Damp Birding at Miles, Texas


Monday morning Ann and I traveled to Miles, Texas to see several ducks, geese and other water fowl that was reported to be on a large flooded area north of town.  It started a light drizzle on the way, and I had to put the wipers on to keep the windshield clear.  We kept on going, nevertheless, because as they say, you never know how things will turn out.

Well, by the time we got there the drizzle had nearly stopped, but the skies remained heavily overcast and slightly foggy.  With the poor visibility, it was hard to make IDs on most of the ducks in the water, as they were several hundred yards away.  However, we did make out plenty of Northern Shovelers, a half dozen or so of American Avocets, some Snow Geese and Greater White-fronted Geese.  With there being several hundred birds, I am sure that if we could have seen better we would have added many more to our list.

When we left, we decided to take a longer drive home, through some country roads that we hadn’t traveled in a long time.  We were rewarded with the Red-tailed Hawk and American Kestrel that are pictured below.  This first photo of the red-tailed was shot with my 500mm lens and 1.4 teleconverter making it a total focal length of 700mm.

Red-tailed Hawk

This next photo was using my 100-400mm lens set at the 400mm focal length.  This image is heavily cropped.

Red-tailed Hawk

By the way, I believe this Red-tailed Hawk to be a light morph.  After the hawk flew, which I completely missed the shot, we continued towards San Angelo.  We came across this American Kestrel on a power line.  I only had time to grab my 7D with the 100-400mmlens.  I also had to crop this image extensively.

American Kestrel

So even though our primary ‘target’ was pretty well enveloped in drizzle, we still had a fun trip.  We will probably return to Miles later.  In the meantime, here is the total list for our little trip.  We should double it the next time.

  1. Northern Shoveler
  2. American Avocet
  3. Blue-winged Teal
  4. Killdeer
  5. Sandpipers (unidentified)
  6. Northern Harrier
  7. Gadwall
  8. Meadowlark
  9. Red-tailed Hawk
  10. American Kestrel
  11. Snow Goose
  12. Greater White-fronted Goose
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4 thoughts on “Damp Birding at Miles, Texas

    • I agree with you, Jolene. Overcast days are great for photography. No harsh shadows and the colors are really saturated. However this day the foggy atmosphere made distant bird identification difficult. The birds were also too far away for any decent photographs. Thanks for visiting and commenting. I hope you will return, Jolene.

  1. i also have trouble staying in on a rainy day, gray days are good for trumpeter swans as the dull light does not blow out the highlights :), glad to see you are not afraid of the gray, MJ

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