Bella Vista Creek

Welcome to Bird of the Day!

You might notice some recent changes to the blog. For one, the banner image above has changed from Mustang Island on the Gulf coast to a picture of a local birding spot near my house. Likewise, I plan to focus many of the upcoming posts on birding that area. On the right hand side of the page you will also see the addition of a new gadget that lists what birds have been seen in that area in the last 30 days. Further below, there is a link to ebird for more historic information about the birds seen at Bella Vista Creek. Feel free and contact me on the blog about what you think. Click on images to enlarge. (All photos by gbmcclure)

Nov 27, 2011

The Kids are All Right

Birding with the kids along Is a trade-off. I almost always see less birds than I would have alone but the iodized are numerous and important. If we get one good look at a species it is usually worth it.
The day after Thanksgiving we went for a small hike northwest of San Antonio. The kids spent much of the morning running ahead and screaming, which managed to flush most of the birds away prior to me catching up to them. It wasn't until we got back to the parking lot that we settled down and spotted a nice small group of Inca Doves on the ground under a small oak. The kids got great looks from about 10 ft. away.

Nov 24, 2011

Sparrow Hunting

Yesterday I went birding with a very specific bird in mind that I wanted to see--the Fox Sparrow. I spent most of the morning walking the land at Tejas Camp that was off the beaten path with no luck on the hunted bird. I did see a ton of other birds though, including a record number Spotted Towhees.
As you can see, Tejas Camps is beautiful on a Fall morning (that would be a summer morning for you non-Texas folks). Along the creek there were cottonwoods with the expected winter American Goldfinches, and a lone Crested Caracara flew silently overhead.
Toward noon, I had almost abandoned my search for the Fox Sparrow and at the last minute decided to take the more manicured trail near the campsites and along the river. Withing a hundred feet, I heard the scratching on the ground in the dense brush and knew they were there. Sure enough, a pair of Fox Sparrows appeared through a somewhat clear section of the low, tangled branches. I watched their signature scratching for a moment and then chased a couple more down the trail. Soon, I had walked about a mile and kept delaying my turn back around by another sparrow. By the time got back to the car I seen 9 different species of Emberizids.

Nov 3, 2011

Soccer practice

Huddled in the fields
Little groups chirp and scatter--
Children and sparrows

Nov 1, 2011

Walnut Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant

Had a nice beltless, Belted Kingfisher this morning among the reliable flock of Black-bellied Whistling ducks in the front pond.