Plant Answers  >  Mitchell Lake Audubon Center - Bird-a-thon

Mitchell Lake Audubon Center - Bird-a-thon


The Audubon Center at Mitchell Lake connects people to nature and protects unique habitats. Located only fifteen miles from downtown San Antonio, the 624-acre property is a important stop-over location for many migrating shorebirds, waterfowl and songbirds. The drainages, ponds, wetlands, grasslands, and brushlands provide much needed food and shelter resources for an abundance of bird and other wildlife species. The diverse habitats also create an exceptional backdrop for a full range of educational experiences.

The Mitchell Lake Audubon Center (MLAC) has an average rainfall of 28 inches. The predominant vegetation of the uplands includes honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa), huisache (Acacia smalli), retama (Parkinsonia aculeate), hackberry (Celtis laevigata), granjeno (Celtis pallida), Brasil (Condalia hookeri), prickly pear (Opuntia lindheimeri), and others. The upland habitat of MLAC may at one time have mirrored the brush and grassland communities of the Rio Grande Plains Eco-region, however, past land use has influenced the composition of the vegetative community we see today. Non-native brush and grass species such as chinaberry (Melia azedarch), Chinese tallow tree (Sapium sebiferum), coastal bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon), Johnson grass (Sorghum halepense), and others have replaced or out competed native brush and clump grasses. MLAC is working to restore native grassland to the property.

Water and its availability is a major influence in the diversity and abundance of plant and animal life at MLAC. MLAC has 3 distinct water bodies: a lake, polders and basins, and storm water ponds and drainages. All are eutrophic to varying degrees meaning that they generally have a high surface-to-depth ratio. Eutrophic water bodies also have an abundance of nutrients, especially nitrogen and phosphorus that readily stimulate a heavy growth of algae and other aquatic plants.

The Mitchell Lake Wetland Society (MLWS), an organization dedicated to the responsible stewardship of Mitchell Lake, currently has documented over 300 bird species at MLAC, of which more than 30 are on
Audubon's WatchList for Bexar County. Audubon's WatchList is designed
specifically to highlight those bird species that have the greatest
conservation needs. MLAC is especially important because of its
critical habitat for migrating shorebirds. Shorebirds utilize muddy
shores or mud flats to gather important food resources. MLAC is~he only site in the San Antonio area that has mud flat habitat vital to migrating shorebirds. Additionally, it is a major wintering site for migratory waterfowl.

Because of this, MLAC is a proposed Important Bird Area (IBA). Due to the efforts of the MLWS and others, an IBA proposal has been submitted to Audubon for consideration. The IBA program is a global effort to identify areas that are most important for maintaining bird populations, and it focuses conservation efforts at protecting these sites.

MLAC also has a diverse assemblage of reptiles, amphibians,
insects, and mammals and over 120 plant species. Studying the
interdependency of the plants and animals found at MLAC will help guide management efforts that will benefit the entire ecosystem for a more healthy environment for all.


In 2005, the concept of a Bird-a-thon was started to help raise money for the Mitchell Lake Project. Calvin Finch, Jerry Parsons and Milton Glueck were the KLUP- AM 930 fund-raisers. More information about this event can be found at:
http://www.tx.audubon.org

Milton and Jerry spotted the following birds in the Bird-a-thon, 2005:

1. Purple Grackle
2. Morning Dove
3. White Cattle Egret
4. Red Winged Blackbird
5. Scissor-tail Flycatcher
6. English Sparrow
7. Barn Swallow
8. Mocking Bird
9. Yellow (Dull) Bellied Finch
10. Hummingbird
11. Gold Finches
12. Snowy Egret
13. Snowy Egret
14. Green Heron
15. Mexican Eagle
16. Butcher Bird
17. Brown Crested Flycatcher
18. Spotted Sandpiper
19. Black-necked Stilts
20. Long-billed Doucher
21. Fallow Ropes
22. Blue-winged Teals
23. Whistler Mexican Duck
24. Barn Owl
25. Meadow Lark
26. Pelican
27. Lincoln Sparrow
28. Western Grebe
29. Grilled Chicken Hawk
30. Great Egret
31. Not-so-Great Egret
32. Sorry-excuse-for-an-Egret
33. Gallinule
34. Karmarnd
35. Coot
36. Old Coot (named Finch)
37. Blue Wing Teal
38. Turkey Vulture
39. Pied-billed Grebe
40. Sharp Shin Hawk
41. Dull Shin Hawk
42. Broken Shin Hawk
43. Leach Grebe
44. Cardinal Finch
45. Shoveler
46. Digger
47. Coverer
48. Cessna (Twin engine)
49. Red Tailed Hawk
50. Narrow-winged Southwestern

Since Dr. Finch (named after a bird!!) indicated he only "recorded 46 species" in 2005, it was clear who the sharp-eyed birders on this trip were!!!!! Images taken during this "adventure" can be seen at:
http://www.plantanswers.com/milton.htm

 

BIRD-A-THON CHALLENGE, 2006

On a beautiful Cinco De Mayo (May 5 for you Yankees!), 2006, the Bird-a-thon Challenge was held again. The "birders" were Ken Kaufman, Susan Albert, Calvin Finch, Milton Glueck and Jerry Parsons. The birds listed below were seen and accounted for 80 species.

