Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Post-rain Fall Migrants

Finally, we got some substantial rain last weekend! Early Sunday morning storms cancelled by monthly bird walk, but I couldn't resist getting out on Lake Creek Trail around lunchtime for a couple hours to see what I could find. Fall migration was still going strong. Things started out kind of quiet, but one by one I started finding south-bound migrating birds. I found five species of warblers, including Nashville Warbler, Mourning Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow-breasted Chat, and this Wilson's Warbler.

Wilson's Warbler

Most native sparrows are just in our neighborhood during the winter...
There were still Clay-colored Sparrows around (which actually just pass through). And I found my first few Lincoln's Sparrows of the fall. These are our most common winter-resident sparrows. I got this photo of one. The fine streaking on the breast and the band of buff color on across the breast help distinguish this species from other sparrows.

Lincoln's Sparrow

Some other fall migrants were Blue Grosbeaks and Indigo Buntings (both in their winter or immature brown plumages). But I was most excited to find a first-year Sora on the creek. These secretive migratory marsh birds are usually hidden in the tall reeds, so it was fun finding one walking around in our creek bed. I got this photo.


Here's a complete list of the birds I found on Sunday.

Barry Noret was on the other end of the trail this afternoon and found a female Chestnut-sided Warbler. He posted this nifty photo showing its dramatic white eye-ring and green back. There are still neat south-bound birds to find, and some winter residents starting to show up as well. And it's finally cooler!

The other monthly bird walk I lead, for Hill Country Conservancy on their Nalle Bunny Run Wildlife Preserve, is this Saturday. Sign up here and join us if you like! (It starts at 9:00 AM despite what the web site says.)

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