80 Degrees – Gotta Get Out


We just had to do it.  We had to take advantage of 80 degree high temps and get out and commune with nature.  Our little journey took us to the little parks out at Lake Nasworthy, here in San Angelo.  Among the highlights was a rarity and another lifer for me, a Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus).  However, I couldn’t add it to my list because, it seemes that somewhere I had already added it.  I don’t know how it happened because I knew I had never laid my eyes on it before.  It is a rare sight in San Angelo.  So now it is official and my life-list total still stands at 239.

Common Yellowthroat

Image via Wikipedia

We also saw another bird that really isn’t a rarity but is difficult to find and see, let alone try to photograph.  It was a Common Yellowthroat, (Geothlypis trichas).  It is a tiny bird that hides itself along creek banks or reeds, just peeking out momentarily before scooting back into the foliage.  Since you asked, no, I didn’t get the photograph, but I will perservere someday.  This pictures is courtesy of Wikipedia.  (He takes pretty good pictures, too.) 🙂

Photographs of the Red-headed Woodpecker and a Green-winged Teal, both gave me problems.  They were both terribly back-lit.  Too far away for a flash.  I boosted the EV but it wasn’t enough, so I had to resort to trying to correct them in Photoshop.  I think they are both acceptable, or I wouldn’t be publishing them here.

Red-headed Woodpecker

Green-winged Teal

Farther along our little tour I spotted this Great Blue Heron across the river.  I have this weakness for those herons and love to photograph them.  The lighting was much better so if it doesn’t look good, I have no excuse.

Great Blue Heron

We spent three hours driving through Spring Lake Park and Middle Concho Park.  We ended up seeing a total of 33 species during that time.

  1. American Coot   35
  2. Bufflehead   1
  3. Northern Mockingbird   4
  4. Blue Jay   1
  5. Pied-billed Grebe   7
  6. Double-crested Cormorants  20
  7. Northern Shovelers   24
  8. Cinnamon Teal   1
  9. European Starling   6
  10. Common Grackle   2
  11. Great-tailed Grackle   3
  12. Black-crested Titmouse   2
  13. Great Blue Heron   3
  14. Green-winged Teal   2
  15. Common Yellowthroat   1
  16. White-crowned Sparrow    4
  17. Yellow-rumped Warbler   6
  18. Northern Cardinal   1
  19. Ladder-backed Woodpecker   1
  20. Golden-fronted Woodpecker   3
  21. Red-headed Woodpecker   1
  22. Black Vulture   2
  23. Eastern Phoebe   3
  24. Western Meadowlark   10
  25. Red-winged Blackbird   6
  26. Eastern Bluebird   13
  27. House Finch   6
  28. Red-tailed Hawk   1
  29. Ring-billed Gull   101
  30. American Robin   18
  31. Cedar Waxwing   13
  32. Gadwall   10
  33. Osprey   1

Click on any image to see an enlargement.  Hope you enjoy. 🙂

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34 thoughts on “80 Degrees – Gotta Get Out

  1. Great pictures, Bob!

    Love the Common Yellowthroats, we have them nesting here in Ohio during the warm weather. They are rather elusive. And the Red-Headed Woodpecker reminds me fondly of my youth when I’d see them along the county roads on my many bike-hikes. I haven’t seen them in a long time, I need to go back where I used to see them and try to get a photo or two 🙂

  2. It was so warm here that our birds became confused. Walked out and a little sparrow was carrying thing up to a little bird house under the eve of our house to build a nest. Not quite so warm here today but not bad for January. 🙂 Carolyn

  3. 80 degrees! Wowee! It is snowing here. I’m not even seeing my feeder birds because I still need to replace the feeder since the squirrels destroyed it. I should take care of that so that I at least have the little feathered friends to enjoy in this weather. I have a weakness for the blue heron too – even though I’ve taken photos in the past, I can’t help but do it again when I see them!

    • Well, today it is getting back closer to our norm, about 65 degrees. We are having an exceptional nice winter so far, and I shouldn’t be talking about it, as I know the people in my home state of Michigan and the other northern state are having a pretty cold one.

      I’m glad you like the heron photo. Thanks, Karen. 🙂

  4. Cry me a river..80 degrees..we did manage 45 yesterday..but the sun is out and the birds are at the feeders today..so all is well in Colorado. Your pics are awesome as usual..I love the little yellow darling..but I too, favor the Herons..Enjoy your weather..we have snow coming again, but lots of wood in the stove..take care

    • I agree, I hope we both get to see more that will make good photographs. Mine was a bit scruffy, plus the original photo was all shadow. Ah, the miracles of Photoshop. 🙂

  5. What great fun, Bob! Loved the Green-winged Teal. It almost looks like a cartoon bird. Great green color! Lovely photos. 🙂

    • I don’t usually put Wiki photos on my blog. But in this case I did want to show what a beautiful bird I was missing. Thanks for the great words about the Blue Heron. I really appreciate it, Martina. 🙂

  6. You’ll get that common yellow throat someday Bob! It sure is beautiful.

    I saw a bald eagle today, but was driving down a busy and fast road…. most of my best bird moments are impossible to document.

    Also, I love your standard of quality. (I have no standards and plan on posting a ton of terrible shots tomorrow just to convey the moment. lol You’re an inspiring artist Bob.

    • p.s. it’s so damn cold now my knuckles are very red and swollen. Glad you guys were able to get out and enjoy the great weather.

      • I know the feeling. I remember once standing on the breakwater at Frankfort, MI, trying to photograph the crashing waves, and I could hardly hang on to the camera. Thank goodness for my camera strap. 🙂

    • I really appreciate your confidence in me and your encouragement. Wow!! you saw a Bald Eagle? Now I’m jealous. They are a rarity in my part of the state but plentiful in East Texas, but that’s about 300 miles away. I will be looking forward to your “terrible” shots tomorrow. I bet they aren’t half as bad as you say. I am glad I am an inspiration, Melissa.

  7. Looks like you had a great day of birding, Bob–happy to see you’re out and about. The Common Yellowthroat is an awfully pretty bird, but not very cooperative. I got my first last weekend, and it took 8 different shots from different angles to convince me a got that little masked bandit correctly ID’d.

  8. I always appreciate your pics, Bob. That’s one scruffy looking Red-headed Woodpecker, probably a juvenile. Glad you got to see it no matter how beat up it looked.

    We have snow, more on the way, and 11 degrees. I wish I were in TX.

    All the best,

    Bruce

    • You know what they say, “you can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your woodpeckers”. 🙂

      Thanks for your compliments and comments. I always appreciate them, Bruce. 🙂

      I don’t envy you guys with your winter weather.

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