need to get me some books and more info on my little local guys.

    I love the colours on your beautiful bluebird! Amazing ...

  2. I've always wanted to drive up to Houston just to find one woodpecker that doesn't show up here where I live....maybe someday.
    You found some GREAT images Jen.

  3. That Eastern bluebird is so pretty and definitely steals the show for me. I have to say, you capture the best images... :)

  4. This is definitely a "Wow" post!

  5. congratulations on the pewee sighting! LOVED the huge flock of vultures!

  6. Beautiful photo of the Eastern bluebird! The Egyptian goose looks interesting, and (thankfully) I've never seen that many vultures at one time!

  7. Those ducks are certainly ... interesting. I love the blue bird, so pretty and not something we have here. I am glad you got to see your pewee.

  8. What a beautiful nature near about your house.... Lovely bird it is wonderful to live at your place

  9. That Eastern Bluebird is such a vivid blue! We had a flock of Egyptian Geese in our area last year. Very interesting! I think they're rather exotic looking.

  10. Great shots, Jen! It's hard to capture those neurotic titmice isn't it? What a fun outing, I'm glad you spotted and captured your special bird!

  11. Nice post - even when you can't find what you are looking for, you often find good stuff! That number of vultures is a little disquieting!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  12. Well it vjust shows that just going ona twitch can result ina good day's birding. All those vultures - quite amazing. By the way Jen , the advice about not looking a bird directly in the eye applies to all of them.My tip for today.

  13. the vultures are so cool to see, but i bet they reek havoc on the area. beautiful birds!!!

  14. Although some of your pix did not load, the ones that did are great, showing your efforts nicely!...:)JP

  15. Loving the vulture and bluebird photos.

    And goodness gracious, that is... a lot.... of vultures in one spot. I see them where I live, but never in that capacity.