Practicing as a birding guide at Pearsall Park

With my first official gig as a birding guide coming up next weekend for the Bexar Audubon Society, I wanted to get some practice in leading friends through Pearsall Park where the bird walk is going to take place. The four of us arrived at 8 AM to nice, cool, partly cloudy weather.

long-billed thrasher on top of tree

With my first official gig as a birding guide coming up next weekend for the Bexar Audubon Society, I wanted to get some practice in leading friends through Pearsall Park where the bird walk is going to take place. The four of us arrived at 8 AM to nice, cool, partly cloudy weather. We scanned our surroundings from the parking lot and one friend, Paul, spotted a Long-billed Thrasher perched on the top of a distant tree next to the road.

long-billed thrasher on top of tree
Long-billed Thrasher perched far away

The trek down the hill to the river took us past a bunch of lifers for Paul, such as the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Western Kingbird, and the White-eyed Vireo.

western-kingbird-at-pearsall-park-san-antonio
Western Kingbird perched on a power line
Backside of another Western Kingbird

I usually hear birds before I see them, so I made a point to highlight the various bird songs I was hearing. I hope that by new birders focusing on various aspects of the birds, it will help them remember more easily.

As we traveled along the path, we discovered a few interesting new birds:

Brown-headed Cowbird

We heard and tracked down a loud White-eyed Vireo that was just off the walking path. I’m excited to share this photo with you, since my previous ones haven’t been very bright or clear.

white-eyed-vireo-pearsall-park-san-antonio-texas
A White-eyed Vireo

I got my second photo lifer of the day with the Least Flycatcher seen below. We were able to identify it separately from the other flycatchers by analyzing its song with Merlin compared to the others.

Least Flycatcher showing its backside

We were graced with a decent glimpse of a Magnolia Warbler but not long enough to capture a photo.

Paul’s main objective on his trip here to San Antonio is to see a Painted Bunting. We clearly heard the song of several while at the park and even followed them around a bit, but didn’t get a chance to see one. Our upcoming birding trip tomorrow should bring plenty of them, fingers crossed!

Today’s checklist

SpeciesTotal count
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck2
Mourning Dove2
Black-chinned Hummingbird1
Neotropic Cormorant1
Great Egret1
Snowy Egret1
Black Vulture1
Least Flycatcher1
Eastern Phoebe1
Great Crested Flycatcher2
Western Kingbird7
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher4
White-eyed Vireo12
Loggerhead Shrike1
Purple Martin4
Carolina Wren13
European Starling4
Long-billed Thrasher1
Northern Mockingbird4
House Sparrow5
House Finch5
Brown-headed Cowbird1
Great-tailed Grackle5
Magnolia Warbler1
Northern Cardinal10
Painted Bunting5
Total Species26