Journal archives for January 2020

19 January, 2020

Nalle Bunny Run 2020-01-18

Only three folks joined me this morning for the monthly group walk on Hill Country Conservancy's Nalle Bunny Run wildlife preserve. What was originally forecasted to be a cold and rainy morning turned out to be beautiful: a little foggy at first, then cloudy and in the 60s with no wind and the sun peeking out a few times. We found 23 species of birds and here are some highlights.

A mixed species songbird flock appeared before we left the parking area and we spent a few minutes watching a couple Ruby-crowned Kinglets and a Blue-headed Vireo, and listening to Carolina Wrens and Black-crested Titmice. Carolina Wrens were one of the most numerous birds this morning and we never saw one. We only heard their songs and calls.

By the spring we found this neat yellow fungus growing on a dead juniper trunk. Its common name is Witch's Butter and I'm hoping to learn more about it from folks here on iNaturalist:

Witch's Butter Fungus

Birds were active but pretty difficult to see until we got down to the sandy prairie area by the lake. There it was easier to pick out some Northern Cardinals, a couple Yellow-rumped Warblers, House Finches, a single Ring-billed Gull flying over, and this beautiful American Kestrel perched on the fence line. That fuzzy vertical line is one of the cables making up the Pennybacker Bridge over Lake Austin:

American Kestrel

We heard plenty of Carolina Wrens but still never saw one!

On our way back up the hill from the sandy prairie we spent some time enjoying the waterfall. While we were there a mixed-species foraging flock arrived and it was great fun to finally get some good looks at Carolina Chickadees and Black-crested Titmice. An Orange-crowned Warbler also appeared.

Following the path through the western half of the preserve, bird activity was a little lower. But we enjoyed seeing some neat plants like Anacua Tree, Kidneywood, Brasil, and Blackjack Oak. Yaupon Holly full of bright red berries was all over the place, and I took this photo of one holly bush when the sun briefly came out:

Yaupon Holly

Almost back at the gate we spotted and watched an Eastern Phoebe looking for insects.

Here's our complete bird list on eBird.

And attached are my iNaturalist observations.

Posted on 19 January, 2020 00:14 by mikaelb mikaelb | 4 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment