Saturday, September 19, 2009

2 Gray Pictures

I slept in this morning, but I finally got out of the house at around 10:00 AM and spent a couple hours birding Lake Creek Trail. I started at the Braes Valley parking lot and I found 36 species of birds including some cool fall migrants. The first migrant I saw was an Olive-sided Flycatcher, making long sallies out from the top of a willow tree to catch insects. The bird was visible right from the parking lot, but I got this picture when the bird moved a little further down the trail. It was far away but in this photo you can see the 2 white "saddle bags" that are sometimes visible on this species.

Another migrant I found was a single Swainson's Thrush in the willow trees by the creek. This was the first time I've seen this species since the spring. Other southbound migrating songbirds I found along the trail before the footbridge were a few Baltimore Orioles, and Mourning, Nashville, and Wilson's Warblers.

I followed the trail through the T&C playing fields which seemed more crowded than usual today. And right where the trail crosses the creek bed I looked up and saw a single Mississippi Kite soaring. This is a migratory species of hawk, and they are quite elegant. Even though the hawk was quite high when I took this poor photo, you can clearly see its distinctive silhouette of long narrow wings and a long tail. They often migrate in large flocks, which can be quite a sight! But this one was alone.


Anonymous said...


RE: Any birders in northwest #Austin want to be on the Big Sit team for my neighborhood on Oct 11?

Tell me more. Thanks, B.

Mikael Behrens said...

Hi "B",

The Big Sit is described here.

I'm doing one in my NW Austin neighborhood this year, on the official day Sunday Oct 11. Email me if you're interested: