Journal archives for July 2014

08 July, 2014

Lake Creek Trail Pond Watch 2014-07-07

Grouping observations made while counting dragonflies.

Posted on 08 July, 2014 01:43 by mikaelb mikaelb | 23 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

19 July, 2014

Group Walk Report July 19, 2014

Five folks participated in the monthly group walk and enjoyed unseasonably cool temperatures this morning. We found 34 species of birds and here are some highlights.

Downhill from the spring there is still at least one juvenile Great Horned Owl which we briefly saw after noticing two American Crows and two Blue Jays calling in the area. After one owl flushed, we saw several smaller birds as well as the jays and crows follow it. They were all instinctively mobbing the owl. Loosely associated with this group of mobbing birds were Carolina Wrens, Northern Cardinals, a family group of Downy Woodpeckers, Black-crested Titmice, and a single Eastern Phoebe.

In a large dead cottonwood near the east fence line we got decent looks at a singing male Summer Tanager and later a single Bronzed Cowbird. Here's a distant photo I got of the cowbird, a species that has been expanding its summer range north from the Rio Grande Valley for the past couple decades.

Bronzed Cowbird

In the pond that sometimes forms at the base of the drainage on the east side of the preserve we saw two Mallards. The male was molting and was in something called "eclipse" plumage. Mallards are rare in the Austin area during the summer, and most seen are birds that have bred with domestic ducks that hang around ponds or creeks in parks where people feed them. But based on the location of these birds (where no one feeds them) and on their foraging behavior, I believe these were wild Mallards. Here's a photo:


On the sandy prairie area we got some distant looks at Western Kingbirds, Mourning Doves, a single Lark Sparrow, and several hummingbirds. I photographed this one which I believe is a female Black-chinned Hummingbird, the most common kind that breeds in the area.

Black-chinned Hummingbird

Uphill a bit near the driveway we heard and then finally saw a singing Canyon Wren. This species has a distinctive loud descending song which is often heard in the right habitat, but they can be difficult to see. I was glad we found this bird perched on top of one of the garages and I got this distant photo.

Canyon Wren

Here's our complete bird list:

Posted on 19 July, 2014 21:50 by mikaelb mikaelb | 0 comments | Leave a comment