HOWEVER, the birds which were NOT spotted this year for some reason
were: Yellow (Dull) Bellied Finch; Gold Finches; Mexican Eagle; Butcher Bird; Brown Crested Flycatcher; Barn Owl; Meadow Lark; Lincoln Sparrow; Western Grebe; Grilled Chicken Hawk; Not-so-Great Egret; Sorry-excuse-for-an-Egret; Gallinule; Old Coot (named Finch); Sharp Shin Hawk; Dull Shin Hawk; Broken Shin Hawk; Digger Duck; Coverer Duck; Cessna (Twin engine) and Narrow-winged Southwestern
=============================================================

Loons, Grebes, Boobies, etc.
Least Grebe
Pied-billed Grebe
Eared Grebe

Pelicans, Cormorants, etc.
Neo-tropical Cormorant

Herons, Bitterns, and Egrets
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Little Blue Heron
Tri-colored Heron
Cattle Egret
Green Heron

Ibises and Relatives
White-faced Ibis

Geese, Ducks, etc.
Black-bell. Whistling-Duck
Gadwall
American Wigeon
Northern Shoveler
Blue-winged Teal
Green-winged Teal
Ruddy Duck

Hawks and Relatives
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Harris's Hawk

Rails, Coots, Cranes, etc.
American Coot

Shorebirds
Killdeer
Black-necked Stilt
American Avocet
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
Spotted Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper
Long-billed Dowitcher
Wilson's Phalarope

Pigeons and Doves
White-winged Dove
Mourning Dove
Inca Dove
Common Ground Dove

Owls
Great Horned Owl

Goat-suckers and Swifts,
Chimney Swift

Hummingbirds and Kingfishers
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Black-chinned Hummingbird

Woodpeckers
Ladder-backed Woodpecker

Flycatchers
Ash-throated Flycatcher
Western Kingbird
Eastern Kingbird
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

Shrikes and Vireos
Loggerhead Shrike
White-eyed Vireo
Bell's Vireo

Swallows
Purple Martin
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Cave Swallow
Barn Swallow

Wrens, Kinglets, Thrashers, etc.
Bewick's Wren
House Wren
Northern Mockingbird
Long-billed Thrasher
European Starling

Warblers
Yellow Warbler
Common Yellowthroat

Tanagers, Grosbeaks, Buntings, etc.
Northern Cardinal (Redbird)
Pyrrhuloxia
Indigo Bunting
Painted Bunting
Dickcissel

Sparrows and Relatives
Cassin's Sparrow
Clay-colored Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow

Blackbirds
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Great-tailed Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird

Orioles, Goldfinch, etc.
Orchard Oriole
House Finch
House Sparrow

Additional Species Seen:
Red Tailed Hawk
Parakeet
Catbird
Yellow-Headed Blackbird
Least Flycatcher

 

BIRD-A-THON CHALLENGE, 2007

On a beautiful, crisp April 15, 2007, the Bird-a-thon Challenge was
held again. The "birders" were Iliana Pena, Andy Kasner, Jane (a Curious
Naturalist), Calvin Finch (just *curious*), Milton Glueck and Jerry
Parsons with several others. The birds listed below were seen and
accounted for 69 species*11 species less than last year.
=============================================================

Loons, Grebes, Boobies, etc.
Least Grebe
Pied-billed Grebe
Eared Grebe
Pelicans, Cormorants, etc.
Neo-tropical Cormorant
American White Pelican
Double-Creasted Cormorant

Herons, Bitterns, and Egrets
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Little Blue Heron
Yellow-crowned Night Heron
Cattle Egret
Green Heron (American)
Ibises and Relatives
None Seen

Geese, Ducks, etc.
Red-Necked Duck
Lesser Scaup (Blue-Billed)
Northern Shoveler
Blue-winged Teal
Ruddy Duck

Hawks and Relatives
Turkey Vulture
Red-Shouldered Hawk
Crested Caracara
American Kestrel
Rails, Coots, Cranes, etc.
Sora
American Coot

