Sunday, June 1, 2008

NASWC Bird Walk

Today 5 of us participated in the June NASWC bird walk. June is usually the least interesting month of the year to bird in central Texas because for a few weeks there are no birds migrating either north or south. But we did surprisingly well, finding 42 species. Here are the highlights:
  • We saw 5 species of egret or heron including Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Green Heron, and Yellow-crowned Night-Heron. Green Heron was by far the most common, and I got this picture of one of them hunting.
  • We heard and got brief looks at 3 Yellow-billed Cuckoos, the first I've seen in the neighborhood this year. This is a summer resident bird and they have been here for weeks. But they can be very sneaky and I just hadn't seen one yet.
  • Near the downstream edge of the T&C playing fields we got great looks at a single Bronzed Cowbird, getting close enough to see its red eye.
  • In the same spot as 2 weeks before from the Lake Creek Trail footbridge, we watched an Olive-sided Flycatcher catching bugs from the top of a dead tree. This was the only sure north-bound migrating bird of the morning.
  • We totaled 6 flycatcher species. In addition to the Olive-sided we found an Eastern Wood-Pewee (another possible northbound migrant), Eastern Phoebe, Great Crested Flycatcher, Western Kingbird, and Scissor-tailed Flycatcher.
  • In the flood plain property woods on our way back we got quick looks at 2 possible owls, but didn't see them well enough to identify them.
The weather was surprisingly comfortable and we had a nice breeze on most of the walk. Not bad for the first morning in June!

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