San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance •  107 E. Hopkins St. Suite 121A; San Marcos, Texas 78666 •  (512)392-7457

The Loop

05
Oct

Fall Bird Migration Begins with Cooler Temperatures

  October’s monthly birding hike started slowly as the sun was just beginning to warm the air over the San Marcos Nature Center on Riverside Drive.  The grounds feature a diverse mix of trees; pecan, sycamore, green ash, Mexican redbud, anacua, and more found along the San Marcos River. The trees provide refuge and safety but also provide food in the form of nuts, berries and insects. A recent cold front pushed South and brought migrating birds into view.

Bird viewing  group —  (photo Lance Jones)

  Stephen’s birding group grew in size with several first-time birders until it reached 23 eager birders ranging in age from elementary school-age to senior level.  Fortunately, he was assisted by several expert birders; Ben, Jonny, and Colton, who shared their knowledge and experience with everyone.
  The group had not ventured far when flocks started coming in waves.  Some of the migrating American robins stopped in the numerous trees overhead for closer viewing in the scope and many pairs of binoculars. Continuing without stopping were Scissor-tailed Flycatchers; their distinctive long tails making identification easy. The early light enhanced the colors of the robins’ and flycatchers’ sides, breasts and belly feathers.

Meadowlark — Colton Robbins

   The grounds of Crook and neighboring Ramon Lucio Parks are home to numerous year-round species busy with daily life. In addition to the mockingbirds, wrens, cardinals and White-winged doves we watched a Northern Flicker and Ladder-backed Woodpecker work the trees for insects.  A Black-chinned hummingbird worked the sages giving more than ample time to view the bobbing tail that aided in the identification.
  The San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance sponsors the monthly hikes that are held on the first Saturday of each month.  We are expertly led by Stephen Ramirez who provides the scope and leadership for the hikes.  Contact him at [email protected] to be included in the eMail notification.  The bird listing is provided by Colton Robbins and is posted to eBird.  –LJ

  
Birds we viewed

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4
Black Vulture
1
Osprey
1
Red-shouldered Hawk
9
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon
1
Inca Dove
160
White-winged Dove
2
Mourning Dove
1
Chimney Swift
1
Black-chinned Hummingbird
1
Ladder-backed Woodpecker
1
Northern Flicker
1
Crested Caracara
2
Eastern Phoebe
1
Couch’s Kingbird
15
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
5
Blue Jay
9
swallow sp.
8
Carolina Chickadee
1
Black-crested Titmouse
4
Carolina Wren
40
American Robin
4
Northern Mockingbird
1
European Starling
1
Nashville Warbler
4
Clay-colored Sparrow
6
Northern Cardinal
1
Western/Eastern Meadowlark
5 Great-tailed Grackle

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