Date: 12/29/18 7:27 pm From: Nathaniel Nye <nathaniel.nye...> Subject: [texbirds] Bird-running and sparrows at Government Canyon SNA
I've always been a birder (dad taught me to bird since I could walk) and I've always been a runner (elem & high school track, cross country, military training) ... But surprisingly, only in the past couple years have I started doing both at the same time. I've really enjoyed it, and highly recommend it. In areas where birds are scarce or when you are just trying to get to the "good spot", you can cover more ground faster. Binoculars (or even a good monocular) are pretty light and easy to carry along. Of course there are downsides to running while birding, and many have physical limitations that prevent them from being able to, but it's definitely got some advantages, especially if you enjoy running! I'm curious if anyone else runs while birding (or birds while running!). I think it needs a name... bird-running?
This morning I went "bird-running" at Government Canyon SNA, northwest of San Antonio. Birds along the Discovery Trail and wooded parts of Savannah Loop were sparse and I was covering ground quickly, but the open grassland along Lytle's Loop was as birdy as I've ever seen it. I ran into several large mixed flocks of sparrows and other passerines, almost dripping from the trees, shrubs, and grasses. With all the bird activity, I ended up covering only half a mile over the last hour of my outing (to save you the math... That's slow!).
Highlights were stunning looks at a very cooperative Grasshopper Sparrow that flushed up when I jogged by, and a short look at an immature Harris's Sparrow. Ebird list below.
Good birding, Nate Nye San Antonio
Government Canyon SNA (HOTE 085) Dec 29, 2018 9:00 AM Traveling 4.00 miles 120 minutes All birds reported? Yes Comments: Most birds were seen between trail markers 27 and 30 along Lytle's Loop, but also ran half of Savannah Loop and Discovery Trail, but few birds present in those areas.
2 Black Vulture 1 Ladder-backed Woodpecker 2 American Kestrel 2 Eastern Phoebe 1 White-eyed Vireo 1 Hutton's Vireo 1 Carolina Chickadee 2 Black-crested Titmouse 1 Verdin 2 House Wren 3 Bewick's Wren 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet 40 American Robin 2 Northern Mockingbird 10 Lesser Goldfinch 1 Grasshopper Sparrow X Field Sparrow -- Many, abundant 10 White-crowned Sparrow -- 2 adults, rest immature 1 Harris's Sparrow - immature X Vesper Sparrow -- Abundant 2 Song Sparrow X Lincoln's Sparrow -- Abundant 1 Swamp Sparrow - several probables 8 Spotted Towhee 8 Northern Cardinal