Brown Pelican in West Texas


Hot days and no new birds.  The migration isn’t here yet, although I have received reports that it has started up north, so they are on the way here.  I will welcome them.  Anyway, in the meantime, it is back to my archives to see what I have forgotten about.

Going all the way back to 2011, and what did I find.  A bunch of photos of a Brown Pelicans that made an out-of-the-way stop at the City Water Ponds down in Eldorado.  They are indigent to the gulf coast, but on rare occasions one will make it’s way to our warm climes here in west Texas.

On this particular occasion, our friends that live in Eldorado, only a few blocks from the ponds, called us immediately after they spotted him.  It’s nice to have friends in high places.  Anyway, we were down there within an hour.  Here are a few of the images that I was able to get.

Brown Pelican

Brown Pelican

Brown Pelican

Brown Pelican

Look Ma!!!

Look Ma!!!

Brown Pelican in flight

Brown Pelican in flight

Brown Pelican in flight.

Brown Pelican in flight.

Click on any image to see some enlargements.  Hope you enjoy.

Quiz – Who is that masked man (bird) ?


Hi again.  Big Bob here with a new quiz for you.  This one may be a bit tougher, but you’all need a new challenge, right??  This bird was photographed near San Angelo, Texas.  Just click your choice in the poll below.  Good luck to all.  Results next week.IMG_2045-quiz-bob-zeller

 

Quiz Results – Black-crested Titmouse


Yes, folks it was a Black-crested Titmouse in that previous quiz.  Click here to see original post.

Results of the voting:

Black-crested Titmouse   99

Tufted Titmouse     45

All of the above      4

In a sense, everybody was right.  The Black-crested and the Tufted are hybrids of each other.  The Tufted Titmouse is found in most of the eastern United States.  The Black-crested Titmouse is found in central and west Texas.  The dividing line is somewhere down the center of Texas.  There are areas there that one may be able to see both.

We had 148 participants in this contest.  We get a few more with each quiz.  I am working on another and I will publish it in a few days.  Thanks to everyone that voted.

Beating the Summer Doldrums


Some people call it the dog days of summer.  Either way, it a somewhat boring time of the year for me.  The heat usually keeps me indoors and it keeps the birds from showing up.  Since I have had several weeks of trying to get my blood pressure meds adjusted, I haven’t been able to get out much.  But, after seeing my good doctor a couple of days ago for another adjustment, I think he has finally got it right.  I have been feeling the best that I have in two or three months.

Ann and I decided to finally do some serious birding yesterday morning.  For a change we drove down to Eldorado to visit our friends, Sid and Suzanne Johnson, and got them to go with us.

Our first stop was at the City Water Ponds.  It wasn’t a good time to be birding there, since it usually is home to all sorts of water birds, but of course, they are pretty much absent until the end of August or early September.  However, we saw some Red-winged Blackbirds in the reeds and an American Coot.  Around the outer fence line we saw a few Lark Sparrows but that was pretty much all she wrote.

So we then decided to drive out County Road 2596.  It a great birding road; no traffic to speak of, so we can creep along the shoulder at a slow speed, and there is great habitat on either side of the highway.  There we had much more success, and added two more birds to our 2014 Big Year list;  Bell’s Vireo and an Orchard Oriole.  That brings our current total to 172.  We should reach our goal of 200 by the end of the year.

There is a Crested Caracara nest a few miles out, but the birds were not  in the building.  Overhead we saw what we thought was a Red-tailed Hawk.  I took a long range photo, but when I got it magnified in the computer, I discovered it was a Swainson’s Hawk.  In all we saw a total of 32 species.  Not a specially great day, but the fun is in the hunt.

Here are a few photos from yesterday, and also from the past few small outings that Ann and I took.

Curved-bill Thrasher

Curved-bill Thrasher singing his song.

Yellow-billed Cuckoo - he can sing, too.

Yellow-billed Cuckoo – he can sing, too.

Bronzed Cowbird

Bronzed Cowbird

Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinal - female

Northern Cardinal – female

Cactus Wren

Cactus Wren

House Finch

House Finch

House Finch - femals

House Finch – female

Black-chinned Hummingbird

Black-chinned Hummingbird – female

Painted Bunting - getting a bath.

Painted Bunting – getting a bath

Hope you enjoyed the photos.  Click on any of them to see enlargements.  To see my entire gallery go to http://www.bobzellerphotography.smugmug.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Quiz and previous results


I have a new quiz for you, but first the results of the last quiz . What a surprise I got when I looked at the results.  I posted a photo of a Cactus Wren, (Yes, folks, it is a Cactus Wren).  Surprisingly, out of 133 votes cast,  it got only 8, as in eight, total votes.  I surmise that it was because the bird is from my area here in the southwest, and most of you are not familiar with it.  And apparently, most of you don’t own any bird guides.  But that’s okay, I got you to participate, and that’s what this all about.  Just having fun.  If I can get one or two you hooked on birding, my job will be done.

The Cactus Wren has a white brow, similar to the Carolina Wren, but there the similarity stops for the most part.  The Cactus has a varied spotted breast, barred wings, and streaked back. The lower breast is slightly buff, not as bold as the buff breast of the Carolina.

You done me good, by having 133 of you take part in the voting, and I am happy about that.  Here are the total votes of each bird offered.

Carolina Wren, a whopping 73 votes.

Rock Wren, was second with 42 votes.

Canyon Wren garnered 9.

Cactus Wren. 8 correct votes.

Bewick’s Wren, one vote.

Thanks to all for participating. :-)

Okay, now for the new quiz.  This one is a simple one.  Is this bird a Tufted Titmouse, or a Black-crested Titmouse.  Vote below and choose between the two titmouses listed.  Results posted next week.  Have fun!

What is this bird?

What is this bird?

 

Quiz – Do you know your Wrens??


Okay, I have a good one this time.  No funny stuff, and no trick questions.  Since this quiz has so many possibilities, I am going to let it run for a week to give you plenty of time to investigate your guide books, or to make your up mind as too which one you will take a guess at.

So let’s have at it.  What species of wren is pictured here?  Answer will be posted next Saturday, July 19, 2014.  You can click on the image to see an enlarged photo for closer viewing.

IMG_7734-net-wren-cactus-bob-zeller

New Page – New Photos


First, I would like to mention that I have a new, additional page that you can see at the top of this post.  It is “Yakkety-Sax Man”.  It is the story of my music career.  Some of you already know about it, but I decided to post it a manner where you can select the six parts individually.  Just click on the ‘button’, or this shortcut.

Ann and I got out for a couple of hours on Tuesday morning.  This is the proverbial dog days of summer.  Hot, not too many birds moving.  But a birder can find opportunities if he or she perserveres.  I lucked out and saw a Bronzed Cowbird.  They are somewhat solitary, not usually in large groups.  This one was all alone in the grass at Spring Creek Park, here in San Angelo.  I love the bluish iridenscent color of the wings, and of course, that flashing red eye.

Bronzed Cowbird

Bronzed Cowbird

Further along the way, I saw this pretty Northern Cardinal.  I must admit that I already have many, many photographs of a cardinal, and I usually just ignore them, looking for that photo that may be better than the others.   But with so few birds in our count, and needing some photos for my post, I gave it a shot.  Once I saw it in my digital darkroom, AKA my computer, I realized that it was one of my better ones, so I am glad I didn’t ignore it this time.  I hope you like it.

North Cardinal

Northern Cardinal

Click on either image to see an enlargement.  To see more of my photographs, click on the Galleries button at the top of the page, then click on my SmugMug gallery.