I took a walk along the trail down to the pond today. It was only about 95°F outside, so I counted it a cool day. Still, I figured I’d see what birds were out, do my weekly count for my Pond Trail Big Year and have a look at what the hailstorm did last week. I forgot to charge my camera battery, so no pictures.

The storm ripped up and beat down most of the undergrowth so walking off the trail was easier, though it was weird with all the leaves that shouldn’t have fallen until autumn on the ground instead of still in the trees. Several trees had fallen across the little creek near the footbridge so it was a lot more open in an area where I’m used to deep shade this time of year.

The reeds near the pond were decimated, and I didn’t see any Red-winged Blackbirds around. That’s where they had been nesting so I wonder if they’ll be back. The herons were away as well so I wonder if their nests got flooded or destroyed in the storm. This was this first time all year that I didn’t see any kind of water bird around the pond.

As to birds, I saw the usual suspects for this time of year: grackles, Blue Jays, mockingbirds, cardinals. In the non-avian category, I saw a rabbit and some kind of a garter snake. Nothing special to add to the bird list, but here’s the updated list for the pond trail, about halfway through 2009:

  1. Black-bellied Whistling Duck
  2. Gadwall
  3. American Wigeon
  4. Blue-winged Teal
  5. Northern Shoveler
  6. Northern Pintail
  7. Ring-necked Duck
  8. Pied-billed Grebe
  9. Great Blue Heron
  10. Great Egret
  11. Little Blue Heron
  12. Green Heron
  13. Black Vulture
  14. Turkey Vulture
  15. Osprey
  16. Accipiter sp
  17. Red-shouldered Hawk
  18. Killdeer
  19. White-winged Dove
  20. Mourning Dove
  21. Black-chinned Hummingbird
  22. Red-bellied Woodpecker
  23. Ladder-backed Woodpecker
  24. Eastern Phoebe
  25. Western Kingbird
  26. Blue Jay
  27. American Crow
  28. Purple Martin
  29. Barn Swallow
  30. Swallow sp.
  31. Carolina Chickadee
  32. Black-crested Titmouse
  33. Carolina Wren
  34. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  35. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
  36. Eastern Bluebird
  37. American Robin
  38. Northern Mockingbird
  39. European Starling
  40. Orange-crowned Warbler
  41. Yellow-rumped Warbler
  42. Black-and-white Warbler
  43. Common Yellowthroat
  44. Chipping Sparrow
  45. Song Sparrow
  46. Northern Cardinal
  47. Red-winged Blackbird
  48. Common Grackle
  49. Great-tailed Grackle
  50. House Finch
  51. Lesser Goldfinch
  52. American Goldfinch
  53. House Sparrow