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Monday, October 12, 2009

Hornsby Bend Survey--10 Oct 2009

Over 10 years ago we started a monthly bird count at Hornsby Bend in Austin, Texas. It's still going strong, and here's Eric Carpenter's recap of the survey I helped with last Saturday. I personally saw the Kentucky Warbler (locally rare) and found the only Ring-billed Gull and saw over 1280 of the over 4,000 Swainson's Hawks that went over in the morning. A great day at a great birding spot!
Saturday's (10 Oct) monthly survey was the best-attended of any survey and yielded the most surprising number of birds. As part of the weekend-long celebration of 50 years of birding on the property, there were at least 50 people for the morning survey and we were able to split into 6 groups to cover virtually the entire property. Peg Wallace also manned the hawkwatch all day and was able to enjoy the large groups of Swainson's Hawks that had over-nighted just northwest of the property. In addition, several folks stuck around most of the day and picked up several species missed during the morning. The afternoon survey at 4pm was also well-attended with over 25 folks present. A big thanks to Claude Morris et al for kayaking along the Hornsby portion of the Colorado River in both the morning and afternoon sessions to give us complete coverage of the property.

Conditions were quite ideal for this time of year. A cool front had passed thru Friday morning with rains much of Friday. Saturday was quite cool and cloudy all day and there were likely a number of birds on the property that had come down with the front.

There were many highlights lead by a heard-only Lesser Goldfinch in the northwest fields area, one of very few reports for the property. The second highlight had to be the 4000+ Swainson's Hawks that were enjoyed by virtually everyone during the morning. The overall total number of species was a hard-to-believe 124, though it was pretty evenly spread amongst the different groups of birders, as the morning group that did the ponds had the highest group species count with only 61.

Hats off to everyone that participated. The full day list follows:

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck 17
Greater White-fronted Goose 1
Wood Duck 30
Gadwall 3
American Wigeon 13
Mallard 3
Blue-winged Teal 69
Northern Shoveler 460
Northern Pintail 2
Green-winged Teal 114
Redhead 4
Ring-necked Duck 6
Lesser Scaup 1
Ruddy Duck 9
Least Grebe 1
Pied-billed Grebe 14
Eared Grebe 5
American White Pelican 42
Double-crested Cormorant 6
Anhinga 1
Great Blue Heron 3
Great Egret 4
Snowy Egret 15
Little Blue Heron 1
Cattle Egret 102
Green Heron 1
White-faced Ibis 10
Black Vulture 65
Turkey Vulture 1310
Osprey 6
Northern Harrier 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk 6
Cooper's Hawk 13
Red-shouldered Hawk 8
Broad-winged Hawk 4
Swainson's Hawk 4000
Red-tailed Hawk 6
Crested Caracara 13
American Kestrel 14
Merlin 2
Peregrine Falcon 4
Virginia Rail 2
Sora 1
American Coot 700
Killdeer 23
Black-necked Stilt 1
American Avocet 11
Spotted Sandpiper 8
Greater Yellowlegs 3
Western Sandpiper 2
Least Sandpiper 124
Pectoral Sandpiper 1
Stilt Sandpiper 1
Long-billed Dowitcher 18
Wilson's Snipe 1
Franklin's Gull 1
Ring-billed Gull 1
Rock Pigeon 320
White-winged Dove 65
Mourning Dove 40
Inca Dove 1
Common Ground-Dove 2
Greater Roadrunner 1
Great Horned Owl 2
Barred Owl 2
Chimney Swift 19
Ringed Kingfisher 1
Belted Kingfisher 3
Red-bellied Woodpecker 21
Downy Woodpecker 7
Northern Flicker 2
Least Flycatcher 5
Eastern Phoebe 24
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher 163
Loggerhead Shrike 3
White-eyed Vireo 3
Blue Jay 4
American Crow 20
Tree Swallow 6
N. Rough-winged Swallow 9
Bank Swallow 7
Cliff Swallow 8
Cave Swallow 335
Barn Swallow 275
Carolina Chickadee 45
Tufted/Bl. Crested Titmouse 7
Carolina Wren 35
House Wren 44
Marsh Wren 3
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 9
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 49
Eastern Bluebird 8
Gray Catbird 2
Northern Mockingbird 4
European Starling 1500
American Pipit 6
Orange-crowned Warbler 15
Nashville Warbler 66
Yellow Warbler 1
Black-throated Green Warbler 2
Black-and-white Warbler 2
Kentucky Warbler 1
Common Yellowthroat 41
Wilson's Warbler 3
Clay-colored Sparrow 3
Vesper Sparrow 2
Lark Sparrow 3
Savannah Sparrow 5
Grasshopper Sparrow 3
Song Sparrow 1
Lincoln's Sparrow 19
Northern Cardinal 131
Blue Grosbeak 1
Indigo Bunting 15
Dickcissel 12
Red-winged Blackbird 1700
meadowlark sp. 7
Yellow-headed Blackbird 3
Common Grackle 73
Great-tailed Grackle 450
Brown-headed Cowbird 1200
House Finch 2
Lesser Goldfinch 1
House Sparrow 15

1 comment:

Dawn Fine said...

Wow..what a great day!

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