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Austin, Texas - Wild Basin

posted by Jeff Bilsky at
on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 

Well, I'm traveling again for work. Right now I'm in Texas, and luckily I was able to escape from work long enough to do some birding this afternoon. I'm in Austin and did a quick search on ebird for local birding hot spots. I selected a place called Wild Basin. It is just on the outskirts of Austin and appears to be an area that was saved from the "progress" of development - and thankfully so. It was a nice place to hike around for a bit and forget about work and everything else. I had no real agenda other than that, but thought maybe I'd see a local specialty and whatever else might be wintering there. I saw Kinglets and Hermit Thrushes. I found a Field Sparrow and lots of Chipping Sparrows and Orange-crowned Warblers. In the waning minutes of my visit, I came across a Black-Crested Titmouse and uttered an expletive-filled exclamation. It's amazing that such a thing as witnessing life can fill the human spirit with such a rush. This wasn't about a tick mark or a list, this was about seeing that in this little valley, surrounded by houses and cars, and the machines and mechanisms of humanity, lived something that millions of years of evolution and science - and whatever other words we want to try to use to describe it - placed right there. This is life. This is what it's about. Get some!

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Blogger Mikael Behrens said...

Glad you could do some birding in my hometown! Black-crested Titmice are a favorite neighborhood bird of mine. If you're here for the weekend check out Hornsby Bend, and this Saturday is the Austin Christmas Bird Count. Cheers!

December 16, 2010 at 3:47 PM  
Blogger Jeff Bilsky said...

Mikael - Thanks for the suggestion. I get here every couple of months or so and would like to explore some more of the good areas to bird. Unfortunately I'm at the airport now, heading back to salt lake, where ill be participating in their CBC this weekend. On the way back from temple today, I stopped at chalk ridge falls. Saw some interesting stuff there: lots of myrtle yrwa, an eastern phoebe, a lincoln's sparrow, a Bald Eagle, loads of black and turkey vultures, a red-tailed hawk, cardinals, juncos, chickadees etc. In the surrounding fields, i had a flock of savannah sparrows and a loggerhead shrike. Nice spot. Best to you, sir!

December 16, 2010 at 4:34 PM  

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