Journal archives for February 2016

February 21, 2016

Nalle Bunny Run Group Walk 2016-02-20

13 folks joined me this morning for the monthly group walk on Hill Country Conservancy's Nalle Bunny Run. It was cloudy and warm, just under 70 degrees when we started. Besides plentiful singing Northern Cardinals, bird activity was slow on the southern, uphill half of the preserve. But once we got down to the sandy prairie and the edge of the lake things picked up. I was most excited to find this Snapping Turtle right by the shore. It's the first I've observed on the Bunny Run. Initially, we thought it was dead, but gradually noticed its subtle movements.

Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina)

Birds we saw included distant looks at two falcons: a Merlin and an American Kestrel, dozens of Yellow-rumped Warblers, a few Song Sparrows, and the continuing pair of male and female Pyrrhuloxia. Here's a distant shot I got of the male:

Pyrrhuloxia

Later back up the hill on the truck trail east of the driveway was saw what was easily the group's favorite bird of the morning. This Red-shouldered Hawk was perched on a dead tree in the valley with the cliff on the north side of the lake in the background:

Red-shouldered Hawk

I only have a handful of Red-shouldered Hawk observations on the Bunny Run and I don't know why. It seems like good habitat for this woodland species. Maybe they're here but harder to detect than other Red-shouldereds I find in Austin? Or maybe they are just rarely on the Bunny Run for some reason.

We ended up finding 30 species of birds. Here's our complete bird list. What a fun morning!

Posted on February 21, 2016 00:02 by mikaelb mikaelb | 4 observations | 2 comments | Leave a comment