Nalle Bunny Run Group Walk 2017-09-16

Only 2 people joined me this morning at 8:00 for the monthly group walk on Hill Country Conservancy's Nalle Bunny Run Wildlife Preserve in west Austin. In about 2.5 hours we covered 1.1 miles, making a rough circuit of the property, looking and listening for birds and other wildlife. Here are some highlights.

It was an overcast, warm, and quiet morning. Birds were very quiet until about 9:00, so during the first part of the walk we did not see many. But at the start of the trail to the spring I was excited to find an interesting insect. We found this Robber Fly hanging by its two front legs while it used its others to hold a small wasp it had caught. Robber Flies that hang like this are in genus Diogmites and are called "Hanging Thieves." This was the first time I've seen one on the preserve.

Hanging Thief Robber Fly with Wasp - 2

Look at those green eyes!

It turned out this was one of three first observations on the preserve for me this morning. Down on the sandy prairie by the lake we found a Loggerhead Shrike, which is the 169th species of bird I've observed here. And later we found a perched Twelve-spotted Skimmer, a dramatically patterned dragonfly I hadn't seen here before. Here's the dragonfly:

Twelve-spotted Skimmer

The air over the sandy prairie was full of dragonflies, mostly Saddlebags (genus Tramea), Wandering Gliders, and Common Green Darners. Most of them stayed in the air where it's hard to get good looks at one, but I was happy that we found one Wandering Glider "hanging" on a grape vine:

Wandering Glider

Some other fun things we saw were a possible distant soaring Osprey, a probable Cooper's Hawk chasing another bird right over our heads and then east over the sandy prairie, many Painted Lady butterflies, and these interesting tracks in the sand:

Rodent Track - 1

I think they were from a Hispid Cotton Rat.

Here's our complete bird list.

And here a few more photos on Flickr.

Attached are the same photos as iNat observations.

Posted by mikaelb mikaelb, September 16, 2017 22:46

Observations

Photos / Sounds

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What

Gulf Fritillary Agraulis vanillae

Observer

mikaelb

Date

September 16, 2017 10:12 AM CDT

Description

Taken on monthly group walk on the Nalle Bunny Run Wildlife Refuge owned by Hill Country Conservancy.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Twelve-spotted Skimmer Libellula pulchella

Observer

mikaelb

Date

September 16, 2017 09:41 AM CDT

Description

Taken on monthly group walk on the Nalle Bunny Run Wildlife Refuge owned by Hill Country Conservancy.

First time observed on the preserve.

Photos / Sounds

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What

Variegated Meadowhawk Sympetrum corruptum

Observer

mikaelb

Date

September 16, 2017 09:43 AM CDT

Description

Taken on monthly group walk on the Nalle Bunny Run Wildlife Refuge owned by Hill Country Conservancy.

Photos / Sounds

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What

Great Egret Ardea alba

Observer

mikaelb

Date

September 16, 2017 09:34 AM CDT

Description

Taken on monthly group walk on the Nalle Bunny Run Wildlife Refuge owned by Hill Country Conservancy.

These two Great Egrets were soaring high in the sky and finally pointed themselves to the south. I believe they were fall migrants.

Photos / Sounds

What

Placental Mammals Infraclass Placentalia

Observer

mikaelb

Date

September 16, 2017 09:12 AM CDT

Description

Taken on monthly group walk on the Nalle Bunny Run Wildlife Refuge owned by Hill Country Conservancy.

My first guess would be these tracks are from Hispid Cotton Rat.

Photos / Sounds

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What

Wandering Glider Pantala flavescens

Observer

mikaelb

Date

September 16, 2017 09:09 AM CDT

Description

Taken on monthly group walk on the Nalle Bunny Run Wildlife Refuge owned by Hill Country Conservancy.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Loggerhead Shrike Lanius ludovicianus

Observer

mikaelb

Date

September 16, 2017 09:05 AM CDT

Description

Taken on monthly group walk on the Nalle Bunny Run Wildlife Refuge owned by Hill Country Conservancy.

This is the first time I've seen a Loggerhead Shrike on the property, making it my 169th bird species on the Bunny Run.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Painted Lady Vanessa cardui

Observer

mikaelb

Date

September 16, 2017 08:46 AM CDT

Description

Taken on monthly group walk on the Nalle Bunny Run Wildlife Refuge owned by Hill Country Conservancy.

Photos / Sounds

What

Hanging Thieves Genus Diogmites

Observer

mikaelb

Date

September 16, 2017 08:24 AM CDT

Description

Taken on monthly group walk on the Nalle Bunny Run Wildlife Refuge owned by Hill Country Conservancy.

This is the first time I've observed one of the "hanging thieves" robber flies on the preserve. I've only ever seen them before in Gonzales.

Comments

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Nice Robber Fly photo. Looks like a trapeze artist. I think the wasp is a Yellow jacket, what we here in Texas used to call hornets.

Posted by billarbon almost 2 years ago (Flag)
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Thanks!

Posted by mikaelb almost 2 years ago (Flag)

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