Wanting to do some birding at a different venue for a change, Ann and I, along with Carl Williams, our neighbor, headed south to Junction, Texas and the South Llano River State Park. About ninety miles from here, it took about an hour and a half to get there. The weather was beautiful for us. Mild temps and high thin overcast to diffuse the sun, and prevent those nasty harsh, contrasty shadows that us photographers dislike.
We knew that we would see some birds that we don’t usually see here in at the areas we frequent. We were not disappointed. SLRSP has four different walk-in bird blinds. They are small buildings, with windows, and will seat up to a dozen people. We checked out all four, and although a park host told us that there were few birds, we saw thirty one species. All in a time frame of just over three hours.
I left my big 500mm lens home, opting to use exclusively my new Tamron 150-600mm lens. Again, I was impressed. I set the camera to Aperture Priority, using an opening of f7.1, and auto everything else. My Canon EOS 70D performed it’s job as advertised. I had nearly no bad exposures at all. Also, I took most of my images with the lens extended to the 600mm maximum. Here are some my efforts. All images have been edited and cropped for composition
Enjoy the images and click on any of them to see enlargements.
Update to my Big Year list. Total now 109.
#97. Cedar Waxwing
#98. Vesper Sparrow
#100. Black-throated Sparrow
#101. Song Sparrow
#102. Hermit Thrush
#103. Western Scrub Jay
#104. Carolina Chickadee
#105. Fox Sparrow
#106. Pine Siskin
#107. Brown Thrasher
#108. Field Sparrow
#109. Lincoln’s Sparrow
Wow, what a stunning set of photos, Bob! I always love your photos but I think you’ve excelled yourself! I love the towhee especially – what beautiful plumage and eyes. 31 species in 3 hours – that is incredible! 🙂 I’m so glad to see you’re getting better opportunities for photography now.
Thanks so very much, Jo. I am glad, too, that our weather has improved, and I hope yours is getting better, too. I appreciate your kind words about my photos, and I believe they are getting better because of my new camera, the 70D, and the new Tamron 150-600mm zoom. That lens is awesome, I can’t say enough about it. 🙂
I was reading this yesterday and got called away… Looks like the Tamron lens could be a “must” for Texas. If I don’t have to buy a new car first. I’ll keep my hopes up. Looking forward to seeing Scrub Jays and Black-Throated Sparrows again. Great shots!
Thanks so much for your comment, Lisa. I hope you see these and many others during your Texas trip. 🙂
Enjoyed the pictures, Bob. I like to read the settings you use. Gives me something to experiment with. Sounds like you had a pretty good day.
Thanks, Dave. As for my settings, most of the time I just shoot in AV (aperture priority). For birds it is usually pretty much wide open, f5/6,f6.3, etc. The camera usually gives me the right shutter speed. Then it auto-ISO, auto-white balance. I don’t deviate unless I have to adjust the EV for bright, or real dark subjects. I like to keep it simple so I can concentrate on getting the photo.
ooh, those are some nice detailed photos. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a black throated sparrow before.
Thanks, Jason. Give credit to my new lens, plus some nice editing. 🙂 About the Black-throated Sparrow, I think their range in Texas is mostly in the western half.
Great photos, Bob. I think you are so talented you would have the best birding blog with a Brownie Camera.
Thanks, Jim, I appreciate that great compliment. 🙂
Many thanks, Rob.
SLRSP is a gem of a state park. Incredible volunteers, great staff, and wonderful bird blinds. SASP could take some lessons… Great shooting, Bob.
Thanks, Jim. I had been there a couple of years ago. Yesterday the light was fantastic and that made it all the more enjoyable. I’m looking forward to going back in a few weeks.
Thanks, terraburrah. I know what you mean. 🙂
delightful portfolio of birds..each one has its own characteristics and personalities. awesome!!
Thank you, Syl. I am very pleased with this collection, too. The light was perfect and it made all the difference.
Wow again! Beauties galore! You hit the jackpot with that Tamron lens Bobby! 🙂
Many thanks, H.J. A great combination of camera, lens, and great light. 🙂
Beautiful collection, Bob. That lens is working nicely for you. Often when I use my shorter lens (70-300) I have to get closer, disturb the birds and they fly away.
Thanks, Jane. It helps when one can get farther away. But you use what you have and hope for good results.
Love that bluebird. When I saw my first bluebird, several years ago, my heart sang for the rest of the day. 🙂
Thanks, terraburrah. I know what you mean. 🙂