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:
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.
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.
The frogs are still everywhere in the pond: