A Morning Walk at Baker Sanctuary by Mikael Behrens

On the morning of May 6 I spent over 3 hours covering about 2.5 miles of trails on the south half of Travis Audubon’s Baker Sanctuary in northwest Austin. It was a beautiful cool and clear morning, and when I arrived at about 8:30 the birding was great! Many birds were singing including Painted Buntings, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Northern Cardinals, and Yellow-billed Cuckoos.

I followed a trail I hadn’t been on before that paralleled Lime Creek Road and enjoyed lots of bird activity. A few spring migrants I found were Magnolia Warbler, Nashville Warbler, and a female Rose-breasted Grosbeak. The grosbeak was especially fun to find because I heard its loud squeak call first, and thought it might be a rock squirrel before I saw the bird.

Most exciting was hearing some fast high chipping, and then finding a couple fledgling Golden-cheeked Warblers. As I watched it through my camera, a male adult came in and fed it! I got this single photo showing them both:

Golden-cheeked Warblers is one of the main reasons the Baker Sanctuary exists, and I felt especially fortunate to be able to observe this species successfully reproducing here.

By about 10:00 AM the bird activity had slowed, and I walked a trail going down to Baker Creek. I found a few odonates including tantalizing looks at a dark dragonfly over my head that never landed. I think it was some kind of darner I’ve never seen before. By the creek this Great Spreadwing was fun to find:

A few butterflies were about as well, and I was able to photograph a Monarch and this small sparkly Juniper Hairstreak:

Here’s my complete bird list: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S36589857

And here are my photos on Flickr:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikael_behrens/albums/72157681370431381/

What a fun morning! I need to spend more time here!

Mikael Behrens is a member of Travis Audubon Society.