Roaming about the lake offers a great deal of wildlife to behold, and no kind of animal can be found in greater numbers than birds. In fact, you can see just about anything here, including gulls, pelicans, ducks, geese, cormorants, coots, doves, pigeons, sparrows, cardinals, jays, mockingbirds, hawks, parakeets, herons, egrets, wrens, swifts, blackbirds, grackles, crows, loons, kingfishers, woodpeckers, chickadees, titmice, warblers, kinglets, grebes, starlings (a.k.a. avian rats), and a plethora of other winged creatures both great and small. That is one of the reasons the lake is a federal wildlife refuge, not to mention the other kinds of animals that make it home (from foxes to bobcats to armadillos to opossums to raccoons to rabbits and a list longer than my arm). The latest nature census found some 300 different species of birds, fish, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles living in the area, and that number fluctuates upward during winter months as migratory fowl arrive for the season. Of course, I wonder when someone is going to inventory the insect species… Ha! Like that’s going to happen.
Now that I’ve completely gone astray from my original thought, let me share the photo with you that started this little gibbering. I stumbled upon a male blue jay (Cyanocitta cristata) during a walk near the spillway. It dashed continuously from the sidewalk to nearby trees and back again. That’s why the photo isn’t the best quality. I was too far away to get a good picture, and I had to snap it at high speed because the bird wouldn’t pose for me. Lively little bugger… And at that, he kept turning his back to me as I was coming down the hill, so finally I just took the picture and hoped for the best.
[Update] I meant to include this. You can see the running census of birds in this area by visiting Birds of White Rock Lake and Vicinity.
[Update 2] Since I can’t seem to finish this post, I thought I’d include the wildlife statistics I found here. To wit: “33 types of mammals, including squirrels, rabbits, skunks, raccoons, possums, bobcats, red [and gray] foxes, and minks… 54 varieties of reptiles, including rattlesnakes, turtles, lizards, and horned toads… Salamanders, toads and frogs are among the 20 kinds of amphibians found in the park… No fewer than 217 species of birds, including swans, pelicans, sea gulls, loons, and all kinds of ducks… 19 kinds of fish swim in the waters of White Rock Lake… Bass, crappie, and catfish are among the types.”