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
4.00 miles
120 minutes
All birds reported? Yes
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

Number of Taxa: 25

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