A Trip Report - Austin, Texas February 9 - 13, 2011

 Blue-headed Vireo

Blue-headed Vireo

My first trip to Austin Texas was spread out to the Walter E. Long Lake Park, McKinney Falls State Park, and the Palmetto State Park. It started off as an unusually cold trip, with the first couple of days at 25 degrees (F) and stayed relatively cold. The first day I was at the Walter E. Long Lake Park and I had to keep getting back into the car so I could warm by hands up enough to operate the camera equipment. But despite the cold there were a large number of birds working hard to find food (to stay warm).

One of the goals of this trip was to photograph the Vesper Sparrow. Various bird lists for the area had indicated that they were in the area. The bird list for the Palmetto State Park said that the Vesper Sparrow was abundant. I never saw it in the Park but did finally find it feeding along the roadside along a rancher's property.

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Blue-headed Vireo
Blue-headed Vireo
Orange-crowned Warbler
park
Blue-headed Vireo

Blue-headed Vireo

Orange-crowned Warbler
Walter E. Long Lake Park
ice
Coot
American Pipit
American Pipit
Ice along the lake.
American Coots
American Pipit
Eastern Bluebird
Eastern Bluebird
Pawletto
Orange-crowned Warbler
Eastern Bluebird
Eastern Bluebird taking a bath.
McKinney Falls State Park
Caracara
Caracara
R.C. Kinglet
R. C. Kinglet
Crested Caracara
Crested Caracara
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Pine Warbler
Pine Warbler
R. C. Kinglet
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Pine Warbler

Pine Warbler
Vesper Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Turkey Vulture
Turkey Vulture
turkey Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Turkey Vulture showing the open nostril of a New World Vulture.
Turkey Vulture drying its wings
Black Vulture
Black Vultures
Turkey Vulture
Eastern Phoebe
Yellowthroat
Pawletto State
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Meadowlark
Pawletto State Park
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Loggerhead Shrike
White-eyed Vireo
White-eyed Vireo
Savannah Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
The Savannah Sparrow is a species I am very familiar with. But as I move around the country more I see a wider variety of the species. I rely on my field guide to remind me of the field marks I need to keep track of. It is tempting to confuse the Savannah Sparrow with the Song Sparrow; especially this group of Savannahs that had a mark on the chest as the Song Sparrow does. But the song Sparrow doesn't have a notched tail as this Savannah has.
Chipping Sparrow