On Wednesday morning, Ann and I, accompanied by a birding friend, Randy Hesford, decided to head to South Llano River State Park for a few hours of birding. We set out at 8:00 for the 90 mile drive. The skies were bright and sunny, with a slight breeze.
We arrived there at approximately 9:30, checked in at the headquarters and headed for the first of the park’s four blinds, the Agarita blind. Immediately we found that it would be a great place to photograph birds. Many were in attendance and we saw a lifer for Ann and I. An Olive Sparrow. We were quite lucky, as it scurried from beneath some scrubby brush, stay around for about two minutes, then disappeared to never be seen again that morning. Fortunately, I got a photograph.
That brought my life list up to 286. Not great, but respectable. I still may get to 300 during my lifetime. Much higher if I was able to travel to the southeastern part of the state and to the gulf coast. Time will tell.
Anyway to get on with my story, we were kept busy at the Agarita blind. I managed to get quite a few photographs before we headed for the second of the four blinds, Juniper blind. There we saw a Western Scrub-jay and Dark-eyed Junco. They only made very brief appearances and I didn’t get photos. Only a few other birds made appearances there and at the the third and fourth blinds, the Acorn and Lora’s blinds. We were mildly disappointed in that, but we were perhaps rushing the season. We are used to seeing much more at all four blinds. Some more photos that I captured were
the Field Sparrow…….
the Spotted Towhee…..
an American Robin…..
a Northern Cardinal….
a female Northern Cardinal……
and a Black-throated Sparrow.
In addition to all of the above, we also saw at the blinds, a Black-crested Titmouse, Pine Sisken, Whitewing Dove, House Finch, American Goldfinch, Chipping Sparrow, Cedar Waxwing, Yellow-rumped Warbler, and a White-crowned Sparrow. In addition, Randy spotted a Brown Thrasher, and a Carolina Chickadee. Ann and I missed those, much to our dismay.
After leaving the blinds, we drove through the park and along the river where we saw a Belted Kingfisher, a Ladder-backed Woodpecker, a Golden-fronted Woodpecker, and a Bewick’s Wren.
That was all that we actually saw in the park itself. Along the highway coming and going, we added Common Raven, Black Vulture, Northern Mockingbird, American Kestrel, and Turkey Vulture. So in total for the trip, we saw only a total of 28 species. I am sure when we return later in the spring we will be seeing much more.
After we left the park, we drove into Junction and stopped at Lum’s Barbeque restaurant. We satisfied ourseves with huge chopped barbequed beef sandwiches, topped with onions and tasty jalopenos. A great finish to a fun trip.
Until the next time, Happy Birding!!