Sunday, March 14, 2010

Hornsby Bend Bird Observatory

I got my first sunburn of the year yesterday at Hornsby Bend Bird Observatory in Austin at the Austin Water Utility's Hornsby Bend Biosolids Management Plant. It is hosted by the Austin Water Utility's Center for Environmental Research. If you live in Austin, you've probably heard of "Dillo Dirt". Well, Hornsby Bend is where you can find lots of Dillo Dirt. The smell is overwhelmingly bad but luckily, the "birding" trails are on the other side of the center. As we drove toward the trailhead, the smell dissipated and we found ourselves wandering down the paths along the Colorado River and having a wonderful time. The weather was perfect. Sunshine, balmy breezes and shade. Our dog, Izzy, had a blast off-leash and listening to the sparrows and cardinals. The trail winds along the river for about three miles. We did about half of that before turning back. Most of the birds we saw were typical to most central Texas backyards - sparrows, doves, and cardinals. Next time, we hope the more colorful buntings will be out and about. There were also lots of colorful butterflies as well as wildflowers. We'll definitely be coming back here often.