No that the fall and winter birds are starting to arrive, birding is getting exciting. It is always great fun, but when you have new birds to look for it really gets the adrenalin flowing.
This morning I am going to show you a few images from the past week or so. First up is this Pyrrhuloxia that I photographed at the blind at San Angelo State Park. These birds are often confused with the Northern Cardinal. One key thing I look for, if the bird is far away and I have difficulty making the ID, is that the Pyrrhuloxi has a yellow bill, whereas the Northern Cardinal has an orange bill.
On our trip to Abilene last week I managed to capture this image of our state bird, the Northern Mockingbird.
The Northern Mockingbird is one bird that I tend to ignore, as I do most others that are common and plentiful to the area. But they really have a distinct beauty about them.
Speaking of rather common birds. The Common Grackle comes to mind. But who says that even they can’t be beautiful. Witness the following photo that I captured Sunday morning. The light was perfect in catching the bluish hues of this “Bronzed Grackle” subspecies.
We saw several of these grackles, but that is an understatement. They were everywhere. But venturing into Middle Concho Park, we came across some Black-bellied Whistling Ducks. There were about twenty-five of them, but what was exciting was that there were also seven chicks among them. As we watched, the adults flew onto a shoreline close by, leaving the little ones in a little huddle in the middle of the water.
These little guys just huddled together for mutual protection. Also in Middle Concho Park, we spotted some Blue Jays high in a tree. For some reason or other, Blue Jays are quite plentiful in the San Angelo area this year. This image isn’t all that great, but I managed to reach it with my long lens.
We then drove over to Spring Creek Park, and got a big surprise and it was the highlight of the day.
We were driving along the edge of the woods, and Ann noticed something on the ground about one hundred and twenty yards ahead of us. We put the binoculars on it and discovered it was a Bobcat sitting and resting. I immediately stopped the car so I could think of a plan that to use to capture images of it.
First I turned the car to the right so I could get some distant shots from my drivers side window. After that I put the car in gear and started creeping farther along, trying to stay to the right, and to put a couple of trees in between me and the cat. After what seemed forever, I finally
got within better shooting distance, still about forty yards away. I didn’t want to get any closer for fear of spooking him. I managed to get several shots of him, sitting and or crouching. I had turned the engine off and Ann and I just sat there admiring this beautiful creature, before he ambled off to get some water in the nearby river. The above shot is one many that I got.
By the way, my equipment set-up is a Canon EOS 70D with a Tamron 150-600mm lens. I used it with all of my photos here. With this combination I can keep my distance from the birds or animals. I hate to put any stress on the wildlife I capture. I just like to get my photographs then leave them to their natural environment.
I love just getting out and driving and observing nature. If you take the time to look up or look around you, it is amazing what you might get the chance to see.
Enjoy the photos, and click on any of them to see enlargements.