More about X-Bar Ranch Nature Retreat

Sunrise at X-Bar Ranch Nature Retreat

Click here for X-Bar Ranch Nature Retreat information.  Ann and I made a visit last week and spent a few days birding and photographing.   I had told you about it briefly in a post last week.  Here are some photos that I promised you. 
We spent most of our time around the lodge area, about 50 feet from the cabin that we stayed in.  It was amazing how many bird species that we saw in that tiny area.  We could have driven around the ranch on our own, but we will do that on another visit, as we were afraid of missing a new bird.
We were the only guests there, so we had the entire place to our own.  Stan Meador, the general manager, welcomed us and saw to our needs, then basically just left us alone.  Stan returned on Tuesday morning, and took us in his pickup truck for a tour of the ranch.
Besides the birding opportunities, there is hunting, hiking, biking, and camping.  As a matter of fact, Eddie Salter, a national champion turkey hunter and guide from Hunter’s Specialties had just finished filming a hunt to be shown in January 2012 on the Outdoor Channel.
At the bottom of this post I have listed the total species that we saw there.  Click on any photograph to see an enlargement.

Painted Bunting

Golden-fronted Woodpecker
Northern Mockingbird
Chipping Sparrow
Western Scrub Jay
House Finch in flight
Rufous-crowned Sparrow
Canyon Towhee
Northern Bobwhite
Happy Birding!!
Location:     X-Bar Ranch
Observation date:     4/18/11
Notes:     These are our observations at the Lodge April 18, 19, & 20th.<br>from
the north & south ends of the porch!
Number of species:     37
Northern Bobwhite     8
Wild Turkey     4
Turkey Vulture     6
American Kestrel     1
Eurasian Collared-Dove     2
White-winged Dove     6
Mourning Dove     10
Black-chinned Hummingbird     4
Golden-fronted Woodpecker     1
Eastern Phoebe     1
Eastern Kingbird     1
Western Scrub-Jay     7
Barn Swallow     2
Black-crested Titmouse     4
Bewick’s Wren     2
Hermit Thrush     2
Northern Mockingbird     6
Orange-crowned Warbler     2
Nashville Warbler     1
Yellow Warbler     2
Yellow-rumped Warbler     3
Spotted/Eastern Towhee     5
Rufous-crowned Sparrow     2
Canyon Towhee     2
Chipping Sparrow     6
Lark Sparrow     2
Savannah Sparrow     2
White-crowned Sparrow     2
Summer Tanager     3
Northern Cardinal     6
Pyrrhuloxia     1
Blue Grosbeak     1
Painted Bunting     4
Great-tailed Grackle     2
Brown-headed Cowbird     1
Scott’s Oriole     2
House Finch     10
House Sparrow     2

16 thoughts on “More about X-Bar Ranch Nature Retreat

  1. Bob, these are all fabulous catches, but my favorite is the House Finch in flight. That is nothing short of breathtaking! The definition in his wing feathers and his puffy cheeks are so well defined. Catching a sitting bird is hard enough for me, but one in flight is almost impossible. Practice, practice, practice! I’ll keep trying. ~ Lynda

  2. I have to agree with everyone else – amazing finch!! Thanks for sharing your settings in an above comment – I enjoy learning more about how great shots are made 🙂 And the sunset is lovely, too. It sounds like a lovely vacation.

    • Thanks, Holly. As I was telling Cindy, I just got lucky again. The finch was perched, but as I started to shoot he moved, so I just kept the hammer down. 1/2500 of a second at shutter priority. ISO 1000, 500mm with 1.4 extender attached to my Canon 7D, moounted on my tripod. I was up on a porch overlooking the shrub where the House Finch was located.

  3. Is sounds like an idyllic time, Bob. Your pictures are all so beautiful. I’m especially drawn to the house finch in flight: a view from above that is seldom seen, it is wonderfully sharp and very beautiful with the upturned wing tips. Bravo!

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