Village Creek Drying Beds in August

2009 August 16
by David J. Ringer

VICKSBURG, MISS. — Before I left Texas last week, I made a visit to the Village Creek Drying Beds in Fort Worth and found many birds of typical late summer/early fall. (Yes, I’m in Mississippi now — more on that soon.)


Black-bellied Whistling Ducks (Dendrocygna autumnalis) have expanded their range into the Metroplex and have bred at the beds. They’re common in late summer.


Black-necked Stilts (Himantopus mexicanus) are also seasonally common. A few Blue-winged Teal, one of the earliest-returning ducks, were back, feeding near one pair of stilts.


Purple Martins (Progne subis) gather in post-breeding flocks and are common in groups on power lines.



Shorebirds, of course, are a major attraction from July on, and though water levels were quite high overall, I observed Least, Western, Semipalmated, Solitary, Stilt and Pectoral Sandpipers; Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs; and Killdeer and a Semipalmated Plover. A juvenile Cooper’s Hawk harassed one shorebird flock but didn’t manage to catch anything.

Common Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) are rank along the edges of the beds, where moisture is plentiful. This is a boon for Red-winged Blackbirds, which scramble through the leggy plants, gobbling seeds.


A different light angle reveals tatty plumage on this male Red-winged Blackbird. Many birds look pretty rough this time of year as they shed their worn summer feathers for a fresh new coat.


There’s often a shrike or two on the western end of the facility, and I thought the presence of the moon made this an interesting shot.


Here’s a bird I won’t be seeing very often anymore: Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (Tyrannus forficatus). The stubby tail and yellowish underparts indicate that this is a young bird.

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  4. Ducks, ducks, ducks
  5. The Case of the Missing Binoculars
4 Responses
  1. August 16, 2009

    Ah, Scissor-tailed Flycatchers. Definitely something I miss about Texas.

  2. August 18, 2009

    Nice flight shot of the swallow. ;-)

  3. August 19, 2009

    Great place to visit before you left!

    I hope the move has been less than problematic…

  4. Charles Holekamp permalink
    September 26, 2009

    Got your name from the Dallas Observer list of Best of. I’ve probably seen you at Village Creek. I live in Hurst so I frequent the place. Like your web site. Good luck in Mississippi. Charles

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