Journal archives for September 2017

16 September, 2017

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 on 16 September, 2017 22:46 by mikaelb mikaelb | 9 observations | 2 comments | Leave a comment