Green-tailed Towhee – 2nd chance


What a difference a day makes.  I went back out to the photography blind at San Angelo State Park yesterday to see if I could get a better exposed photo of the Green-tailed Towhee.  The sky was cloudy, but it wasn’t raining.  There was an abundance of birds to be seen, and the light was perfect.  There was this Canyon Towhee (Melozone fusca) eating seed that was put on this log.

Canyon Towhee

There also was this Lesser Goldfinch, (Carduelis psaltria), hanging sideways on a branch sticking out of the pond.

Lesser Goldfinch

How about a female Northern Cardinal, (Cardinalis cardinalis)

Northern Cardinal - female

Or a Pyrrhuloxia , Cardinalis sinuatus), a relative to the Northern Cardinal.

Pyrrhuloxia

Don’t you love the bokeh on the three above above photos?  A few minutes later about a dozen Northern Bobwhites, (Colinus virginianus) came running into the area.  What fun it was watching them scurry around.  This is a photo of one of the females.

Northern Bobwhite - female

Oh, lest I forget why I decided on this post, the Green-tailed Towhee, (pipilo chlorurus), finally made an appearance.  He flew in from the surrounding brush and made himself at home in this bird feeder.  I took this shot, then he was gone.  I haven’t seen him since.

Green-tailed Towhee

I hope you enjoyed looking at these photos.  I have this habit of wanting you to see all of my photos at once.  I don’t have any left for the next post.  So you know where I’ll be tomorrow.  There is no time to rest, but I must keep going to satisfy my readers. 🙂

All images were shot with my Canon EOS 7D with Canon 500mm lens, tripod mounted.  No tele-converter was used.

Click on any of the images to see an enlargement.  Have a Happy Super Bowl Weekend. 🙂

Green-tailed Towhee – Lifer 240


I had always been envious of some other parts of Texas, that had some birds that we didn’t have here in San Angelo.  Here in my area, depending on the time of year, we have 371 different species of birds, so I shouldn’t be disappointed.   But, as they say, the grass always look greener over the fence.

In far west Texas, they have great birds like the Scott’s Orioles, Montezuma Quail, etc.  In east Texas the have exotic shore birds, and the beautiful Green Jay.  But, I should be satisfied that I have 371 species to look for.  Anyway, one of those birds from the west got off course and flew in to visit for a few days.  It is the Green-tailed Towhee, (Pipilo chlorurus).

Yesterday morning I got an e-mail from a fellow bird photographer of mine, Bill Yeates, who had been to the bird blind at San Angelo State Park.  He had spotted, and photographed a Green-tailed Towhee.  I had to see this, so Ann and I set out this morning to see if this bird was still around.  If I could spot it, it would be number 240 on my life-list.

We got to the blind about 9:30, and we didn’t have to wait long.  Sure enough it made it’s appearance from the brush and grass near one of the trees.  In fact, it popped in and out of there about four times during our two-hour stay.  At that time of the morning, this time of year, the lighting in that blind is absolutely horrible.  The sun is fairly low and bright from the left.  This is why, as I mentioned in a previous post, I would rather have cloudy or overcast skies.

But as they say, if you get lemons, try to make lemonade.  I got several images and I was able to pick out these two that are reasonably acceptable.

Green-tailed Towhee

Green-tailed Towhee

These photos aren’t up to my usual standards, but I wanted to show another colorful and unusual bird that we have here in Texas.

Click on either image to see an enlargement.

Old House at Alpine, Texas


As most of you know, one of my favorite places to visit is the Big Bend area of west Texas.  It encompasses most of the area north of where the Rio Grande river goes southeast, the abruptly turns and goes northeast.  A large vee shaped area.  Alpine is about 80 miles north of the bottom of that vee, at an elevation of around 5000 feet.

North of town is a highway that goes north to Fort Davis, Texas.  Heading out of town a few mile you come upon this old abandoned farmhouse.  Over the years I had passed by, stopped for some photos, but as photogenic as the place looked, I could never come with an image that fit what I saw in my mind.

Finally, a year or two ago, there I was again.  This time I felt that I was going to finally get the right photograph.  I can’t say why I felt that, maybe it was the sky that was different, but I again set up my camera.  The top photo is the original.

Old House on the Prairie - original

Old House on the Prairie - final edit

I opted to crop it as you see in the bottom photo.  I then done some post editing in Photoshop Elements.  That was a couple of years ago and I really don’t remember what all I did to it.  But I like it. 🙂

Click photos to see enlargements.

Canon EOS7D with 24-105mm zoom lens.  1/400 sec. @ f8, ISO 400.