Right before 9 a.m. on March 6, five or six purple martins swooped acrobatically in the wind above the Austin Water Center for Environmental Research at Hornsby Bend.
It was a good sign. The first migratory birds of spring had begun to arrive in Central Texas.
To prepare for this annual feathery visit, which peaks in late April, I hit some of the area’s top birding spots on multiple mornings not long after the winter storms.
Given the travel deficits imposed by the pandemic, this 12-day tour — actually 15, but one was spent hopelessly lost and another two were