Today, even though it was barely 30 degrees, which is cold for Austin (yes I’m a whiner!), I got up early and got out to check out a spot I haven’t birded yet. Lake Creek Trail is located in Williamson County in Austin. – It’s basically an easement between a park and a neighborhood with a creek that runs through it.-more- – However the >county put a trail in through there and it is quite good bird habitat.
There is a woodsy part at the beginning of the trail that has lots of understory. This was full of songbirds and woodpeckers this morning. I also heard quite a racket of leaf rustle under some shrubs and caught a glimpse of what I’m pretty sure was a Northern Flicker picking through the leaf litter for tasty invertebrates.
Further down the trail it opens up. This is great habitat for redwinged blackbirds and European Starlings, pacing on spread wings from dormant tree to tree.
Down towards the ball fields the creek widens. This is where I saw two Greater Yellowlegs, a bunch of Least Sandpipers and a couple Killdeer. The Greater Yellowlegs were bobbing up and down as they passed each other. House Finches & Song Sparrows flitted back and forth from the riperian growth to the trees.
I was told about this spot by a fellow Master Naturalist who lives in the area and is proud that such a healthy habitat is in his neighborhood, and rightly so. As Austin and its suburbs sprawl at an alarming rate, it takes longer to get out to nature. Small oases like this within neighborhoods and city limits are much appreciated by birds & naturalist alike.