Nalle Bunny Run 2019-03-16

Out of nine registered people, only four showed up to join me on the monthly group walk on Hill Country Conservancy's Nalle Bunny Run wildlife preserve this morning. The no-shows missed out on a beautiful cool and birdy morning! We found 39 species of birds and here are some highlights.

With the spring, the birds are singing, and we heard birdsong through the entire walk. The most common songs were Northern Cardinal, Carolina Wren, and Black-crested Titmouse. We also heard songs from Bewick's Wren, Lesser Goldfinch, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Carolina Chickadee, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, White-eyed Vireo, Field Sparrow, Yellow-throated Warbler, Yellow-throated Vireo, House Finch, Northern Parula, and Eastern Phoebe at one point or another.

We found three birds flagged as rare for the Austin area by eBird, a briefly heard Yellow-throated Warbler, an early Yellow-throated Vireo, and a female Eastern Towhee, probably the same one I saw back in January. Here's the Towhee:

Eastern Towhee

After several fleeting glimpses of newly returning Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, we finally got great looks at two foraging low near the lake. Here's one of them, a brilliant male sporting the dark brow of its breeding plumage:

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Near the end of the walk, we were treated to brief looks at a newly returned White-eyed Vireo. This summer-resident species is much more easily heard than seen. It prefers to stay hidden in low dense brush. So we were fortunate to see one singing out in the open. Here's a so-so photo I got of it. You can just see its white eye:

White-eyed Vireo

Right before we got back to the preserve gate, we finally got a good look at a few Cedar Waxwings, a species we had been seeing flying over us in large flocks all morning. I got this photo of three of them:

Cedar Waxwings

See the attached observations, and here are a few more photos on Flickr.

And here's our complete eBird list.

Posted by mikaelb mikaelb, March 16, 2019 22:31

Observations

Photos / Sounds

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What

Cedar Waxwing Bombycilla cedrorum

Observer

mikaelb

Date

March 16, 2019

Description

Taken during the monthly group walk on Hill Country Conservancy's Nalle Bunny Run wildlife preserve.

Here are three of a couple hundred Cedar Waxwings that were on the Bunny Run this morning.

Photos / Sounds

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What

White-eyed Vireo Vireo griseus

Observer

mikaelb

Date

March 16, 2019

Description

Taken during the monthly group walk on Hill Country Conservancy's Nalle Bunny Run wildlife preserve.

Near the end of the walk we were fortunate to see this White-eyed Vireo, a recently returned summer resident that is usually much more easily heard, and stays hidden in low dense brush.

Photos / Sounds

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What

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher Polioptila caerulea

Observer

mikaelb

Date

March 16, 2019

Description

Taken during the monthly group walk on Hill Country Conservancy's Nalle Bunny Run wildlife preserve.

Here's one of several Blue-gray Gnatcatchers we saw. This gave us great looks as it foraged in the low shrubs and grass.

Photos / Sounds

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What

Yellow-throated Vireo Vireo flavifrons

Observer

mikaelb

Date

March 16, 2019

Description

Taken during the monthly group walk on Hill Country Conservancy's Nalle Bunny Run wildlife preserve.

I heard this Yellow-throated Vireo singing, and finally spotted it high in a cypress tree. It's considered rare in Austin this early in the spring.

Photos / Sounds

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What

Yellow-rumped Warbler Setophaga coronata

Observer

mikaelb

Date

March 16, 2019

Description

Taken during the monthly group walk on Hill Country Conservancy's Nalle Bunny Run wildlife preserve.

Here's one of many Yellow-rumped Warblers we saw this morning (a little over exposed).

Photos / Sounds

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What

Eastern Towhee Pipilo erythrophthalmus

Observer

mikaelb

Date

March 16, 2019

Description

Taken during the monthly group walk on Hill Country Conservancy's Nalle Bunny Run wildlife preserve.

I was excited to be able to show the group this female Eastern Towhee, a rare bird in Austin. It's probably the same individual I found here a few weeks ago.

Photos / Sounds

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What

Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis

Observer

mikaelb

Date

March 16, 2019

Description

Taken during the monthly group walk on Hill Country Conservancy's Nalle Bunny Run wildlife preserve.

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