Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Get Out and Enjoy the Spring Migration

By Phyllis Yochem
Corpus Christi Caller-Times


Some words are enhancements to the pleasure of birdwatching.

On a chilly morning of early spring, one such word comes to mind: zugunruhe, a German word meaning pre-migratory restlessness. This state is brought on by the increased action of the bird’s pituitary gland.

I think perhaps a similar phenomenon occurs in humans around spring break, although the goal is somewhat different. In some species, migration is an act that ensures the survival of the species. But then, don’t vacations help to ensure survival?

Where we live, on the central flyway beside the Gulf of Mexico, we are geographically placed to observe many birds on their migratory travel route. Wood warblers stop here for rest and recovery before the final lap of their journey toward their nesting areas. We have more than 30 species of warbler on our checklist. Some are seen regularly, others reliably or only rarely.

Places to see warblers include Blucher Park, directly behind the Corpus Christi Public Library, in the 100 block of Carrizo Street. Throughout April, guided bird walks are conducted by members of the Audubon Outdoor Club of Corpus Christi. Walks begin at 7:30 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, except Easter. Wear comfortable shoes and bring binoculars.

Outdoor Club members also tend paths, pick up trash, and escort vandals or campers out of the area. This fall, the club contributed to the placing of a kiosk at the front corner of the park. Part of this structure is a chimney in which, it is hoped, chimney swifts will nest.

Another good place to look for spring migrants is Packery Channel County Park. This park is reached by cautiously turning left, immediately after leaving the JFK Causeway, coming on to Padre Island. A sanctuary, donated by Dr. Beverly Held, is located in the residential section, to the right of the park entrance, beyond the Visitor’s Center.

A small pond there can be a good place to observe birds. The oak mott, on a sand dune on the left of the entrance road, is also good. Expect grebes there and a pair of greater kiskadee flycatchers nested last year.

Any day, soon, service wires at Packery will be filled with scissor-tailed flycatchers, Eastern kingbirds, and swallows and purple martins. On the ground, look for painted and indigo buntings in small groups. Along with warblers, look for white-eyed, blue-headed, yellow-throated, and Philadelphia vireos.

Early arriving warblers can include hooded warblers, black and white warblers, and Nashville warblers. Northern parulas seem to like the newly budded foliage on live oak trees, so listen for them, and look for them high up. They are small, bluish warblers with yellow throats and breasts, and a distinctive song, a buzzy trill that “climbs the scale and snaps over at the end” as Roger Tory Peterson describes it. This is one of a few warblers that sing while they are here.

A good guide for local birders is “Birding Corpus Christi and the Coastal Bend,” by Jamie Ritter, published by Falcon Guides.

Phyllis Yochem, a Corpus Christi resident, has studied birds in Texas since 1960.

37 comments:

  1. 三分之一的人生,可以決定另外三分之二的人生!!共勉哦!.............................................

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  2. 動不一定每一次都成功,但坐而不行,絕無任何成功可言.............................................

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  3. 思想與理論,貴呼先於行動,但行動較思想或理論更高貴..............................

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  4. 任何你憂慮的事,你都應該去採取一點行動,不要只是在那邊想......................................................................

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  5. 生存乃是不斷地在內心與靈魂交戰;寫作是坐著審判自己。......................................................................

    ReplyDelete
  6. 真正仁慈的人,會忘記他們做過的善行,他們全心投入現在的工作,過去的事已被遺忘。..................................................

    ReplyDelete
  7. 唯有學習不已的老師,才能認真的教,唯有燃燒自己,才能點亮他人的燈............................................................

    ReplyDelete
  8. 人應該做自己認為對的事,而不是一味跟著群眾的建議走。..................................................

    ReplyDelete
  9. 做好事,不需要給人知道,雖然只是一件微不足道的事,但我相信,這會帶給我快樂。..................................................

    ReplyDelete
  10. 生存乃是不斷地在內心與靈魂交戰;寫作是坐著審判自己。. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    ReplyDelete