Fun Birding with Bob and Ann

Did you hear the one about the drunkard that was standing on the beach throwing rocks at the seagulls?  When the cop asked him why he was doing that, the sot said, “I don’t want to leave any tern un-stoned”. 🙂

Boy, that is a great lead-in to my post today.  Around noon Saturday Suzanne Johnson called, said she was in town with her husband, Sid.  They had just been near Lake Nasworthy and told us there was a couple of Forster’s Terns (Sterna forsteri) out there on some buoys.  Well, you know me.  “Have camera, will travel”.  I grabbed my camera, then grabbed Ann and we headed out there.  Forster’s aren’t really common around here.

Sure enough, when we got there about 10 minutes later, we saw one of them.  It was a little far for a decent photo.  The one that I show here is one that I took a couple of years ago down at the water treatment ponds in Eldorado.

Forster's Tern

Since the weather was pretty nice, and since we were already there, we decided to check out the parks around the lakes and see what else might make a showing.  It turned out to be a fun afternoon.  Another highlight was seeing some Dark-eyed Juncos (Junco hyemalis). I am very familiar with the Juncos, but it was the first time I had ever seen them here in San Angelo.  Our local check list shows them to be uncommon here.

Dark-eyed Junco - slate-colored

For you interested birders, here is a complete list of the 30 species we saw Saturday afternoon.

  1. Forster’s Tern   1
  2. Mute Swan   1
  3. Ring-billed Gull   11
  4. American Coot   75+
  5. Northern Mockingbird   4
  6. Great Blue Heron   2
  7. Northern Shoveler   15
  8. Pied-billed Grebe   4
  9. Western Meadowlark   10
  10. House Finch   18
  11. Orange-crowned Warbler   1
  12. Dark-eyed Junco (slate)   12
  13. Cedar Waxwing   30
  14. White-crowned Sparrow   12
  15. White-winged Dove   10
  16. Northern Flicker   1
  17. Red-winged Blackbird   6
  18. American Goldfinch   14
  19. Eastern Bluebird   12
  20. Clay-colored Sparrow   12
  21. Yellow-rumped Warbler   6
  22. Golden-fronted Woodpecker   4
  23. Ladder-backed Woodpecker   1
  24. Double-crested Cormorant   20
  25. Eastern Phoebe   1
  26. Cinnamon Teal   3
  27. Great-tailed Grackle   1
  28. Great Egret   1
  29. Vermilion Flycatcher   1
  30. Ring-necked Duck   2

Camera used on both photos was my Canon EOS 7D with 500mm lens.

Forster’s Tern:  1/1250 sec @ f22, -0.3EV.  ISO 1250, partial metering, aperture priority.

Dark-eyed Junco:  1/400 sec @ f4, ISO 3200.  partial metering, aperture priority.

Click on either photo for an enlargement.

38 thoughts on “Fun Birding with Bob and Ann

    • Thanks, David. My favorite guide is The Stokes Field Guide to the Birds of Norh America. A great book with lots of photos and includes a CD of 600 bird sounds. I have several others including those have, but this one, in my opinion is so much better.

  1. Great birding day!!!! WOW! I have to say I even miss the red-winged blackbirds around here. I am so ready for spring! I love my winters but they do get old and I miss the regular birds.

  2. The number of species you see in one day flabbergasts me. Here I only see a few (on the farm I mean) so I am getting very interested in getting out and about to find more!

  3. I am amazed that you have the Dark-eyed Juncos in Texas as they are one of our favorite winter visitors here in Colorado..Great photo and they are such delightful little birds at the feeder. Terns we do not have either, but they certainly a grand looking bird with things to do and places to go. You are so fortunate to live where you see all these wonderful birds…Thanks so much for sharing as I do look forward to your daily posts..Bless and have a Super Sunday…

    • They are uncommon here. I was lucky to see them here, but for the post I used an image that was taken at a ranch about 40 miles south of San Angelo. The terns are not regular visitors to here either. Thank you so much for your comments, Syl.

    • Yes, it was another fun day, Mia. The Juncos are listed in our local checklists as being uncommon. I guess that is why I don’t see them more often. This particular image was actually shot at a ranch about 40 miles south of here. It was late in the evening and I was using an ISO of 3200.

  4. Bob, a question we saw a flock of what appeared to be sea gulls. They were sitting on the water and pier. We live in the Ft. Worth area. Of course I had left the camera at home. Could they have been sea gulls. Carolyn

    • Hi, Carolyn,
      In answer to your question, yes, they certainly could have been, and most likely that is what they were. We have many of them around here. Ours are officially Ringed-billed Gulls. They have a tiny dark ring around the end of their bill.
      Hope this helps. 🙂
      P.S. Any time you can get a picture, send it, and I can be more definite.

    • Thanks, John. I see that you have a sense of humor, too. 🙂

      P.S. I must be fortunate to live in such an area that it is so easy to see that many species. I would have seen more if I had looked around more, I’m sure.

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