Claude’s River Survey: March 2, 2013

Location: Howard Lane to Utley (969) Bridge, Bastrop, US-TX

Observation date: March 2, 2013 – 9:00 AM to 1:30 PM

Number of species: 46 (+ 1 other taxa)

EPISODE 82: Signs of Spring


Hornsby Bend ponds are still closed to visitors and will be closed for several weeks. An environmental remediation company is setting up today to extinguish remaining fires and remediate burnt material and all water in the basins.

They will be using the pond area for pumping and filtering water for at least the next two weeks. The Platt Lane entrance and upper river trails are still open for visitors.

Jack Frost, it is time for you to leave.  On today’s survey I went about looking for signs of spring.  There were lots to be found.  Red Buds and Dewberries are blooming.  There is new green growth on the floor of the wooded areas.  New green leaves and catkins are on the trees.  Even some of the spring and summer birds are starting to show up.  It was cool enough today that we saw no butterflies and only 3 turtles.

We saw a Blue Jay carrying nest building material.

We heard two Chipping Sparrows in song.

The only summer species we found was Barn Swallow.  We saw another species of unidentified swallow I believe to be a Cliff Swallow.

We saw a couple of Bald Eagles today.  An adult and a Juvenile were seen in the McKinney Roughs area.  We found 3 Pileated Woodpeckers.  Two of which were together.

We got good numbers of Swamp Sparrows, Greater Yellowlegs, and Wood Ducks to complete our list of 47 species.

A note on the ducks is, again, we saw more than we identified.  Last month I blamed it on hunting season.  This month…

Stacey Bucklin and John Barr braved a cold wind to join me today.  Thank you.

Don’t forget to like the Austin Bastrop River Corridor Partnership Facebook page.  Here you will find more information about the river and water issues in central Texas.  I also post more photos.

Also, these surveys are posted on the Travis Audubon web site.

(Click any image below to view larger. Photos by Claude Morris.)

Number of species: 46 (+ 1 other taxa)

Gadwall 25
Wood Duck  12
Gadwall  300
American Wigeon  12
Ring-necked Duck  2
Double-crested Cormorant  8
Great Blue Heron  7
Great Egret  9
Black Vulture  23
Turkey Vulture  27
Bald Eagle  2
Red-shouldered Hawk  6
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Killdeer  14
Spotted Sandpiper  26
Greater Yellowlegs  16
Least Sandpiper  5
White-winged Dove  4
Mourning Dove  14
Belted Kingfisher  8
Red-bellied Woodpecker  9
Downy Woodpecker  2
Northern Flicker  1
Pileated Woodpecker  3

Crested Caracara 7
Eastern Phoebe  6
Blue Jay  8
American Crow  15
Barn Swallow  2
Cliff/Cave Swallow  2
Carolina Chickadee  32
Tufted Titmouse  3
Carolina Wren  17
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  3
American Pipit  1
Yellow-rumped Warbler  100
Chipping Sparrow  2
Savannah Sparrow  15
Song Sparrow  2
Lincoln’s Sparrow  4
Swamp Sparrow  7
White-crowned Sparrow  7
Northern Cardinal  42
Red-winged Blackbird  200
Common Grackle  24
Brown-headed Cowbird  60
American Goldfinch  18
House Sparrow  35

View this checklist online.

Click here for previous episodes of Claude’s River Survey!