Results, February Bird Walk

A cold, windy, gray day in Austin, despite the warmer and sunny forecast--Texas weather! Seven intrepid birders hit the Northern Walnut Creek Trail at 8:00. After loaning out binocs, a quick lesson in how to use them:

1. Spot the bird with your naked eye.

2. Keeping your eye on the bird, interpose the binocs between your eyes and the bird. Yes, I said interpose.

3. Trust your binoculars. The bird is VERY likely there...unless it has moved...which is possible.

4. Do not, while looking through your binocs, scan all around the tree, sky, ground, etc. looking for the bird. That will drive you (and perhaps others) crazy and will seldom if ever get you on the bird.

5. Practice getting the binocs well positioned quickly, and trust!

On to the finding birds business! Truth be told, only fool-hardy birders, crazy cyclists, and devoted dog walkers were out in the cold. Birds were hunkered down and laughing (very quietly) at us.

We did hear and then watch a Carolina wren carrying a dried orange leaf around and singing about it. We heard a hermit thrush. Two ruby-crowned kinglets responded to some desperate pishing!

Flocks of cedar waxwings flew above us, making their thin, high-pitched zeee, zeee, zeet. Two tufted titmouse came over to check us out. A Carolina chickadee didn't bother a fly-by, but let us know he was there.

Two black vultures hunkered together on a leafless tree waiting for the sun and the turkey vulture flying above them to find the goods. A very dapper downy male woodpecker gave us good looks and classic whinnies. American crows, blue jays, and a northern mockingbird rounded out the morning.

I guess 12 species is something!

The company and conversations were lovely. Until next time!

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