Monday, March 25, 2013

Birding Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge

Eric writes: Greetings from Tucson, AZ

To follow along with my species list go to:  http://blog.nuttybirder.com/p/400-goal-list.html#.UU83lxxwqz4

On my way west across the great state of Texas I made a couple of stops.  One was at Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge.  I didn't realize beforehand, that neither my Delorme Texas map nor my GPS in my car would show Balcones Canyonlands so getting there was a bit tricky.  It is located just west of Austin, which is one of the worst traffic cities I have ever driven through.  It wouldn't have been nearly as bad but my gps took me directly to the traffic, then said I had arrived when I was in the middle of the city.  Luckily, I had looked at Google Maps when I was planning my trip and had a rough idea of where the park was located.  It still took me a couple hours, mostly because of the traffic, to get to a place 15 minutes away.  The light was fading by the time I arrived, so I went to a campground nearby.

Such a beautiful warbler, the Golden-cheeked!

The above Golden-cheeked was cooperative enough to sing from a tree
directly above this rock . . . can't get much easier than that.

The next morning, I drove over to the refuge, and while getting out of my car heard my first Golden-cheeked Warbler.  I had only heard this species in the past, so I knew it might be difficult to locate one.  I was wrong; I was able to watch one individual for over 30 minutes as it foraged and sang.  Some other nice birds were Pine Siskin (never thought I would hear GCWA and PISI simultaneously), Western Scrub-Jay, and Black-crested Titmouse.

-Eric   

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