Nalle Bunny Run Group Walk 2016-05-21

Seven folks joined me Saturday morning for the monthly group walk on Hill Country Conservancy's Nalle Bunny Run Wildlife Preserve in west Austin. I was surprised by a Facebook notification that it was the exact 5th anniversary of this monthly walk! The first we ever led was on 5/21/2011. At the end of yesterday's walk I couldn't resist asking everyone for a group walk to commemorate it:

IMG_6305.jpg

Despite cool and breezy conditions all week long, Saturday morning started warm and still. It's starting to feel more like central Texas summer! Here are some highlights from the walk. Special thanks to Kathleen Brandon (far right in the photo above) for supplying these great photos.

Here's one of two or three Giant Lichen Orbweaver (Araneus bicentenarius) Spiders we encountered on large webs along the trail on the west half of the preserve:
Giant Lichen Orbweaver (Araneus bicentenarius) Spider

My favorite bird observation was the perched Common Nighthawk that we spotted along the same trail:

Common Nighthawk

Down by the water we found a turtle nest that had been discovered and dug out (possibly by a fox or raccoon). All that remained were the leathery egg shells:

Turtle Eggs

We watched a vocal pair of Red-shouldered Hawks that spent some time perched in one of the dead cottonwoods near the center of the preserve. And a couple Northern Mockingbirds just would not leave them alone! The mockingbirds repeatedly harassed the hawks until the hawks finally left. Kathleen captured this great moment:

Red-shouldered Hawk and Northern Mockingbird

A few more highlights were seeing a Swainson's Hawk soaring on its way north, hearing and then seeing the continuing male Yellow-throated Warbler in the cypress trees, seeing several female Orchard Orioles, and everyone getting great looks at a Yellow-billed Cuckoo on our way back near the gate.

Here's our complete bird list.

Posted by mikaelb mikaelb, May 23, 2016 01:10

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

Nine-banded Armadillo Dasypus novemcinctus

Observer

mikaelb

Date

May 21, 2016 08:18 AM CDT

Comments

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We thoroughly enjoyed the hike and all we saw. Not being very skilled or active in birding for years we were excited to see so many special birds and more. I esp. loved the Nighthawk, the Warbler, and oh yes the Cuckoo!!! You were patient and helpful. Also just being in that amazing area of the Nalle property with the springs, flowers, family cemetery, were very special. Kathleens photos were an added plus ... I'd love it if she has one of the Cuckoo too. Thanks again and have a great summer! Rita & Dane Hersey

Posted by ritahersey over 4 years ago (Flag)
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As always, great write-up on this Mikael. :)

Posted by sambiology over 4 years ago (Flag)

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