‘Twas the day after Christmas……


And my true love said to me……  “Hey, lets go birding.”  Actually, we went birding Christmas Day, too, but didn’t spend much time.  The nice thing that we discovered was, hey, the winter birds are showing up.  Finally.  We had begun to think that they had by-passed San Angelo and the Concho Valley.

Today, we only spent two hours and twenty minutes.  But in that short period we saw 42 species.  It started immediately when we left the house, spotting a Blue Jay in a tree in our own yard, then see a Wilson’s Snipe in a wet area just a block from home.

We kept on going, heading for Middle Concho Park, then after that heading over to Spring Creek Park.  It seemed that there were birds everywhere.  That 42 total could have been higher, because there were a few that we saw yesterday that we didn’t see today.  Our personal record for birds seen in one day is 44, so we came close to breaking it.

Here are photographic highlights.

Bewick's Wren

Bewick’s Wren

The above photo of the Bewick’s wren was captured yesterday.

Eastern Phoebe

Eastern Phoebe

I think this is the best photo of an Eastern Phoebe that I have ever gotten.  I was able to get pretty close.

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl

This Great Horned Owl never did open his eyes, during the fifteen minutes trying to get his photo.  I can’t blame him, it was a gorgeous day, sunny and no wind.

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

The Red-tailed Hawk was about 250 yards away across the river.  Almost out of range but I was able to get this image.  I had to crop it extensively to get this much.

Redhead - female

Redhead – female

We spotted this female Redhead duck, but didn’t see the male anywhere.  Nice looking duck, but not as pretty as the male.  But that is the case of most ducks.

Here is a complete list of the birds we saw this December 26, 2013.

  1. Wilson’s Snipe
  2. Northern Mockingbird
  3. White-winged Dove
  4. Blue Jay
  5. Inca Dove
  6. American Coot
  7. Pyrrhuloxia
  8. Great Blue Heron
  9. House Finch
  10. Golden-fronted Woodpecker
  11. Northern Shoveler
  12. Eared Grebe
  13. Double-crested Cormorant
  14. Western Meadowlark
  15. European Starling
  16. Black Vulture
  17. Great Egret
  18. Eastern Phoebe
  19. Mallard
  20. Pied-billed Grebe
  21. Bufflehead
  22. Eastern Bluebird
  23. Vermilion Flycatcher
  24. Spotted Sandpiper
  25. Great-tailed Grackle
  26. Yellow-rumped Warbler
  27. Northen Harrier
  28. Red-tailed Haek
  29. Ring-billed Gull
  30. Gadwall
  31. Killdeer
  32. Belted Kingfisher
  33. Osprey
  34. Northern Cardinal
  35. Great Horned Owl
  36. Ladder-backed Woodpecker
  37. Green-winged Teal
  38. White-crowned Sparrow
  39. Black-crested Titmouse
  40. House Sparrow
  41. Mute Swan
  42. Redhead
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24 thoughts on “‘Twas the day after Christmas……

  1. Adorable image of the Bewick’s Wren, Bob. Love the leading line that the eye stripe creates.

    Have a safe and Happy New Year’s celebration and will catch up with you in 2014.

  2. Jeez Bob that is some list! And as usual the photos are spot on! The shot of the Red Tail is amazingly sharp for being so far away. I hope you and your wife had a wonderful Christmas and all the best for the new year!

  3. The Wren and the Phoebe are such cuties! Great photos, especially because I don’t imagine either of them stay still for long! That sounds like a great couple of hours. Lovely as always to see your pics, Bob!

  4. I must say I’m rather jealous of the Pyrrhuloxia, that and the Redhead and Buffleheads. Glad to hear the birds are finally showing up out there. They are apparently all hanging out over here on the Gulf Coast…

    We had an extraordinary siting on our hummingbird feeder that we put out Thanksgiving Day (per your urging). Until the other day, we’d not seen a single hummer visit the feeder. Not only did ONE come to dine, on Christmas Day, but another showed up as well — Rufous!! Scottie spotted them and they stayed long enough for us to get a good long look, but not long enough to allow me time to get the camera. Drat.

    Add to our Christmas Day sighting, we also had three new warbler varieties and the American Goldfinch (a first in our 7 years here). Scottie quickly logged them in his birding journal (which he got from Santa). In just 20 minutes time, he wrote down 15 species that were on our back porch alone. He beat his personal record of 27 birds in one day to log 34. Watch out Bob — looks like Scottie may catch up with you.

    Have a trip planned down to the coastline for New Year’s Day. Looking forward to seeing what the salt water marshes bring us for our life lists. Cheers, Bob and Ann!

    • Thanks so much for you great comment, Shannon.
      I wish that Redhead would have been the male. So much prettier. The Buffleheads are real cuties.

      I am jealous of your hummingbirds. We get very few at our feeder, but we really don’t have the proper bushes, shrubs, etc. to really draw them to our house. We intend to plant some more stuff though.

      I do know that you will now be adding to your life list. I am so happy that you are getting more involved in birding along with Scottie. You should be able to add several more on your New Years Day trip.

      Cheers back at ya.

    • Yes, Alison, today was a fun day. Glad you like the wren photo. As you say, it is tough to photograph the really tiny birds, but I love the challenge. You should see all of them that I throw away. 🙂

  5. Bewick’s Wren is such a pretty little bird..and I love the Easter Phoebe. Owl is marvelous and the Redhead Duck is lovely..Glad your birds are arriving..means more pics for all of us to see..Hope Christmas was good and now we can focus on 2014…

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