Met a friend in Bastrop at 6:30 for some local birding. We had a very good morning. First Stop was Harmon Road where we had the Hairy Woodpeckers (2) before even getting out of the truck otherwise the normal stuff around the park but we did not spend much time there. Shipp Lake is reported to be dry so we did not go there but found quite an amazing assortment of shore...Most amazing is the sheet of water on a construction site just east and across the road from Lowe's in Bastrop. With so little shorebird habitat anywhere in Central Texas, the birds sure found this spot. We had 1 Willet (surely a Western), 2 Avocet, at least 1 S. B. Dowitcher still in pretty good alternate, 1 Bairds and others for a total of 9 species.....We added Solitary at the hunters Crossing/Home Depot ponds as well as Tri-colored Heron. On a private property in Utley we added 3 Upland Sandpipers......But the water near Lowe's will likely not last but 2-3 more days as it is super shallow., Several days ago I had 2 flyover Fulvous Ducks in Utley...I think we had the same pair today . They were in the marshy area on Earhardt Rd. down by the Hope Valley Tree farm.....BTW for the locals, new culverts are going to be installed here I am told, to help the land owners drain their pastures more easily....Shame...There is water and likely good stuff on the east side of the road but the weeds are too tall to see anything....This is where I saw two Ruddy type ducks in flight several days ago after I flushed them Other interesting finds today included 1 Swainson's Hawk, 15+ Orchard Orioles, almost a doz. Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, 8 Bronzed Cowbirds and more ground doves than I have seen in many years. I was about to give up on shorebirds around here this fall. but when I stepped out in the dim morning light this morning an Upland flew over and already the Martins were in the sky....Speaking of martins as I drove to Bastrop this morning there appeared to be perhaps a couple of thousand on the corner of Earhardt Rd. and 969...In the trees with the house with the white fence....There are always lots of martins here so maybe it is a roost site too. Brush Freeman Independent and affiliated Field Biologist 361-655-7641 http://texasnaturenotes.blogspot.com/ Finca Alacranes., Utley,Texas The greatest musician of all time is mother nature.