|Scissor-tailed flycatcher at the Blood Pits July 5, 2014|
The birding hike a few days earlier with 10 avid and early-rising birders was rewarded with a respectable list of sightings including many Painted Buntings. Since it had rained the night before most trails were too muddy to attempt and we stayed on the ADA loop trail. We saw the usual; Northern Cardinals, Carolina Chickadees, Inca Dove, House Sparrows and Wrens. (The complete list is at the end of the article.)
The Berms trail was navigable as it had recently been cut by the trail crew and the bed of cut grass provided a somewhat clean walking environment. The best part about the Berms is that it meanders past the three ponds used by the old slaughterhouse operation. After heavy rains water collects in one or all three ponds. Then the bugs come out. In addition to the many dragon flies and damsel flies many other food sources make an appearance. We saw the Scissor-tailed flycatcher but also Barn Swallows, Cave Swallows, Chimney Swift and Ash-throated flycathcher.
|Western Kingbird - July 7th|
They could have been Couch's Kingbird as I had every opportunity to look for the tell-tale white line visible in flight. And they did fly -- racing skyward to grab a flying insect from the air and return on a new perch to snack.
The birding hikes take place on the first Saturday of the month and are typically in one of the natural areas or along the San Marcos River. Contact Stephen Ramirez at email@example.com to be placed on the list.
and on Monday: