Arriving at Avenue A
Avenue A is a small road that follows the San Antonio River at Brackenridge. It’s filled with all kinds of native plants and trees which attract birds you don’t see in other parts of town.
From the moment I walked onto Avenue A I was overwhelmed with the number of birds that could be seen and heard. Crows, Carolina Chickadees, Cardinals, Carolina Wrens, Blue Jays, and House Sparrows were all contributing to the cacophony.
Bunches of blackbirds
Red-winged Blackbirds congregated in the reedy plants and trees next to the water. It was fun to watch them pluck food from the branches and hop from limb to limb. Their pretty red shoulders on full display any time they took flight. I observed them for a few minutes to capture photos and videos. Eventually, a Red-shouldered Hawk cried out, this spooked them and they flushed out to another part of the river.
Spooking a few fancy ducks
As I walked down the path, I kept to the left side to distance myself from the trees I was surveying and to avoid spooking birds. Further down the river I got closer to look at the river hoping to find a kingfisher. Suddenly…splashing, wings flapping, and bird call noises. I apparently accidentally startled seven Wood Ducks and caused them to fly further up the river. Of course I had to backtrack and follow them!
Cling to the branches
After the duck encounter, I surveyed the soundscape with Merlin and it picked up a Downy Woodpecker. I spotted it really close to me on a low hanging tree branch.
A trick of the eye & mind
I looked at the eBird page for this hotspot before I went there to identify species I needed to see. One of the birds I hoped to see was the Brown Creeper. A cute, little brown bird that likes to cling to the sides of trees. Determined to find this bird, I spotted a Creeper-sized bird clinging and jumping all over this tree. Convinced this was the bird I was looking for, I snapped some photos and this short video. Sadly…it was a Carolina Wren. It wasn’t until I got home and really reviewed everything, did I realize I misidentified it. 🥲 The strong power desire has on your mind and perception is wild. I was so convinced I saw the creeper that I didn’t even bother to reference photos of the bird until later. That one was painful to retroactively remove from my checklist.
Carolina Chickadees made their presence known throughout my visit with their songs and calls. They mostly lurked in the shadowy canopy. Three decided to pop down into the sunlight for a moment, giving me a better view.
A migration must-visit
My visit today was during the off-season. Fall migration has basically ended but I still felt like I saw a lot of really great wildlife in Avenue A. This lovely hotspot will be added to my rotation of places to visit. I can’t wait to visit it regularly during the migration seasons to see more warblers and other rare birds that are frequently reported.
What I saw today
|Total species – 25||Total birds – 129|