Friday, March 18, 2011

Recently in Abilene

We had a ladder-backed woodpecker in our neighbor's front yard a few days ago. That same afternoon a sharp-shinned hawk wheeled overhead - first I've seen around here for several months. Turkey vultures are back in the vicinity also on a daily basis. And I passed a red-tailed hawk on S. 1st St. this afternoon (nothing unusual in that).

What was unusual, in my experience, was a wild turkey that we startled just a couple of blocks from our house. It flew up into a mesquite tree - obviously a large bird, but it wasn't until it landed that I realized what it was. They are not infrequent outside town, but I've not come across one in this residential area before.

Had close views of a Carolina wren in a nearby alley as it searched for breakfast on the ground and low on the mesquite and hackberry tree trunks.

Lots of warblers calling these days, but I haven't had binoculars handy often enough to identify one in a while.

I've been seeing shovelers, canvasbacks, ring-necked ducks, mallards, cinnamon teal, and many American coots on local ponds and reservoirs.