Shorebirds
Killdeer
Black-necked Stilt
Spotted Sandpiper
Solitary Sandpiper
Wilson's Phalarope

Pigeons and Doves
White-winged Dove
Mourning Dove
Common Ground Dove

Owls
None Seen

Goat-suckers and Swifts,
Chimney Swift

Hummingbirds and Kingfishers
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Black-chinned Hummingbird
Woodpeckers
Golden Fronted Woodpecker
Ladder-backed Woodpecker
Flycatchers
Western Kingbird
Couch*s Kingbird
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

Shrikes and Vireos
Loggerhead Shrike (Butcher Bird)
White-eyed Vireo
Bell's Vireo

Swallows
Purple Martin
Cliff Swallow
Barn Swallow

Wrens, Kinglets, Thrashers, etc.
Verdin
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Northern Mockingbird
Long-billed Thrasher
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
European Starling

Warblers
Yellow-rumped (Butter Butt) Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Nashville Warbler
Orange-crowned Warbler

Tanagers, Grosbeaks, Buntings, etc.
Northern Cardinal (Redbird)

Sparrows and Relatives
Chipping Sparrow
Lincoln Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow

Blackbirds
Red-winged Blackbird
Great-tailed Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orioles, Goldfinch, etc.
American Gold Finch
House Finch
House Sparrow
Additional Species Seen:
Crow
Pigeon


Calvin Finch is busy looking for birds and Iliana Pena is busy telling him how and where to look.

Jane, the Curious Naturalist, points the bird out to legally-blind Calvin Finch and other on lookers.

This crowd is intense!! Their peering paid off with 69 species of birds spotted on this beautiful day. Having Andy Kasner (second from left in white hat) didn't hurt either; he is a keen birder. If you look closely, you will see Jane saluting the rare bird while Milton is hiding in fear (behind everyone!) of such a vicious fowl.


Milton Glueck with his single scope is no match for the intensity of Curious Jane and her binoculars.

 

BIRD-A-THON CHALLENGE, 2008

On a beautiful, crisp May 3, 2008, morning, the Bird-a-thon Challenge was
held again. The "birders" were Ms. Mickey Hanselman, Mrs. Jane Davis-Toerner (a Curious Naturalist), Jean Peterson, Dwight, Calvin Finch (just *curious*), Milton Glueck and Jerry Parsons with several others. The birds listed below were seen and accounted for 80 species. The (*) by each number are new species seen this year. The species NOT seen this year which were seen last year include: Red-Necked Duck; Yellow-crowned Night Heron; Ruddy Duck; Red-Shouldered Hawk; American Kestrel; Sora; Solitary Sandpiper; Golden Fronted Woodpecker; Couch’s Kingbird; Bell's Vireo; Loggerhead Shrike (Butcher Bird); Cliff Swallow; Verdin; Blue-gray Gnatcatcher; Ruby-crowned Kinglet; European Starling; Yellow-rumped (Butter Butt) Warbler; Common Yellowthroat; Nashville Warbler; Orange-crowned Warbler; Chipping Sparrow Lincoln Sparrow; Song Sparrow; American Gold Finch.
=====================================================

Loons, Grebes, Boobies, etc.
1. Least Grebe
2. Pied-billed Grebe
3. Eared Grebe

Pelicans, Cormorants, etc.
4. Neo-tropical Cormorant
5. American White Pelican
6. Double-Creasted Cormorant
Herons, Bitterns, and Egrets
7. Great Egret
8. Snowy Egret
9. Little Blue Heron
10. Cattle Egret
11. Green Heron (American)
*12. Great Blue Heron
*13. Tri-colored Heron
Ibises and Relatives
None Seen
Geese, Ducks, etc.
14. Pintail Duck
15. Lesser Scaup (Blue-Billed)
16. Northern Shoveler
17. Blue-winged Teal
*18. Green-Wing Teal
*19. Black-Bellied Whistling Duck
*20. American Wigeon
Hawks and Relatives
22. Black Vulture
23.Crested Caracara (Mexican Eagle)
*24. Cooper’s Hawk
25. Turkey Vulture
*26. Red Tailed Hawk
*27. Northern Harrige
*28. Swainson’s Hawk

