Great Horned Owlets and others.


 

Click on the title to see more photos and read the complete narrative.

On Saturday morning Ann and I decided to visit the blind at San Angelo State Park.  We had wanted to go to our favorite local parks near Lake Nasworthy but knew that they would be crowded with weekenders, campers, hikers, bikers, etc.  That mix makes for not very good birding.

At the blind, there were a few other friendly birders and we enjoyed our little outing there very much.  We saw a good variety of birds plus a Bobcat that made a very brief appearance.  When that happened, it was so quick that no one had a chance to bring up the camera.  The bobcat had instantly sensed humans and quickly turned tail and ran.  Here are a couple of images of some Northern Bobwhites.

pair of Northern Bobwhites.  Red-winged Blackbird in the background.

pair of Northern Bobwhites. Red-winged Blackbird in the background.

Northern Bobwhite

Northern Bobwhite

One of the other birders in the blind was Michelle Sundeen, the same lady that had told me about the Sandhill Cranes that were seen north of town several weeks ago.  This time she told me and Ann about a couple of owlets that she had discovered at Spring Creek Park.  She gave us the directions to locate the little birds.

After leaving the blind, we decided to make a quick little drive around the State Park before heading to see the owlets.

Cactus Wren

Cactus Wren

As we drove through one area we were hearing a Cactus Wren at a distance but we were unable to see it.  Finally, we saw a bird sitting on a branch far away, so far that it was merely a dot.  With binoculars we could make out the shape and thought it was the wren we were hearing.  But with it being so far away and backlit, I tried to get a photo to use for identification.  I had my Canon 70D and the Tamron 150-600mm lens.  Of course, the bird was on Ann’s side of the car.  I had to lean across her and hand-hold the camera to get the shot.  I really thougth I had no chance of getting anything usable, but I got lucky and the result is the above photograph.  Of course, I had to lighten it up first to see what I had, then tweak the sharpening quite a bit, not to mention cropping very severely.  What a credit to that new lens.

Next along the way was a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, this time on my side of the car, and much closer.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

Now, on to Spring Creek Park.  Fortunately, when we got there, there were no people in the area where we were to look for the owlets.  Michelle had told us about a large tree, and the owlets were nestled in the crook of it.  We parked the car and got out to walk around.  It didn’t take long to find the tree and sure enough, this is what we found.

Great Horned Owlets

Great Horned Owlets

They were about twenty feet from the ground.  I had my camera and long lens on a tripod about thirty feet from the tree.  They were very aware of me, never taking their eyes off of me.  I also knew that somewhere, an adult was probably watching me like a hawk, er, I mean an owl.  Ann and I looked around, and there it was.  He (or she) was about thirty-five feet up, with a good vantage point, watching to make sure I didn’t make any aggressive moves toward the little ones.  Here is a shot of the adult.

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl

I hope you enjoyed my telling you about our little adventure.  Click on the photos for enlargement.  Enjoy.

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13 thoughts on “Great Horned Owlets and others.

  1. Hey Bob, think those are the same ones we saw awhile back? I’m hoping they are a different set… love to see the population increase here : )

  2. I did enjoy your little adventure quite a lot!! We have seen bobcats on several occasions in the northwoods – they sure are quick to disappear! One evening we saw two while driving, which was pretty incredible, but no photo opportunities, of course.

    These owl pictures are just amazing. I love the looks on all the faces, especially the parent watching you with one eye open! That scissor-tailed flycatcher is calendar worthy!

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