Middle Concho Park Re-visited


Yesterday Ann and I decided to go back to Middle Concho Park to see if there was any action, now that we have had a little rain there.  One thing that impressed us was how green everything was.  That is what a couple of inches of rain can do.  There still wasn’t a heck of a lot of bird activity.  I guess we’re anxious for the fall migration.

However, we got lucky and spotted a Vermilion Flycatcher.  And even better, it sat long enough for me to get the big gun out of the back seat.  I had to lean against a tree so I could hand-hold it steady enough.  I knew I wouldn’t have time to set up a tripod, and I didn’t want to press my luck.  The bird looked a bit bedraggled and weather-beaten.

Vermilion Flycatcher

  • Canon EOS 7D
  • Canon 500mm IS lens with 1.4 tele-converter
  • 1/2000 sec. @ f5.6
  • ISO  800
  • Lens focal distance  700mm
  • Metering – partial
  • Shutter priority

On leaving the park, there is a marshy, wetland area.  Lots of reeds, cattails, water lilies.  I got out of the car to try to get some photos of the blossoms, when I spooked an American Bittern from the growth right in front of me.  He flew about 80 yards away but still stayed visible for me to get this shot.

American Bittern

  • Canon EOS 7D
  • Canon 100-400mm zoom lens
  • 1/2500 sec. @ f5.6 – minus 1/3 EV adjustment
  • ISO 400
  • Lens focal distance  400mm
  • Metering – spot
  • Shutter priority

After that little excitement, I went ahead and took this shot of one of the water lily blossooms.  They were all bright yellow, and the sun was beating down from almost overhead.  I would have prefered an overcast or cloudy sky, but I try to make do with what I have to work with.

Water Lily Blossom

  • Canon EOS 7D
  • Canon 100-400mm zoom lens
  • 1/2500 sec. @ f10 – minus 1/3 EV adjustment
  • ISO 400
  • Lens focal distance  190mm
  • Metering – spot
  • Shutter priority

After that, before coming home, we stopped at a new nearby restaurant, The Stillwater Bar and Grill.  It’s located right on the water.  We sat on the patio, enjoyed the scenery and had a fine lunch.  It was a nice way for us to cap off a nice morning.  Ann and I heartily recommend it if anybody is out that way.

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8 thoughts on “Middle Concho Park Re-visited

  1. Love the little red flycatcher! I don’t think we have anything like that around here. I can’t imagine hefting a lens like that and holding it steady without a tripod! Wow! (And I’ve never even seen one of those lenses in person – but they look big and heavy in the photos I’ve seen)

    • The Vermilion Flycatcher is pretty elusive. I only got as close as I did because I think he was stressed. At least he looks like it. It is difficult to hand-hold that lens. Leaning against a tree helped me. I wouldn’t have had time to set-up my tripod, as I would have liked to. Thanks for the comment, Karma.

  2. Ah..the infamous Vermilion Fylcatcher and fond memories of painting this tiny little bird while staying in the rest area south of Wickenburg AZ in our camp trailer…trying to find a place to live back in 89. I painted this little guy and posed every morning for me. I am trying to see if I have any photos of the original oil I did. Love the Bittern as just blends into nature..the water lily even though lighting was direct is lovely..take care..

    • We have several species of flycatchers here, but the Vermilion is my favorite because of the vivid red color. It is only seen in southwest Texas and southwest Arizona. Thanks for the comment, Ted.

  3. Knowing nothing of most birds I looked up the American Bittern and was amazed at the markings it uses for camouflage in the grass. I enjoy your ability to capture these birds and your knowledge of all their names. Glad you share with us. Lynda

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