On Saturday March 17, San Angelo State Park had their new monthly birding
tour. I used to lead it until several months ago, when I gave up the job so someone else could take over. It took awhile to find someone to fulfill the position, so finally one of the park personnel, Ranger Jade, decided that he would give it a try. We met at 8:30 at the gatehouse and headed for the blind. Ranger Jade asked me to assist him as this was all new to him.
It went quite well. There were nine of us this time, but I think when the word gets out, there will be larger turn-outs. This time they made the birding tour part of a spring break celebration of sorts. They also had a nature tour, and a bison tour going on also. Because of this the birding was somewhat abbreviated. Most of the time was spent at the blind and with a quick drive by the lake to check out the water birds. We only saw 25 species. This is the complete list.
- Canyon Towhee 1
- White-crowned Sparrow 12
- Northern Mockinbird 12
- Yellow-headed Blackbird 1
- Red-winged Blackbird 13
- Phrrhuloxia 3
- Mourning Dove 6
- White-winged Dove 8
- House Finch 15
- House Sparrow 10
- American Avocet 3
- Northern Shoveler 50+
- Northern Harrier 1
- Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1
- Field Sparrow 1
- Vesper Sparrow 6
- European Starling 4
- Golden-fronted Woodpecker 2
- Killdeer 2
- Western Meadowlark 6
- Turkey Vulture 4
- Black-crested Titmouse 1
- Ring-necked Duck 1
- Barn Swallow 4
- Curve-billed Thrasher 1
Click on any image to see an enlargement. In the future the birding tours will be on a regular schedule of the third Saturday of each month, meeting at the South Gate at 8:30AM.
The Northern Cardinal is lovely! What a colour! I’m sure I saw that Field Sparrow in my own garden last week and I see the Curve-billed thrasher still looks angry!
Some nice photos here Bob! The birding tours look like fun! I’m very partial to the Curve-billed Thrashers as several of them live at my house. They’re very entertaining birds.
Thank you, Linda. Yes, the birding tours are really fun. Getting to meet a lot of other birders, like you did athe RGV Birding Festival..
Great shots as usual..Even the field sparrow is a delight. The Kinglet is awesome and so hard to see, let alone photograph. I love red to..this is one bird that says GO instead of stop. I think it grand that you are having tours and getting people involved in nature..we need more of it in the world..have a great eveing..
Thanks for your nice comment, Syl. You have a great night, too.
I really like the way the Ruby crowned Kinglet is camouflaged.
I must agree. Thanks for commmenting, Martina.
I especially like that thrasher image Bob. The only thrasher we get around here in any numbers is the Sage Thrasher – a species I love but they sure don’t have the dramatic bill that yours does. Our state parks are under-utilized too – a fact we don’t bemoan when we’re out shooting since we like the solitude. That said, our state parks need more support from the public, especially in these tough financial times.
I agree, the Sage Thrasher doesn’t seem to have the personality tha the Curve-billed does.
I know what you mean about the parks, Ron. It is nice to have no one around when I’m shooting, but then without any support the parks won’t exist long. A real catch-22.
I adore that kinglet! They are listed in my Michigan species book so I always hold out hope I’ll see on some day. (: Glad the tour went well Bob! It’s been days of 80 degree temps…. today will be almost 90! Loves! ~ Melissa
That one is only the second one that I ever saw. They are so tiny and quick. I hope your humidity doesn’t get as high as I know it can get there, if your temps stay in the 80s. :-)xo
My wavy hair is HUGE (:
Lovely images as always Bob. It was wonderful of you to help out Ranger Jade. The more people that get interested in birds and nature in general the brighter the future looks for all wildlife.
Thanks so much, Mia. I couldn’t agree with you more. You would be surprised to know how few people in this city have ever been to the state park. We are trying to correct that.
Bob, If the ruby is right above the beak, then I see a bit of it! If not, then I’m hallucinating. . .
Pretty little bird. 🙂
Sorry, Lynda, the ruby is on the crown of the head, and only shows when the kinglet is excited. Thanks for the comment.
Hahaha, Hallucinating then! 😉
Have you ever gotten a ruby-crowned kinglet with his little ruby showing? I have a couple but nothing outstanding. Those little guys never sit still! You got a nice pose, though
No, I have never been that lucky to get a shot with the ruby showing. You nailed the problem, they move too quickly, and hope you get the right shot. That’s how I got lucky with the pose. 🙂
Super photos Bob!! I bet birding tours are a lot of fun! Happy Spring!!!
Thanks, David. Yes, they are a lot of fun. Try one of you get the chance. 🙂
AAH! I love them! Look at that beautiful Cardinal!
Thanks so much for the comment. Please visit again, happymama. 🙂
Great shots Bob! I tried leading a nature group, we always had a few people sign up that didn’t know the meaning of quiet, then wondered why we never saw anything. Sounds like your group is quiet enough to see birds.
So far it has been pretty good. We try to discourage young children. In fact, the State Park advertises it as an Adult Birding Tour. But then, it seems every once in a while there is an adult that is louder than any little kid. Go figure. Thanks for the comment, Jerry.
Very nice work Bob, you must have been a fun leader with your wit and all! 🙂
Yes, it was a blast, H.J. Great fun!!
I may have to do some research and see if there are any birding tours in or near Atlanta. I think it’s great you used to lead the tours! I bet you were hard to replace! Love the photos, but especially the Northern Cardinal. Beautiful reds! Great and lovely post as always, Bob!
I’ll bet there are plenty of tours near there. Check with your state or national parks, or a local birding club, maybe an Audubon chapter. They’re great fun. Thanks for the great comment, Polly.
Polly – Atlanta Audubon leads many bird tours, and I think Chattahoochee does too.