The Surprises Keep Coming……


After getting that amazing photo of the Bobcat, I was pretty sure that I wouldn’t be so lucky again for awhile.  However, the following day, Ann and I decided to go back for some serious birding.  We were very disappointed with the lack of birds.  Hey, isn’t this migrating time?  Where are the birds?  Hard to say, as I sure can’t predict the behavior of the avian community.

Anyway, on the way to Middle Concho Park, I decided to turn into a smaller area called Hot Water Slough Park.  The first thing I noticed was a large bird on the ground, and as we watched it flew up into a nearby tree.  Well, I’ll be danged if it wasn’t a Swainson’s Hawk.  I hurriedly tried to maneuver my car into a position so I could photograph it from my driver’s side window.  The bird co-operated and remained perched for me.  Had I tried to leave my vehicle, it would for sure have flown.

Swainson's Hawk

Swainson’s Hawk

We continued into Middle Concho Park, but nary was a bird to be seen.  We left there and decided to return to Spring Creek Park.  Again, there was a distinct lack of birds there, too.  However, we are pretty patient.  We cruised along the river bank and all of a sudden, Ann exclaimed, “There’s an owl”.  Wow!  It was a Great Horned Owl, and almost directly overhead.  As I again tried to maneuver my car for a vantage point, she said, “There’s another one!”  Sure enough, above and slightly left was another adult, but it was partially hidden in the branches.  I was able to get some nice shots of the first one.

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl

So even though there were few of the regular birds that make up the normal population, it was nice to see these nice surprises.

The very next day, we tried again.  Again, we were rewarded with another great surprise.  As we turned into Spring Creek Park, we came upon a large dead tree next to the river bank.  In past years, we had seen hawks, and other birds perched there, but usually it is empty of any bird life.  This time there was an Osprey sitting there.  One of the first of the winter season.  It was very close, as I again, was able to get my car into perfect shooting position.  The first image is from a spot where he was un-obstructed by branches.

Osprey

Osprey

After getting several shots from that spot, I moved a few yards and took the following photo.  Notice he is on the same branch, but I think this image looks a bit more natural.  I am undecided as to which one I like the best.

Osprey

Osprey

I hope you enjoyed this post and the photos.  There is a lesson to be heard here;  never give up as you never know what surprises may lie in the next tree.

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18 thoughts on “The Surprises Keep Coming……

  1. Great surprises you got! Some days the birds are really difficult to spot and other days are full of pleasant surprises…like these wonderful pictures will tell.

  2. All beautiful birds! What a great opportunity for you and Ann…glad she has sharp eyes and you have some major skills in maneuvering a vehicle! Well, there is some skill in that camera use, too! hugs

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