Amazing After Easter Birding Images

Tuesday dawned as a beautiful day.  Winds calm, temperature balmy.  A perfect day to get out and do some early birding.  A friend of mine wanted to go birding for the first time, to see what this hobby/pastime was all about.  I will simply call him John Smith as that is his real name.  I picked him up at his house about 8:45AM and away we went.  I took him on the usual tour that Ann and always make.  Ann, by the way, had to stay home and catch up on wifely chores, laundry, ironing, cleaning and the like.

Osprey in tree.

Osprey in tree.

We headed for Middle Concho Park and before we got there we had already seen about 7 species, including the Osprey pictured above, sitting on a tree branch overlooking a pond near Lake Nasworthy.  I think it was the same Osprey that I had photographed a few days ago, as it was on or near the same branch, but positioned slightly different for a better exposure.  (Click on any picture to see an enlargement.)

Ped-billed Grebe

Pied-billed Grebe

Inside the park, we were surprised that the parks department had already had the place cleaned up from the hordes of people that cluttered the place over the Easter weekend.  We immediately saw plenty of birds, woodpeckers, grackles and even a Ruby-crowned Kinglet flitting in a small Live Oak.  Along the shoreline we saw the above pictured Pied-billed Grebe.  I love those little guys.  They seem to be smiling and having a good time.  A little farther along we saw the first of the season, for me, some Blue-winged Teals.

Blue-winged Teal

Blue-winged Teal

"The water sure is cold.""And deep, too."

“The water sure is cold.”
“And deep, too.”

We then proceed to leave Middle Concho Park and head over to Spring Creek Park.  It is actually just across the river, but with no bridge, you have to drive an approximate 7 mile trip around the lake.

Vermilion Flycatcher in tree.

Vermilion Flycatcher in mesquite tree.

Will driving in that park, we saw a Vermilion Flycatcher in front of us.  I didn’t have room, or the time, to maneuver the car so this photo was taken through the car.  I now am driving a brand new Ford Escape, and for some reason or other I had an easier time of getting a good focus through the glass.

Wilson;'s Snipe

Wilson’s Snipe

We proceeded to get a little closer to the shoreline, and as I drove, I told John that it would be nice to see a Wilson’s Snipe, since the habitat in that area was shallow and muddy.  Sure enough, I had hardly spoken when we spotted two of them.

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks

As if seeing the snipes was surprising enough, just a few minutes later, we saw thes Black-bellied Whistling Ducks.  So we had a really fun day.  John said he was hooked on birding and is chomping at the bit to do it again.  We ended up seeing a total of 36 species.  If you are interested, here are all of them listed.

  1. Pied-billed Grebe
  2. Ring-necked Duck
  3. European Starling
  4. Great Blue Heron
  5. Killdeer
  6. American Coot
  7. Blue-winged Teal
  8. Double-crested Cormorant
  9. House Finch
  10. Ladder-backed Woodpecker
  11. White-winged Dove
  12. Mourning Dove
  13. Osprey
  14. Red-winged Blackbird
  15. Curve-billed Thrasher
  16. Golden-fronted Woodpecker
  17. Chipping Sparrow
  18. Black Vulture
  19. Neotropic Cormorant
  20. Black-bellied Whistling Duck
  21. Wilson’s Snipe
  22. Wild Turkey
  23. Mallard
  24. Northern Shoveler
  25. Cinnamon Teal
  26. Gadwall
  27. Belted Kingfisher
  28. Northern Mockingbird
  29. Northern Cardinal
  30. Vermilion Flycatcher
  31. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  32. Red-tailed Hawk
  33. Barn Swallow
  34. Rock Wren
  35. Swainson’s Hawk
  36. Great-tailed Grackle