The Home Patch: El Franco Lee Park American Golden Plovers

With the right weather, interesting birds can show up nearly anywhere, but it is always fascinating how species key in on specific habitats. Looking closely and forgetting the ambient temperature, a weedy playing field in Texas appears a lot like northern tundra, short grass, gravel patches, and diminutive flowers. After last night’s cold front, a dozen American Golden Plovers settled in at El Franco Lee Park, doing their usual running, stopping, and running.  Three Pectoral Sandpipers also rested on a bare area, probably not much different than a ridge on their arctic breeding grounds. Great birds for the local patch and a great reminder to go birding after weather passed through. Over the years several interesting shorebirds have shown up here and Upland Sandpipers occur every spring, again apparently finding the large expanses of short grass as suitable and anywhere else.

American Golden Plovers at El Franco Lee Park, Houston, Texas


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