Journal archives for January 2018

20 January, 2018

Nalle Bunny Run 2018-01-20

This morning 7 people joined me for the monthly group walk on Hill Country Conservancy's Nalle Bunny Run Wildlife Preserve. We spent 2.5 hours finding 30 species of birds. The most diversity was in the deciduous woods area where the tall cedar elm trees had Cedar Waxwings, Carolina Chickadees, Black-crested Titmice, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Lesser Goldfinch, Downy Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, and Northern Cardinal.

Down the hill near the houses was the most exciting bird of the morning, a Merlin perched at the top of a large cottonwood. I've seen one here several times before over the years. I wonder if it's the same bird. My camera didn't perform well in the overcast conditions, but here's my photo of it:


On the sandy prairie the birds were mostly quiet, but there was just the right amount of moisture in the sand to hold some detailed wildlife tracks. These included Common Raccoon, Gray Fox, White-tailed Deer, and Nine-banded Armadillo. Among the dense cover of the vine-covered junipers we found a group of mostly sparrows that included Field Sparrows, Lincoln's Sparrows, Song Sparrows, White-throated Sparrow, and a nice male Spotted Towhee.

Here's our complete eBird checklist.

Posted on 20 January, 2018 21:30 by mikaelb mikaelb | 1 observation | 2 comments | Leave a comment

28 January, 2018

Baker Sanctuary 2018-01-28

I spent a couple hours walking about 3 miles on Travis Audubon's Baker Sanctuary in northwest Travis County this morning. I wasn't expecting to find exceptional birds, and I didn't. But it was fun encountering an occasional mixed species flock in the quiet dense oak-juniper woods that make up most of the preserve. There's always something new to learn, even about the common species. Today I learned that Oranged-crowned Warbler can make a soft flight call that sounds very similar to the soft high whistle call notes that titmice and chickadees make to each other in mixed-species foraging flocks.

I wanted to see a little spring that I found on the eastern edge of the preserve last June. Near the spring where the trail went along the fence, I heard two Lesser Goldfinches singing. I realized one was mixing American Robin calls in with its song. I've heard Lesser Goldfinches imitate other birds before, but not this species.

The spring was just as pretty as I remembered, although most of the ferns were brown from our hard freezes this winter. It was still flowing out of the limestone wall. Nearby was this interesting block of limestone:

Limestone Block

On the north side of Lime Creek Road there is an old quarry site where blocks of limestone have been blasted out with dynamite. But this was on the south side of the road, near the eastern border of the preserve. Just one block sitting crookedly in the hole it presumably came out of.

Here's my complete eBird list.

Posted on 28 January, 2018 21:59 by mikaelb mikaelb | 0 comments | Leave a comment