Birding South Llano River State Park

On Wednesday, Ann and I, along with our neighbor friend, Carl Williams, set out for the South Llano River State Park near Junction, Texas.  A distance of about 100 miles, we covered it nicely in about an hour and a half.  Before I get into the photos from the park, I want to mention the Red-tailed Hawk that I photographed on the way.  We were cruising along about 75mph when we saw the hawk sitting on a wire fence.  I whipped the car into the left lane, drove to the next turn-around and came back around.  As we pulled up to the hawk that was still sitting on the fence, it noticed that Ole Bob was coming with his camera.  He figured he would look better on that stub of a tree branch, even though he was going to get windblown.  The gusts were about 35mph at that time.  I remembered to thank him before I drove off, after I got a few nice photos.

Red-tailed Hawk.

Red-tailed Hawk.

South Llano River State Park is relatively small, only about 200 acres, consisting of many, many oak trees.  It is a popular camping area, but also has four bird blinds and is considered one of the better birding areas.  We decided that we wanted to visit each blind.  I think we spent a total of three hours there and saw thirty-two species in all.  We missed some nice ones, like the Lazuli Bunting, Painted Bunting, and Indigo Bunting.  Some other birders said that those three were around just before we got there.  But it is early yet so we will probably go back in another two or three weeks.

Here are a few images of some that we did see.  They can be viewed best if you will go to the blog, then you can click the images and see some beautiful enlargements.

Summer Tanager - male

Summer Tanager – male

Summer Tanager - female

Summer Tanager – female

The next photo is one of my personal favorites.  The Yellow-rumped Warblers consists of two sub-species, the ‘Myrtle’ and the ‘Audubon’s’.  This image is an Audubon.

Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's)

Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon’s)

What would a birding trip be with out a bunch of sparrows.  Here are three that we encountered in the park.

Black-throated Sparrow

Black-throated Sparrow

Field Sparrow

Field Sparrow

Lark Sparrow

Lark Sparrow

Then last, but not least is the ever-popular Spotted Towhee.

Spotted Towhee

Spotted Towhee

That does it for photos on this post.  I got a few others that I may post later, and I got a lot of throwaways that will never see the light of a computer monitor.

Update on Texas Big Year list:

#141  Neotropic Cormorant

#142 Little Blue Heron

#143  Wilson’s Phalarope

#144  Western Kingbird

#145  Summer Tanager

See complete list on my blog.


18 thoughts on “Birding South Llano River State Park

  1. Gorgeous birds, Bob – even the sparrows are pretty. Lovely shots of the Summer Tanagers. That Red-tailed Hawk certainly must have seen you coming! I’m only surprised that the birds aren’t forming an orderly queue at your back door, ready for their profile shots! 🙂

  2. lovly birds, we just got back from videoing and taking pictures of nesting great blue herons, never get tired of seeing them. got some great shots we plan on going back when the babies are big enough to be seen. awesome nesting sigh so close to the road and a nice pull over place they made.

  3. Isn’t it nice when a bird cooperates and poses so nicely? 🙂 That male summer tanager is eye-popping! I find the female to be quite pretty, too. Love how you caught the towhee with the seed in its mouth. Great photos, all, Bob!

  4. Looks like you struck gold at South Llano, Bob. Your photos are really beautiful, sharp, and well composed. By the way, were these taken at 600 mm with your new Tamron lens? (I couldn’t find EXIF data on your images.) If so, you’ve got that lens down pat.

    • Thanks, Dwynn. They were all taken with my 150-600mm lens, and most of them were at the 600mm range. I have my 500mm for sale. I just don’t use it any more. I can’t explain why my EXIF doesn’t appear. It may have something to do with the fact that CanonRaw idoesn’t recognize my 70D in my version of PS. I need to install Windows 8 and Lightroom or get PS on the cloud. So I have to use FastStone Image to convert my raw images. I guess I am going to have to publish my data again. I don’t know who is playing games, Adobe or Canon, but it makes it hard on the consumers. It’s too bad, as the Canon 70D is a great camera. As good, or better in some things than my 7Ds were. I sold them by the way.

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