Journal archives for March 2018

March 18, 2018

Nalle Bunny Run 2018-03-17

Four people joined me Saturday morning for the monthly group walk on Hill Country Conservancy's Nalle Bunny Run wildlife preserve. Observing seasonal changes was a common theme of the morning's walk. When I arrived the air was full of birdsong; several of our year-round residents have started splitting up into territories and advertising their presence by singing. Northern Cardinals and Carolina Chickadees made up the majority of the songs that were almost constantly in the background all morning.

Numbers of two of our winter resident species were higher than last month. Before we left the gate area about 200 Ring-billed Gulls flew over us vocalizing and heading northeast. Later we saw probably these same birds soaring around the 360 bridge. We also encountered two groups of Yellow-rumped Warblers, each including about a dozen birds. I think for both species the birds that have been here all winter are now being joined by birds that winter further south that have already started moving north. Here are just two of the Ring-billed Gulls we saw:

Ring-billed Gull

Other winter resident birds that were still present were a few Hermit Thrushes and Ruby-crowned Kinglets, and this Song Sparrow we saw in the sandy prairie area:

Song Sparrow

Summer resident bird species are starting to return. We heard several White-eyed Vireos, a single Yellow-throated Vireo, and briefly saw a single Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. In the cypress trees by the lake I was happy to hear and then see the single male Yellow-throated Warbler that has been returning to this area for the past few years. I hope a female joins him this summer! Here's a poor photo of him foraging in a large Chinese Tallow Tree:

Yellow-throated Warbler

The Bunny Run is just loaded with our native Agarita bush, and it was a special treat to see and smell it in bloom yesterday! Its sweet-smelling yellow flowers only last a couple weeks, so I was glad the group could experience them:

Blooming Agarita

At the end of our walk we found a couple native bees on a blooming Agarita. They were metallic green and the iNaturalist community has suggested they are a member of the Mason Bees (genus Osmia). Here's one of them:

Native Bee on Agarita

Here's our complete bird list:
https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S43723579

Attached are iNaturalist observations for the above photos, and here they are again on Flickr:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikael_behrens/albums/72157693841190804/

Posted on March 18, 2018 20:56 by mikaelb mikaelb | 5 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment