Journal archives for April 2017

April 01, 2017

Nalle Bunny Run 2017-04-01

I was not able to lead a group walk on Hill Country Conservancy's Nalle Bunny Run in March, so I was happy to spend the morning on the preserve today. It was cloudy and mild, with rain forecast for the afternoon. Here are some highlights.

Returning summer birds were evident, including single heard-only singing Yellow-throated Vireo, Northern Parula, and Yellow-throated Warbler. I was especially excited to hear the Yellow-throated Warbler in the cypress trees by the lake. I've only detected a single male returning here for the past few years, and was glad that he has made it back for at least one more year! White-eyed Vireos and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers were also back.

A female Black-throated Green Warbler was the only for-sure north-bound migrant I observed. It was on northwestern part of the preserve with a group of Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers that responded to my "pishing." In the same area I was excited to hear a distant thrush singing. I wasn't able to tell what kind it was but Hermit and Swainson's are most likely. And in any case hearing the double-noted flutey song of any thrush in Texas is a privileged and magical experience!

Little Wood Satyr butterflies were the most common butterflies on the preserve, all in the denser wooded areas. By the gate there were several small patches of Antelope Horns milkweed, and some of the Red Buckeye along the ridge on the western half of the preserve was in impressive bloom.

Here's my complete eBird list:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35609961

Posted on April 01, 2017 22:46 by mikaelb mikaelb | 3 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 21, 2017

Nalle Bunny Run 2017-04-15

Thirteen folks joined me Sunday morning for the monthly group walk on Hill Country Conservancy's Nalle Bunny Run wildlife preserve. It was a beautiful morning, partly cloudy with mild temperatures and a nice breeze.

The bird highlight of the walk was a brief look at a Broad-winged Hawk soaring up from just east of the lower driveway. And a nearby Red-tailed Hawk made a spectacular dive at it before both were out of view. (Different species of hawks are often antagonistic since they usually have overlapping groups of animals they prey on.) Broad-winged hawks are migratory and are just returning to the area for the summer. Years ago most just passed through on their way to breeding grounds further north and east, but lately they've been breeding in Austin more and more commonly. So I'm curious to see if this one will hang around.

I didn't get any photos of the hawks but nearby I got this so-so photo of a singing male Summer Tanager. This is a newly returned summer resident on the preserve, and we were so happy to get a good look at one after hearing it sing for much of the walk.

Summer Tanager - 1

Other returning summer birds included Blue-gray Gnatcatchers singing and calling all over the place, White-eyed Vireos, and the single male Yellow-throated Warbler was singing in the cypress trees.

Some interesting insects we found included this Common Buckeye butterfly:
Common Buckeye

this Large Milkweed Bug near one of the many blooming Antelope Horns milkweed plants:
Hemipteran

and this male Band-winged Dragonlet dragonfly:
Band-winged Dragonlet

Before the group arrive I was very interested to find a Lindheimer's Silktassel plant up near the gate. This is a common plant in similar habitat around town, but I've never seen it on the Bunny Run until now. (See the attached observation below.)

Here's our complete bird list.
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35983176

And here are a few more photos on Flickr:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikael_behrens/albums/72157679427675073/with/33217610624/

Posted on April 21, 2017 00:39 by mikaelb mikaelb | 15 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment