Journal archives for February 2014

February 15, 2014

Group Walk Report for February 15, 2014

Seven folks joined me this morning for the monthly group walk. We had a beautiful clear morning. The temperature started in the mid or upper 40s at 9:00 AM and got to the upper 50s or lower 60s by 11:30 when we were done. Here are some highlights.

In the oak-juniper woods east of the gate we encountered a small group of White-tailed Deer that snorted at us and looked at us a bit before running off:

White-tailed Deer

By the spring we encountered a small mixed-species foraging flock with at least 2 Golden-crowned Kinglets which most of the group got to see and hear.

Near the northeast corner of the preserve we found a nice group of birds on the fence line. They were mostly White-throated Sparrows with a Northern Cardinal and Carolina Wren thrown in. Here's a photo of one of the sparrows. See the white throat, black-and-white striped head, and the yellow "cere" between the bill and the eye:

White-throated Sparrow

In the pencil cactus by the cowbird trap we looked for the Pyrrhuloxia I found a few days ago, but we were unsuccessful. However, nearby we did find the male Eastern Towhee that has been wintering on the preserve. This is a rare bird for the Austin area -- only a few are seen in Austin each winter. Here's a photo I took. It's very similar to the Spotted Towhee which is much more common in Austin in the winter. But notice the lack of white spots on its back:

Eastern Towhee

On our way back up the hill everyone got great looks at a female Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, another winter-resident bird in central Texas. And a little further down the trail we encountered another mixed-species foraging flock of songbirds that included Yellow-rumped Warblers, Carolina Chickadees, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, and a brilliant male Pine Warbler. Here's a poor photo I got of the Pine Warbler:

Pine Warbler

Here are most of the same photos plus a couple more on Flickr:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikael_behrens/sets/72157641027478674/

And here is our complete bird list:

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S16955229

Posted on February 15, 2014 20:50 by mikaelb mikaelb | 0 comments | Leave a comment

February 28, 2014

Tracking Class at Monahans Sandhills State Park

Placeholder to group observations made during Earth Native Wilderness School's Wildlife Tracking Intensive 2013-2014.

Posted on February 28, 2014 23:41 by mikaelb mikaelb | 39 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment