Birding getting better…….


It must be the cooler temps that we have had the past few mornings.  Ann and I went out to the local parks for a few hours.  It might be my imagination, but there seemed to be more activity than we have had recently.  We saw 26 species.  Although not a great number, but it did include a few surprises.  A Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, three Yellow Warblers, a Carolina Wren, just to name a few that we don’t see everyday.

Here are some images that I managed to get.

Ann, my bride and spotter, saw this Green Heron across the water about 100 yards away.  I maneuvered our car around so I could park on the bank and shoot across the water.  The photo turned out great, thanks to my Canon EOS 7DmkII and my Tamron 150-600mm lens.  Heavily cropped, of course.

Green Heron

Green Heron

This Yellow-billed Cuckoo presented a challenge.  He and a companion were frolicking in the trees so I had to move the car several times to get into position, and he was far above my head..  For those of you who wonder why I didn’t get out of my car, the answer is that the birds don’t co-operate as well when I am visible.  The car makes an excellent bird blind.

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

We decided to drive out Spillway Road where we sometimes see nice bird activity.  Along the way, I spotted this juvenile male Painted Bunting.  I was disappointed that we didn’t see an adult male, but it was nice to be able to get this image.

juvenile male Painted Bunting

juvenile male Painted Bunting

Unfortunately the above three were the only acceptable (to me) images that I got.  Seeing 26 species doesn’t alway translate into photographs, I am sorry to say.  Most of the birds are either too far away, hidden in the trees, or flying by faster than I can get the camera off of my lap. :-)

In my best Arnold Schwarznegger voice, “Owl be bach”. :-)

Got my Windows 7….. Happy, happy


We had to return early from our Fort Davis trip.  A few medical problems, but nothing to worry about.  We’re both 100% healthy, but unfortunately I did not get great opportunities for photographs.  The great news is that my computer was ready from the shop with Windows 7 installed.  It is like getting a new computer.  I finished installing the pertinent software that I use for photo editing, etc, and I am ready to go.

In the past few days, we managed to get out to the local parks and obtained some images for you.  These are a few of the best.

This cute little Common Nighthawk was perched in plain view, although we almost missed him because he blended in so well.

Common Nighthawk

Common Nighthawk

I had a problem with this photo.  Initially I thought it was a Vesper Sparrow, which if it was, it would have been here way too early.  I posted it on FaceBook for opinions, and after much discussion, it was finally concluded that it is a Cassin’s Sparrow.

Cassin's Sparrow

Cassin’s Sparrow

When we drove out to Spring Creek Park we were fortunate to see this pair of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks with about eight little ducklings in tow.  What a cute family.  They were pretty far away so it was difficult to actually how many little ones there were.

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks with brood.

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks with brood.

Last, but now least, is the photo of a female Ladder-backed Woodpecker.  I think this my best to date of this species female.

female Ladder-backed Woodpecker

female Ladder-backed Woodpecker

I hope you enjoyed these images.  Now that temps are starting to cool a little bit, and with the upcoming migration season I hope to get many more.

A side note:  My 2016 calendars arrived, and I still have my beautiful DVDs.  If interested in either of them, mail a check for 25.00 to me at Bob Zeller, 4401 White Ash Ln, San Angelo, TX,  76904-4528.  I will send either of them by Priority Mail to you.  Also you may contact me at bobzeller@pobox.com.

Happy shooting, and Happy Birding. :-)

 

I’m still around….


In case you are wondering, with 27 (so far) days of temperatures between 105 and 106, needless to say I haven’t been getting out much.  I have decided to take advantage of this slow period by putting my computer in the shop.  I had been running Windows Vista, so I am up-grading to Windows 7. 

Also, we decided to go to the cool Davis Mountains of western Texas, to celebrate our 57th wedding anniversary.  Temps there are about 10-15 degrees cooler.  We are leaving Monday the 17th and coming back Thursday the 20th.  My computer will be ready then, I can get it set up with software loaded and hopefully be able to post before the end of the month.  I will try to have some new images from Fort Davis and it’s environs for you.

That’s it for now ’til then.

Happy Birding!

Nighthawk and a Roadrunner


102° today, the eleventh day of 100° or hotter.  The average here in San Angelo is 18 days per year of 100° days.  The record was in 2011 when we had 100, yes, that’s right, 100 days of 100° or more.  I hope we don’t break that record.

Anyway, we can’t stay in forever.  We do venture out sometimes earlier in the day, which was the case today.  We decided to take a drive through San Angelo State Park.  We saw the usual summer residents of sparrows, mockingbirds, etc.  Also, several quail scurrying through the deep grassy areas.  Of course, I was on the eye out for photo ops.

Driving out to the Isabel Harte section of the park, we spotted this Common Nighthawk.  On top of that, as I was taking this photo, Ann spotted another one on another tree branch about 20 yards away.  Of course, it flew before I had a chance at it.  I am always amazed at the camouflage of these birds.  It is so easy to miss them.

Common Nighthawk

Common Nighthawk

There wasn’t too much action after that.  The temp started climbing and most of the small birds that we saw, were looking stressed.  But as we decided to leave we spotted this Great Roadrunner in a tree.  It had just given chase, unsuccessfuly, to a Cactus Wren.  While it was resting and catching it’s wind from that, I was able to get this photo.

Greater Roadrunner

Greater Roadrunner

So that is it for this post.  I’ll probably try to make to the local city parks sometime during the upcoming week.  We’ll see what has been happening there.

Of course, it behooves me to also give you this update:

My new “World of Bob Zeller – Outdoor Photographer” DVDs are here. Outstanding collection with great sound track. 100 of my best images; birds, landscapes, and others.   Better than my book. Produced by DSTappan Productions of Knoxville, Tennessee. Price is 25.00 that includes Texas tax and shipping. Local residents only 20.00 if I can deliver it to you. I do business the old-fashioned way, just a handshake. You mail me a check to: Bob Zeller, 4401 White Ash Ln., San Angelo, TX 76904-4528, and I will get one shipped to you. Also, my phone is 325-944-1839 or e-mail me at bobzeller@pobox.com.  I have many references if you need.

It has gotten great reviews from the people that have purchased them.  If you purchase one and don’t like it, (highly unlikely, I think), I will return your money.

Thank you and happy birding!!

Photos and a DVD update.


Still pretty warm (hot) here and we are not getting out much.  The birds are laying pretty low, so I am getting caught up, going through old images, and resurrecting some.  Here is one that I came across that I captured in February and never before published to this blog.  Probably one of my favorites of a Northern Bobwhite.

Northern Bobwhite

Northern Bobwhite

Another February photo of a Black-crested Titmouse.

Black-crested Titmouse

Black-crested Titmouse

From April, an Osprey.

Osprey

Osprey

Recently, driving in the heat through Mary Lee Park here in San Angelo, I discovered that the Prairie Dogs are expanding there range away from the nature center there.  This little guy was eyeing me carefully as I drove by.

Black-tailed Prairie Dog

Black-tailed Prairie Dog

Click any image to see some great enlargements.

DVD UPDATE:

My new “World of Bob Zeller – Outdoor Photographer” DVDs are here. Outstanding collection with great sound track. 100 of my best images. Better than my book. Produced by DSTappan Productions of Knoxville, Tennessee. Price is 25.00 that includes Texas tax and shipping. Local San Angelo residents only 20.00 if I can deliver it to you. I do business the old-fashioned way, just a handshake. You mail me a check to: Bob Zeller, 4401 White Ash Ln., San Angelo, TX 76904-4528, and I will get one shipped to you. Also, my phone is 325-944-1839 and my e-mail is bobzeller@pobox.com.  I have many references as to my honesty if you are interested.

That’s all for now.  Happy Birding!!

 

Info on my DVD


IMG_3271-vol2dvd

I have been informed that first the shipment of my DVDs “The World of Bob Zeller – Outdoor Photographer”, will arrive by Monday or Tuesday.  I have seen the ‘proof’ copy.  I am amazed and I know that all of you will think it is awesome after you see it.  It is actually better than my book, as it contains 100 of my best photographic images, both birds, animals, landscapes and water lilies from the past few years.  Includes also, my bio and published credits.  BTW, the sound track is worth the price of admission.

Here is how to get your copy.  I do business the west Texas way.  With a handshake, in this case an e-handshake.  I can no longer afford the outrageous fees needed, so I do not accept credit cards, so please mail a check for 25.00, including shipping and applicable taxes, to me:  Bob Zeller, 4401 White Ash Ln., San Angelo, TX  76904-4528.  I will immediately ship you a copy by Priority Mail.  San Angelo residents the price is only 20.00 if I don’t need to ship.  I can deliver.

Give me your contact info: e-mail, mailing address, phone, etc..  If you prefer watching on a computer please specific a Windows PC edition.

If you don’t like it (and I highly doubt that) I will return your money.

I have been doing business this way for several years.  I have many loyal, trusting customers.

Thank you for your time.

Bob Zeller

Ph.  325-944-1839

E-mail:  bobzeller@pobox.com

The Dog Days of Summer


The temperatures around here in San Angelo have been hovering around the 100 degree mark or a little higher.  That means that it is best to stay in out of the heat.  That is what the birds and wildlife seem to be doing.  Ann and I have not been getting out too much, either.  But a couple of days ago we decided to stop binge-watching the seven seasons of “The Andy Griffith Show” and get out, if only to get some fresh air and stretch our legs.

At San Angelo State Park, this Northern Bobwhite presented a problem when trying to photograph it.  It’s was partially hidden, except when he was calling.  When he called he stretched his head up, and I could focus on his entire head.  So I patiently waited for the right moment, as the head was up for only a few seconds each time.

Northern Bobwhite sing to his mate.

Northern Bobwhite

Greater Roadrunner

Greater Roadrunner

Ash-throated Flycatcher

Ash-throated Flycatcher

At the ‘mudhole’ near Twin Buttes Reservoir there was a little more activity.

Northern Mockingbird

Northern Mockingbird

Killdeer

Killdeer

Blue Grosbeak - female

Blue Grosbeak – female

That’s it for now, until we decide to get out again.  By the way, another reason for not getting out is that I am in the act of getting a DVD produced.  It contains 100 of my best photographs, not only birds, but landscapes, flowers, etc.  The images are selected from the past few years, plus a great music tract.  It will be available in about two weeks.  I must say, I have seen the preview, and it is awesome.  I am very proud of it.

Well, time to see what that rascal kid, Opie, is up to now.  Season 2, episode 14. :-)