Rails, Coots, Cranes, etc.
29. American Coot
*30. Common Moorhen

Shorebirds
31. Killdeer
32. Black-necked Stilt
33. Spotted Sandpiper
34. Wilson's Phalarope
*35. Long-billed Dowitcher
*36 Stilt Sandpiper
*37. American Avocet
*38 Lesser Yellow Legs Sandpiper
*39. Least Sandpiper
*40. Greater Yellow Legs
*41. Western Sandpiper
*42. Pectoral Sandpiper
*43. Hudsonian Godwit
Pigeons and Doves
44. White-winged Dove
45. Mourning Dove
46. Common Ground Dove
Owls
None Seen
Goat-suckers and Swifts,
47. Chimney Swift
Hummingbirds and Kingfishers
48. Ruby-throated Hummingbird
49. Black-chinned Hummingbird

Woodpeckers
50. Ladder-backed Woodpecker

Flycatchers
51. Western Kingbird
52. Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
*53. Acadian Flycatcher
*54. Least Flycatcher
Shrikes and Vireos
55. White-eyed Vireo

Swallows
56. Purple Martin
57. Barn Swallow
*58. Caug Swallow
Wrens, Kinglets, Thrashers, etc.
59. Northern Mockingbird
60. Long-billed Thrasher
*61. Carolina Wren
*62. Bewick’s Wren

Warblers
*63. Yellow Warbler
*64. Yellow-Breasted Chat

Tanagers, Grosbeaks, Buntings, etc.
65. Northern Cardinal (Redbird)
Sparrows and Relatives
66. Savannah Sparrow
67. White-crowned Sparrow
*68. Clay-colored Sparrow
*69. Indigo Bunting
*70. Painted Bunting
Blackbirds
71. Red-winged Blackbird
72. Great-tailed Grackle
73. Brown-headed Cowbird
*74. Bronzed Cowbird
Orioles, Goldfinch, etc.
75. House Finch
76. House Sparrow
*77. Bullock’s Oriole
*78. Catbird

Additional Species Seen:
79. Crow
80. Pigeon

 

BIRD-A-THON CHALLENGE, 2009

The BIRD-A-THON CHALLENGE 2009 was missed by Jerry Parsons because of illness.

 

BIRD-A-THON CHALLENGE, 2010

Loons, Grebes, Boobies, etc.

Least Grebe
Pied-billed Grebe
Eared Grebe

Pelicans, Cormorants, etc.

Neo-tropical Cormorant
American White Pelican
Double-Creasted Cormorant

Herons, Bitterns, and Egrets

Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Little Blue Heron
Yellow-crowned Night Heron
Cattle Egret
Green Heron (American)

Ibises and Relatives

- None Seen -

Geese, Ducks, etc.

Red-Necked Duck
Lesser Scaup (Blue-Billed)
Northern Shoveler
Blue-winged Teal
Ruddy Duck

Hawks and Relatives

Turkey Vulture
Red-Shouldered Hawk
Crested Caracara
American Kestrel

Rails, Coots, Cranes, etc.

Sora
American Coot

Shorebirds

Killdeer
Black-necked Stilt
Spotted Sandpiper
Solitary Sandpiper
Wilson's Phalarope

Pigeons and Doves

White-winged Dove
Mourning Dove
Common Ground Dove

Owls

- None Seen -

Goat-suckers and Swifts

Chimney Swift

Hummingbirds and Kingfishers

Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Black-chinned Hummingbird

Woodpeckers

Golden Fronted Woodpecker
Ladder-backed Woodpecker

Flycatchers

Western Kingbird
Couch's Kingbird
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

Shrikes and Vireos

Loggerhead Shrike (Butcher Bird)
White-eyed Vireo
Bell's Vireo

Swallows

Purple Martin
Cliff Swallow
Barn Swallow

Wrens, Kinglets, Thrashers, etc.

Verdin
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Northern Mockingbird
Long-billed Thrasher
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
European Starling

Warblers

Yellow-rumped (Butter Butt) Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Nashville Warbler
Orange-crowned Warbler

Tanagers, Grosbeaks, Buntings, etc.

Northern Cardinal (Redbird)

Sparrows and Relatives

Chipping Sparrow
Lincoln Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
House Sparrow

Blackbirds

Red-winged Blackbird
Great-tailed Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird

Orioles, Goldfinch, etc.

American Gold Finch
House Finch

MATCH WITS WITH THE BIRDERS—There are at least 19 images in this Gallery of Bird-a-Thon 2010 birds which are listed among the 64 birds identified by birders. See how many YOU can ID!

Photo Birdathon Album - 2010

by Jerry Parsons

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BIRD-A-THON CHALLENGE, 2011

  • Least Grebe
  • Pie-billed Grebe
  • American White Pelican
  • Double-crested Cormorant
  • Neotropical Cormorant
  • Anhinga
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Great Egret
  • Snowy Egret
  • Little Blue Heron
  • Tricolored Heron
  • Cattle Egret
  • Green Heron
  • Yellow-crowned Night Heron
  • Least Bittern
  • Black-bellied Whistling-Duck
  • Gadwall
  • Northern Shoveler
  • Blue-winged Teal
  • Green-winged teal
  • Ruddy Duck
  • Black Vulture
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Osprey
  • Northern Harrier
  • Crested Caracara
  • American Coot
  • Semipalmated Plover
  • Killdeer
  • Black-necked Stilt
  • American Avocet
  • Greater Yellowlegs
  • Lesser Yellowlegs
  • Spotted Sandpiper
  • Semipalmated Sandpiper
  • Western Sandpiper
  • Least Sandpiper
  • Pectoral Sandpiper
  • Stilt Sandpiper
  • Long-billed Dowitcher
  • Wilson's Snipe
  • Wilson's Phalarope
  • White-winged Dove
  • Mourning Dove
  • Ruby throated Hummingbird
  • Black chinned Hummingbird
  • Ladder-backed Woodpecker
  • Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
  • Loggerhead Shrike
  • White-eyed Vireo
  • Bell's Vireo
  • Cave Swallow
  • Barn Swallow
  • Carolina Wren
  • Northern Mockingbird
  • European Starling
  • Nashville Warbler
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Chipping Sparrow
  • Savannah Sparrow
  • Grasshopper Sparrow
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Eastern Meadowlark
  • Great-tailed Grackle
  • Brown-headed Cowbird
  • House Finch
  • House Sparrow
  • White-crowned Sparrow
  • American Golden Plover

MATCH WITS WITH THE BIRDERS—There are at least 20 images in this Gallery of Bird-a-Thon 2011 birds which are listed among the birds identified by birders. See how many YOU can ID!

Photo Birdathon Album - 2011

by Jerry Parsons

 

Photo Birdathon Album - 2012

by Jerry Parsons

 

BIRD-A-THON CHALLENGE, 2013

Mitchell Lake, Bexar, US-TX
Apr 12, 2013 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Protocol: Traveling
5.0 mile(s)
Comments: Calvin Finch, Jerry Parsons, Jean Petersen, Georgina Schwartz
51 species (+1 other taxa)
  • Gadwall X
  • American Wigeon X
  • Blue-winged Teal X
  • Cinnamon Teal 2
  • Northern Shoveler X
  • Green-winged Teal X
  • Redhead X
  • Ring-necked Duck X
  • Lesser Scaup X
  • Ruddy Duck X
  • Wild Turkey 1
  • Pied-billed Grebe 1
  • Eared Grebe 1
  • Neotropic Cormorant X
  • Double-crested Cormorant X
  • American White Pelican X
  • Great Egret X
  • Snowy Egret X
  • Black-crowned Night-Heron X
  • White-faced Ibis X
  • Turkey Vulture X
  • Northern Harrier 2
  • Red-shouldered Hawk 1
  • Red-tailed Hawk 1
  • American Coot X
  • Killdeer X
  • Black-necked Stilt X
  • American Avocet 1
  • Spotted Sandpiper X
  • Solitary Sandpiper 2
  • Greater Yellowlegs 1
  • Lesser Yellowlegs 1
  • Least Sandpiper X
  • Baird's Sandpiper 2
  • Pectoral Sandpiper 1
  • Long-billed Dowitcher X
  • Wilson's Phalarope X
  • White-winged Dove X
  • Mourning Dove X
  • Inca Dove 1
  • Common Ground-Dove X
  • Black-chinned Hummingbird X
  • Ladder-backed Woodpecker X
  • Crested Caracara 1
  • Eastern Phoebe 1
  • Brown-crested Flycatcher 1
  • Scissor-tailed Flycatcher 12
  • Loggerhead Shrike 1
  • White-eyed Vireo X
  • Bell's Vireo 1
  • Barn Swallow X
  • Black-crested Titmouse 1
  • Verdin X
  • Bewick's Wren X
  • Carolina Wren X
  • Northern Mockingbird X
  • Long-billed Thrasher 1
  • European Starling X
  • Nashville Warbler 1
  • Common Yellowthroat 1
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) X
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's) 1
  • Savannah Sparrow X
  • White-crowned Sparrow X
  • Northern Cardinal X
  • Pyrrhuloxia 1
  • Red-winged Blackbird X
  • Eastern Meadowlark X
  • Great-tailed Grackle X
  • Brown-headed Cowbird X
  • House Finch X
  • House Sparrow X

Photo Birdathon Album - 2013

by Jerry Parsons

   

 

Photo Birdathon Album - 2014

by Jerry Parsons

 

 


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