Journal archives for March 2019

March 16, 2019

Nalle Bunny Run 2019-03-16

Out of nine registered people, only four showed up to join me on the monthly group walk on Hill Country Conservancy's Nalle Bunny Run wildlife preserve this morning. The no-shows missed out on a beautiful cool and birdy morning! We found 39 species of birds and here are some highlights.

With the spring, the birds are singing, and we heard birdsong through the entire walk. The most common songs were Northern Cardinal, Carolina Wren, and Black-crested Titmouse. We also heard songs from Bewick's Wren, Lesser Goldfinch, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Carolina Chickadee, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, White-eyed Vireo, Field Sparrow, Yellow-throated Warbler, Yellow-throated Vireo, House Finch, Northern Parula, and Eastern Phoebe at one point or another.

We found three birds flagged as rare for the Austin area by eBird, a briefly heard Yellow-throated Warbler, an early Yellow-throated Vireo, and a female Eastern Towhee, probably the same one I saw back in January. Here's the Towhee:

Eastern Towhee

After several fleeting glimpses of newly returning Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, we finally got great looks at two foraging low near the lake. Here's one of them, a brilliant male sporting the dark brow of its breeding plumage:

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Near the end of the walk, we were treated to brief looks at a newly returned White-eyed Vireo. This summer-resident species is much more easily heard than seen. It prefers to stay hidden in low dense brush. So we were fortunate to see one singing out in the open. Here's a so-so photo I got of it. You can just see its white eye:

White-eyed Vireo

Right before we got back to the preserve gate, we finally got a good look at a few Cedar Waxwings, a species we had been seeing flying over us in large flocks all morning. I got this photo of three of them:

Cedar Waxwings

See the attached observations, and here are a few more photos on Flickr.

And here's our complete eBird list.

Posted on March 16, 2019 22:31 by mikaelb mikaelb | 7 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

March 31, 2019

Inspiring Oaks Ranch 2019-03-30

I was privileged to attend Hill Country Conservancy's celebration of its latest conservation easement, on the beautiful Inspiring Oaks Ranch southwest of Austin. Here are a few photos from an amazing creek on the property:

Descending to the creek:
Landscape - 1

Limestone cliff:
Landscape - 3

Waterlilies:
Waterlilies (genus Nymphaea)

Cypress Trees:
Landscape - 4

Mexican Buckeye:
Mexican Buckeye (Ungnadia speciosa)

Here are a few photos from around the barn where the party was.

Landscape - 6

Landscape - 7

Yellow-rumped Warbler

It made me happy to learn how interested the current owners and their young adult children are in conservation and good land stewardship of this amazing property!

Here are a few more photos on Flickr.

And see the attached observations.

Posted on March 31, 2019 21:44 by mikaelb mikaelb | 15 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment