Ah, The Surprises of Birding…….

One thing that I love about birding is that no outing is the same as another.  You never know what to expect.  You can go a few days and not see anything interesting, then the next day, you see several little surprises.

Today was a great example.  We had went out a bit Sunday, saw several of the usual residents, but nothing about them was interesting.  Today, since it looks like the last sunny day for awhile we decided to go spend a few hours looking for better photo opportunities than we had before.

The biggest surprise was coming upon this Cooper’s Hawk, enjoying a bath in shallow water.  This was something I had never seen before.  He would seemingly sit in the water for a bit, then start splashing around like a sparrow would.

Cooper's Hawk enjoying a little bath.

Cooper’s Hawk enjoying a little bath.

Cooper's Hawk, just splashing around.

Cooper’s Hawk, just splashing around.

Then as we drove into Spring Creek Park we remembered that we had seen an owl in a live oak tree previously, but dense foliage prevented any useful photograph.  Today, guess what!  He was waiting for us, sitting on an open branch posing for his portrait.  I was able to get my vehicle about 25 feet away and get several shots.  Ya gotta love them eyes. 🙂

Great Horned Owl portrait.

Great Horned Owl portrait.

Another bird that I have had extreme difficulty getting good close-ups of,  is the Belted Kingfisher.  Always the bird was too far away and as I would attempt a long shot, he would delightfully wink at me and head for another tree.  Today, I finally got a chance.  Our driving path took us closer to the water, and there he was, sitting on a branch over-hanging the creek and watching intently for a wet meal.  This was the closest that I had ever been, and I was sweating bullets when I got him in the view-finder.  Again, luck was with me and I was able to get this nice close-up plus a few others.

Belted Kingfisher watching for a meal.

Belted Kingfisher watching for a meal.

So even if you have a so-so day at birding, heck, get out there again as you never know what you will be confronted with.

If you reading this on your computer, click the images to see some very nice enlargements.

Happy Birding!!

28 thoughts on “Ah, The Surprises of Birding…….

  1. What a wonderful day! That is awesome you got to see the Cooper’s Hawk bathing! Thank you for sharing with us. The owl is fab, too. Their eyes are cool but I really love their feet! I’m glad you got a good shot of the kingfisher. We see them often when we are out fishing in our canoe, but they are forever swooping down to the water and then skimming across and back up again – they never stay still for a photo!

    • Yes, Amy, it was one of those really fun days. I couldn’t believe my eyes when we spotted that hawk in the water. As for the Kingfisheer, I have been trying for years to get a good close-up of one. As you know, they don’t stay still very long when they are on the hunt. As for the owl, we knew which tree he had been spending time, but he was always up in the dense foliage. This time he was right in front of me, sitting on a lower limb in the open.

    • I know what you mean, Dave. I break into a could sweat, try not to make any quick moves, as I carefully lift my camera to my eye, and hope that I can get off at least one shot.

  2. Super picture! I come toSan Angelo time after time hoping to get a pic of mr. Owl. From Annette Moellering, Midland, Tx

    Sent from my iPad


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