Sunday, November 3, 2013

Birding on Broadmeade Walk

This morning twelve folks met at the Braes Valley parking lot of Lake Creek Trail for the monthly Birding on Broadmeade group walk. We enjoyed wonderfully cool and clear weather and spent about two and a half hours finding thirty one species of birds. Things started slowly and we mostly enjoyed the quiet of the trail as the sun rose. At several spots there was mist rising from the creek.

Mist on Lake Creek

The bird activity finally started picking up.
Near the parking lot we encountered a mixed-species foraging flock that included Orange-crowned and Yellow-rumped Warblers, Carolina Chickadees, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, a Downy Woodpecker, and a Blue-headed Vireo. Further down the trail in the narrow strip of dense brush and trees between the trail and the creek we heard a Brown Thrasher's "teeyoo" and "smack" calls. We never got a good look at the bird, but it was still fun to hear this elusive winter-resident species. On the creek bed I was happy to find a group of about twenty Least Sandpipers and half a dozen Killdeer. Killdeer are year-round residents on our creek and playing fields. Least Sandpipers can be found here almost all year, but are most common in the winter. Here's one of the Least Sandpipers. Its yellow legs help distinguish it from other similar shorebirds:

Least Sandpiper

Water levels were still high from the recent rains, and it was fun to see it flowing so clear over the limestone creek bed.

On the batting cage between some of the baseball fields I was surprised to find three Eastern Bluebirds among about a dozen House Finches. Eastern Bluebirds are similar to flycatchers, and like open spaces with scattered areas to perch and look for flying insects. Here's one of the males I caught in a photo as it flew in to perch:

Eastern Bluebird (Male) - 2

Here's a complete list of the birds we saw. I hope you can get out and enjoy our cooler weather!


thismachine said...

Nice. I was surprised to find a Brown Thrasher at Mansfield Dam this morning.

Unknown said...
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Mikael Behrens said...

Cool, they are winter residents in the Austin area, but they're pretty hard to see.