Sunday, September 2, 2012

Birding on Broadmeade Walk

10 folks showed up this morning for the Birding on Broadmeade monthly group walk. We met at the Braes Vally parking lot of Lake Creek Trail at 7:30 this morning and enjoyed unexpectedly comfortable weather. We spent about 2.5 hours on the trail and found 39 species of birds. Many fall migrants are moving south through the area right now. One was this small flycatcher in the Empidonax genus. There are about half a dozen "empid" flycatchers that migrate through central Texas and they're all very difficult to distinguish unless they vocalize. This one was silent except for its non-diagnositic call note.

Empid sp. - 1

One of the first species of the morning was another fall migrant songbird -- Wilson's Warbler. We found 3 of them right in the parking lot. Songbirds were few and far between this morning. Many of our summer and year-round residents were singing, but they were hard to see in the dense brush on this western end of the trail. But we did eventually find and get brief looks at a few more fall migrants like Baltimore and Orchard Orioles, Yellow Warbler, and Painted Buntings. Here's another fall migrant member of the Flycatcher we found, an Olive-sided Flycatcher. I only see a few of these per season, so I was excited to find it perched right over the trail.

Olive-sided Flycatcher

All of the songbirds I've mentioned so far were in the dense brush or tree canopy, and could be difficult to find among the branches and leaves. But we were also treated to fall migrants in the open sky. Chimney Swifts, Barn Swallows, Cliff Swallows, and Cave Swallows were catching insects in the air over our heads. And we were treated to pretty good looks of 2 migrating hawks in the sky -- Mississippi Kites and a single Broad-winged Hawk. A third hawk species we saw was the year-round resident Red-shouldered Hawk.

It was an enjoyable morning. Here's our complete species list. And don't forget my Bird-A-Thon to support Hill Country Conservancy. Please consider making a pledge to support this great local non-profit. Have I ever mention that they got a grant from REI to buy the loaner binoculars I use on these monthly bird walks, and on the walks I lead on their Nalle Bunny Run preserve?

1 comment:

gbmccclure said...

A very nice September 2nd! I had an Olive-sided myself this morning. A 1st for my local patch.