Claude’s River Survey: October 6, 2012

Location: Tarcoola to Fisherman’s Park, Bastrop, US-TX

Observation date: 10/6/2012

Number of species: 34 (+ 2 other taxa)

EPISODE 77: Colorado River Hawk Watch

Today we were fortunate to get a front row seat on the fall migrations. Sure we had to paddle a couple of miles to get those seats.  For about 30 minutes to an hour we were constantly watching Turkey vultures, Black vultures,
Broad winged Hawks, Swainson’s Hawks, Cooper’s Hawks (from the wish list) and I think a few falcon streaming over head.  It was great.  Everyone stopped while we watched the birds fly over and enjoyed the treat.

We were also amazed at the lack of other species that were seen.  When you bird the Colorado River and count more Swainson’s Hawks than Northern Cardinals it is truly an odd day.  We also counted very few Carolina Wren or Carolina Chickadee, birds that are normally very abundant.

Let me list a few that deserve mentioning.  First and foremost were some Couch’s Kingbirds in Fisherman’s Park Bastrop.  These were mentioned on TexBirds earlier in the week and we were able to relocate them.  We got a
juvenile Bald Eagle. I think a first year bird.  Lark Sparrows were seen in the Pecan grove on the Green’s property. I mention them and will list them as we normally do not get many.  Pileated Woodpeckers always get mentioned. We also found a large number of Pied-billed Grebes in the river to round out a list of 36 species.

From the other critter point of view we found a couple of Red-eared Sliders and got great views of a Cottonmouth.  Once it warmed up a bit we got some dragonflies and damselflies and a few butterflies

Today we thank Stacey Bucklin, Joan Bishop, Julie Bollman, Kelly Smith, with her two friends Alex and Sierra, Jane Dyal, Linda Williams, Dennis Breining, and John Barr.  Thanks for the help in keeping track of all those vultures.

OK, here is a big announcement.  Everyone has been asking for a way to share photos.  I looked at several possibilities with the photo sharing web sites. None stood out as being an ideal way for the group to share.  I have decided to create a Facebook page for us to share photos.  This will also allow us a chance to comment and chat and communicate within the group.  I am not much of a Facebook person so if you need my assistance it could take a few days. If it is urgent then contact me through email or phone and I will get it done.

For the Facebook page I created a character named Austin Bastrop.  From the Austin Bastrop profile I created a page called Austin Bastrop River Corridor Partnership.

Please go here and ‘Like’ the page and lets get this started. I have already put all my past photos out there.  To all the photographers, if you have photos you would like to share please post on the page. kPlease do not use this page for Political Activism or rudeness or ugliness. Let’s keep it about the river.

For those who do not Facebook I will continue to send the monthly emails.

(Click any image below to view larger. Photos of the Tricolored Heron and Green Heron are Joan Bishop’s. Other photos by Claude Morris.)

Number of species: 34 (+ 2 other taxa)

Wood Duck 2
Anhinga 4
Great Blue Heron 5
Great Egret 4
Snowy Egret 4
Little Blue Heron 8
Tricolored Heron 10
Cattle Egret 150
Green Heron 23
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron 2
Black Vulture 27
Turkey Vulture 33
Mississippi Kite 10
Bald Eagle 1
Red-shouldered Hawk 6
Red-tailed Hawk 5
Killdeer 5
Spotted Sandpiper 16
White-winged Dove 24
Mourning Dove 6
Yellow-billed Cuckoo 1

Black-chinned Hummingbird 8
hummingbird sp. 25
Belted Kingfisher 12
White-winged Dove  3
Belted Kingfisher  3
Red-bellied Woodpecker  7
Pileated Woodpecker  2
American Kestrel  2
Eastern Phoebe  4
Couch’s Kingbird  2
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher  2
Blue Jay  7
American Crow  22
Cliff/Cave Swallow  50
Carolina Chickadee  4
Carolina Wren  3
Northern Mockingbird  5
Lark Sparrow  5
Northern Cardinal  7
Red-winged Blackbird  12
Eastern/Western Meadowlark  2
Great-tailed Grackle  20

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