Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bulletin #60 – Austin TX #2

David McDonald Photography
Friendswood Texas
December 16, 2008

Bulletin #60 – Austin Texas area #2

Hello friends,

Some of these photos were taken in the Dripping Springs area west of Austin and some at Pedernales Falls State Park. The park is a great place for birders and bird photographers, as they have a nice blind and feed the birds up close to the blind. There are a couple of volunteers (Don and Joan Felch) who keep the feeders stocked and can ID the birds for those who have trouble.

Here is a Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus) that landed on a branch just below me. The field marks are a brown spotted thrush with reddish tail.


The American Robin (Turdus migratorius) is also a member of the thrush family.


The Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculates) is a member of the sparrow family. It is unmistakable. The male has a black hood and spread his tail showing the white spots on the tail. The female in the second photo is similar except her hood is gray.

http://www.pbase.com/davidmcd/image/105948173 click ‘next’ once

This beautiful White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis) has a black and white striped head, yellow eyebrow spots and a bright white throat - an unmistakable sparrow.


Another sparrow family member that isn’t called a sparrow is the Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis). This bird has several color variations. The slate-colored form occurs in the eastern half of North America. Here is a female. The male is darker gray.


An interesting bird at the blind, in the park, was this female Northern Cardinal with a partially white face. This phenomenon is called leucistic. This is the first bird I have seen like this, although it is not uncommon as 1 or 2 reports of such birds are posted to Texbirds each year.


Lastly, a life mammal came to eat sunflower seeds at the blind in Pedernales Falls State Park. This 6” fat little rodent is a Hispid Cotton Rat (Sigmodon hispidus). Thanks to the volunteers Joan and Don Felch for identifying it for me.


Happy birding and photography,

David McDonald

photos copyright 2006 - 2008 David McDonald

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