Good day for birding on Friday

I had gotten an e-mail from a friend, saying that he had seen some Mississippi Kites along the Concho River downtown.  So after eating an early breakfast at Stango’s in town, we decided to prowl along the river to see if we could see one of the kites.  We got more than we expected.

First of all, we spotted a Coopers’s Hawk across the river.  I almost missed him as he was partly hidden from branches, but enough of him showed up in the early morning light.  Although a long way across, I tried to get him in my viewfinder and snapped of a few shots.  Fortuntely I was using my new Tamron 150-600mm lens.  I was at the extreme end at 600mm, and this is the result I got.

Cooper's Hawk

Cooper’s Hawk

We saw a Green Heron fly by us and settle down by the water, so we followed it and stopped along the road.  I got out of the car and walked closer to the shore.  It was across the water about 100 yards away.  Again, the Tamron lens came through for me.

Green Heron

Green Heron

We saw a couple of Great Blue Herons, but I didn’t like the images.  They were too contrasty in the light.  Oh yes, we did see a couple of Mississippi Kites, but they were too far away, even for my long lens.

We then decided to head to Spring Creek Park, where we had previously seen the Blue-gray Gnatcatchers.  They had decided to fly elsewhere, but we saw another Eastern Phoebe.

Eastern Phoebe

Eastern Phoebe

Then we came across another bird, that we thought was another phoebe.  I took several photos of it, and only after we got home and I was able to enlarge the image for a closer look, did I discover it was an Eastern Wood Pewee.  You can see the similarities.

Eastern Wood Pewee

Eastern Wood Pewee

After that we drove down near where the river gets wider.  Ann saw this larger heron type bird fly across us and land near the the opposite shore.  At first, I thought it was another Great Blue Heron, when it flew over the car.  An illusion of course, as it turned out to be a smaller juvenile Yellow-crowned Night Heron.  Unfortunately, it was right next to a piece of trash, and it wasn’t going to walk around it.  Neither could I figure out how to remove such a large portion of the photo, so I just decided to leave it as.

1st year Yellow-crowned Night Heron

1st year Yellow-crowned Night Heron

Leaving that park, we headed over to Middle Concho Park, actually just on the other side of the river.  There wasn’t much going on there, except this little Black-crested Titmouse in a small tree.

Black-crested Titmouse

Black-crested Titmouse

We will be going out this weekend for more fun and birding so stay tuned for whatever we may come across.  Click on any image to see enlargements.

20 thoughts on “Good day for birding on Friday

  1. All lovely images but I found something particularly sweet about the black-crested titmouse. I am forever getting the phoebes and peewees mixed up when we are in the northwoods! (I was also interested in your advice to Sheila, I may try that myself with my little Canon. 🙂 ) Glad you had such a great day, Bob!

  2. Great shots! Aren’t those flycatchers the darndest especially this time of year. Love the Juvenile Yellow-Crowned, I’ve never seen a youngster. Thanks for posting. 🙂

  3. Hi Bpb, We met at So Llano State Park. I just got my 150/600 Tamron lens yesterday to use on my Canpn 70d. Can you recommend any camera setting that would be beneficial?

    Thanks so much!!! Sheila

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Hi Sheila. What works for me is that I use most of the time Aperture Priority, sometime Shutter Priority. But for AV (aperture priority) I usually set it at around f6.5 or f7.1. Thats on the average. On a darker day, I may shoot at f5.0 or f5.6. I have also found recently that instead of using Auto ISO, I have been getting great results at just setting the ISO at about 1250 or 1000. The noise is minimal there and my exposures are looking good. With AUTO ISO I was getting mixed results, sometimes under-exposed and sometime over-exposed.
      Of course, you can experiment and see which works best for you.

      When I use Shutter Priority, I set the shutter at a minimum of 1/1000 second.

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