Saturday, May 24, 2014

South Llano River State Park: Day 2 (Afternoon: Part 2)

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We started our late afternoon visit to the state park at the Acorn Blind. Although we didn't see a single new species, we had an enjoyable time watching a succession of birds come to bathe.

A male Painted Bunting was first in the water.



The second bird up was a male Northern Cardinal.








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A Field Sparrow watched the Cardinal bathing for a while and even tried to bathe next to it.




In the end, though, the Field Sparrow decided to wait until it had the water all to itself.





A stunning male Summer Tanager flew in but, unfortunately, it decided it didn't need a bath.



After a while, we wandered over to the Agarita Blind, where we again saw the normal selection of Painted Buntings, Black-crested Titmice, Lark Sparrows, Black-chinned Hummingbirds etc. 

Some other birders in the blind told us that we might see more if we walked down to the river, where they had recently seen Black-capped Vireos and several other species. So off we went.

As we passed through the main campground, we stopped to watch more Ladder-backed Woodpeckers.






We also saw the first Inca Doves of our trip.



When we were by the side of Buck Lake, Deanne spotted another new bird for the trip: Yellow Warbler. However, it disappeared before I could even raise my camera. 

The pecan grove had numerous Golden-fronted Woodpeckers and a single Black-capped Vireo but I wasn't able to get photos of any of them.

I was luckier when we reached the river bank. Ash-throated Flycatchers were nesting in an abandoned woodpecker hole, and one of them perched above the nest, holding a bug it had caught. 






I've always thought that the Houston area was very buggy. However, I've never seen as many birds snacking on bugs as I saw last weekend in the Junction area.

By the time we made the walk back to the campground, we were feeling tired and so we decided to call it a day. All being well, I intended to fit in another couple of hours at the park the next morning, before we started the drive back home.
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