Journal archives for May 2020

21 May, 2020

Nalle Bunny Run 2020-05-16

Saturday May 16, 2020 would have been when I led the monthly group walk on Hill Country Conservancy's Nalle Bunny Run wildlife preserve. But thanks to the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic, it was just me. I would rather have been leading a group, but I also appreciated the opportunity to spend a morning on the Bunny Run by myself. Heavy rain the night before increased the possibility of seeing spring migrating birds, and we don't have many records of migrants on the preserve so I was excited for the possibilities. It turned out to be a fantastic morning and here are some highlights.

Breeding Birds

Summer- and year-round-resident birds were singing and reproducing! I heard songs of Red-eyed Vireo, Yellow-throated Vireo, three different Northern Parulas, and a Painted Bunting. Two juvenile Canyon Wrens came right up to me as I was trying to photograph another bird. When I realized how close they were I got this photo:

Juvenile Canyon Wren - 2 - 1

This Red-eyed Vireo was carrying a small twig to add to a nest somewhere:

Red-eyed Vireo - 1 - 4

And this pair of Eastern Bluebirds was perched on one of the Purple Martin nesting cavity installations. I suspect they were using one to nest, but I could not verify it.

Eastern Bluebird Pair - 1 - 1

Migrating Birds

There weren't many, but I did manage to find and photograph a few birds that were on their way further north. Down by the lake this Least Flycatcher was hunting in shrubs in front of the cypress trees:

Least Flycatcher

There were two Magnolia Warblers in the deciduous woods habitat west of the driveway. Both were stunning males and here's one of them:

Magnolia Warbler - 2

I was most excited to finally photographed this Chestnut-sided Warbler. I first heard it in the same area as the Magnolia Warblers, and I saw it but never got close enough for a good photo. Finally near the end of the morning I found it foraging with the Magnolia Warblers and got a few decent photos. Here's one:

Chestnut-sided Warbler - 1 - 4

Other Highlights

While standing on the dock by the boat ramp, a Spotted Sandpiper flew in and landed on the ramp. We don't have many shorebird records for the preserve so I tried to get a photo but the bird saw my movement and took off. At that same moment I heard a loud repeated call and saw a Ringed Kingfisher flying west over the lake. These huge kingfishers have been expanding their range north from south Texas over the last few decades. I've only seen them a handful of times on the Bunny Run and I was happy to at least get a poor photo of this female bird as it flew past:

Ringed Kingfisher - 1 - 1

Rains the night before had left the pond in the northeast corner of the preserve full. As I walked by it I thought I heard something different and went closer to investigate. Sure enough, as I approached I heard several Eastern Narrow-mouthed Toads calling from the edge of the pond. This was the first time I've observed this species here, and while I could never spot one floating in all the debris at the pond's edge, I made an audio recording and saved it as an iNat observation here.

On my way back up the hill I checked out the drainage feeding this pond and enjoyed seeing lots of water flowing over the limestone:

Waterfall Flowing

Here are a few more photos on Flickr.

Here is my complete eBird list.

And attached are a few iNaturalist observations.

Posted on 21 May, 2020 00:12 by mikaelb mikaelb | 20 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

23 May, 2020

Nalle Bunny Run Virtual Tour 2020-05-23

Hill Country Conservancy staffers Sarah and Carolyn met me this morning to create another virtual tour of their Nalle Bunny Run wildlife preserve.

My complete eBird list is here.

Here are my photos on Flickr.

The same photos are also attached as observations.

Will update when the virtual tour is posted on YouTube.

Updated 2020-06-04 with YouTube virtual tour:

Posted on 23 May, 2020 23:52 by mikaelb mikaelb | 9 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment