Sunday, July 4, 2010

NASWC Bird Walk

Today 6 of us spent a humid, but overcast and surprisingly comfortable morning birding Lake Creek Trail for the monthly NASWC Bird Walk. Covering about 1 mile in a little over 2 hours, we found 31 species of birds and some other interesting wildlife. Here are some highlights.
  • Northern Cardinals and Northern Mockingbirds created an almost constant background of singing. Here's one of the cardinals.

    Northern Cardinal

  • The Mustang Grape vines were heavy with grapes, and 2 of us tasted them. They were reportedly quite sour!

    Wild Grapes

  • On the creek we found Green Herons, Snowy Egrets, Killdeer, and House Sparrows. Here are 2 great shots of Green Herons taken by Gracen Duffield. The first is an adult and the second is a juvenile, most likely hatched in the neighborhood this summer.

    Green Heron

    Juvenile Green Heron

  • The most interesting bird of the morning was a single Bronzed Cowbird, a summer-resident species that has gradually been expanding its range north from southern Texas over the past decade or 2. We found it by the baseball fields and I got this photo showing its red eye.


  • We saw several Gulf Coast Toads on the walk, mostly tiny young ones. But we did find a single large adult in the creek bed. The rolling low song of these toads is a common sound on spring and summer nights in our neighborhood.Here's one of the immature toads, barely bigger than a dime, and then the adult.

    Tiny Gulf Coast Toad

    Gulf Coast Toad

  • There were many Barn Swallows, Purple Martins, Chimney Swifts, Cliff Swallows, and Cave Swallows whizzing through the air over the creek bed and playing fields. Several Purple Martins perched right next to us as we stopped at one point, and Gracen got this neat photo of 4 juvenile birds.

    Purple Martins
Happy Independence Day!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for leading the walk! I'll let you know if I make any mustang grape jelly!


Cheryl said...

Nice time was had by all! Thanks for leading the walk on the 4th, it made it more memorable!

Austin Eavesdropper said...

I LOVE the Bronzed Cowbird, with the red eye! What an interesting creature. How often do you lead these bird walks?

Mikael Behrens said...

Yes, the Bronzed Cowbird is pretty neat! And only here in the summer.

I lead the bird walks once a month, usually on the first Sunday.