Friday, April 2, 2010
Back in Austin
I left Clovis, NM at 5:15 AM yesterday to make the almost 500 mile drive to Austin. When I left Austin 2 weeks ago spring had not crept up from south Texas yet, but as I drove southeast towards Austin I began to see the new green leaves on some trees. And once I reached Austin spring was in full flush.
Enroute I saw several colonies of cave swallows swarming out from under bridges. I also saw one of the harbingers of spring in Texas, the beautiful scissor-tailed flycatchers (photo above). I made good time getting to Austin, so I stopped at a local city park to search for one of the unique birds here in the Edwards Plateau of Texas--the golden-cheeked warbler. I walked down a nature trail along Turkey Creek and one flew up from taking a bath in the creek. This warbler has had alot of habitat loss over the years, and efforts to protect it have been underway for some time.
My drive generated 15 new birds for the week of which the cave swallow and golden-cheeked were new birds for the year bringing the YTD number to 423. Yesterday also was the end of week #13. To kick off the 2nd quarter of my big year I am leaving soon to drive to Houston to pick up another friend. For the start of the spring migration here in Texas we are going to be birding for the next 3 days at one of the meccas for birders--High Island. Stay tuned!