Nalle Bunny Run Group Walk 2015-05-16

Yesterday morning four folks joined me for the monthly group bird walk on Hill Country Conservancy's Nalle Bunny Run Wildlife Preserve. We found about 30 species of birds and here are some highlights:

  • By the gate there were several Blue-gray Gnatcatchers vocalizing and flying around. My guess is that it was two or three fledglings chasing two parents around to be fed, but I'm not familiar enough with this species' vocalizations to be sure. Blue-gray Gnatcatchers were almost a constant presence around us as we walked through the western half of the preserve.
  • Also by the gate we listened to and briefly saw a singing first-year male Painted Bunting. This all-green bird responded to a recording and came into the tree right over our heads.
  • Near the old trailers we briefly saw a Canyon Wren and a Carolina Wren right next to each other. It was a good opportunity to compare these similar species. I briefly heard and then someone in the group saw four Eastern Bluebirds that perched temporarily in one of the large cottonwood trees down the hill. Eastern Bluebirds are year-round residents in central Texas, but I have only seen them on the Bunny Run rarely, and they always seem to be just passing through.
  • On our way down the hill we found a male Wood Duck perched on top of one of the Wood Duck nesting boxes by the pond. He was quite content there, and was still present when we returned 30 or 40 minutes later:
Wood Duck
  • On the Sandy Prairie area we got to hear and then see one of the two male Yellow-throated Warblers that have returned to the cypress trees this summer. So far I still haven't observed any evidence that there are more than just these two birds present this summer. Here's a photo of one of them singing:
Yellow-throated Warbler - 2
  • There is one resident cow on the preserve (named Oreo), and I'm still fascinated by her ability, and seeming preference, to eat Prickly Pear cactus. We watched her eat several pieces in the northeast corner of the preserve. She would grab a piece or two off the plant, then cock her head back to chomp it down:
Oreo eating Prickly Pear
  • On our way back to the gate, we came across a huge spider web with this Giant Lichen Orbweaver walking along it:

Spider: Giant Lichen Orbweaver (Araneus bicentenarius)

Here's our complete bird list. Also, see the attached iNaturalist observations.

Posted by mikaelb mikaelb, May 17, 2015 15:50

Observations

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Wood Duck Aix sponsa

Observer

mikaelb

Date

May 16, 2015 09:08 AM CDT

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Western Kingbird Tyrannus verticalis

Observer

mikaelb

Date

May 16, 2015 09:21 AM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Yellow-throated Warbler Setophaga dominica

Observer

mikaelb

Date

May 16, 2015 09:26 AM CDT

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Domestic Cattle Bos taurus

Observer

mikaelb

Date

May 16, 2015 09:48 AM CDT

Description

Eating prickly pear cactus.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Giant Lichen Orbweaver Araneus bicentenarius

Observer

mikaelb

Date

May 16, 2015 10:07 AM CDT

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