September 1, 2020

Today at the pond at the corner of Estes and Yale I was surprised to see a juvenile Cooper’s Hawk sitting in one of the trees that the Belted Kingfishers favor.  Much lower down in the tree sat a Black-crowned Night Heron, in shadow and still.  A lone Mallard dabbled in the water.  Barn Swallows patrolled overhead, sometimes skimming the surface of the pond.  Then nearly a hundred European Starlings alighted in a tree north of the hawk.  The hawk turned its head to watch them settle in.

The sun was rising higher in the sky, so I didn’t linger at the pond.  I walked across the prairie dog field hoping to spot the Clay-colored Sparrows.  I found about ten of them, plus a Vesper Sparrow (with its white eye ring, it stood out among the Clay-colored Sparrows), in a short leafy tree that sat by itself.  I had absolutely no cover, so I couldn’t get close.  Here’s one of the Clay-colored sitting at the top of the tree, keeping an eye on me:

Clay-colored Sparrow

On my walk back home, I saw a Gray Catbird, a Red-tailed Hawk, several Black-billed Magpies, nine more Mallards, a Mourning Dove, a Broad-tailed Hummingbird, a Western Wood-Pewee, and a Wilson’s Warbler.

Gray Catbird

After work, my better half and I took a walk with the dog out to the small pond.  There were Black-billed Magpies everywhere, a couple of Mallards in the pond, two Red-tailed Hawks in the tree at the southwest corner of the pond, and a Black-crowned Night Heron in its usual place in the shadows.  Then my better half picked out a spot of white.

Eastern Kingbird

The frogs are still everywhere in the pond:

American Bullfrog