‘Twas the days after Christmas……


I hope all of my readers around the world had a very happy Christmas.  Ann and I did.  We did what we love to do.  We went birding.  We are alone.  No children and nearest relatives over 1,000 miles away.  Our best friends live a bit farther.  But we have no complaints, as we enjoy each other’s company.

So anyway, the weather Christmas was absolutely beautiful  We first ventured to two local parks near Lake Nasworthy.  When I say local, I don’t mean that they are in the middle of town.  More likely they are at the edge of town, out towards our airport.  But since our home is near that edge of town, these parks are just minutes away.  They abound with wildlife; birds, water fowl, wild turkey, and bobcats, etc.

Today, Sunday, I will post here a few of the images that I have gotten the past few days, including Christmas Day and the days after.

This Song Sparrow was in the reeds along the lake.  It looked pretty tiny in my viewfinder.  But I was using my Canon 7D Mark II and a Tamron 150-600mm lens.  I shoot using spot focusing and if I can get that tiny dot on a bird, I can get some good results, images sharp enough that I can crop close for photos like this.  By the way, you can click on any image to see nice enlargements.

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow

There were plenty of meadowlarks around.  Again, they prefer showing me  their backside instead of their beautiful yellow breasts.

Western Meadowlark

Western Meadowlark

The Blue-gray Gnatcatchers are rare around here this time of year, but they do sometimes make appearances.  This one was with a group of three, and I had a challenge to get photos.  They were flitting all over the place.  I finally got out of the car and was trying to get shots over the hood.  After a about twenty-five, or more, efforts this was the best of the bunch.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

At the southern end of Spring Creek Park is a small narrow cove.  It was there that Ann and I spotted three Black-crowned Night Herons, one adult and two juveniles.  They were across the water, about 200 yards away.  This juvenile was the only one that I could get a clear open shot.

Black-crowned Night Heron

Black-crowned Night Heron – juvenile

Co-incidentally, at the northern end of Middle Concho Park, there is another little cove.  This one much smaller and narrower.  As we were driving along the nearer edge, this Wilson’s Snipe startled me, flew up and across to the far side.  I was able to see where it landed and was able to get some photos, from about 50 yards.  They are little cuties, and I love to photograph them.

Wilson's Snipe

Wilson’s Snipe

Back to driving along the brush line in Spring Creek Park, we came across some more Ruby-crowned Kinglets.  It seems that I have seen more kinglets this year than in the past.  They, like the gnatcatchers, are quick and flighty, never sitting still.  I got lucky again and got this capture.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

A Northern Flicker in one of it’s favorite perches.  High above on a dead tree.

 

Northern Flicker - red-shafted variety.

Northern Flicker – red-shafted variety.

I will end this post with this delightful photo of one of my favorite little birds.  The Eastern Phoebe.

Eastern Phoebe

Eastern Phoebe

I do hope you enjoyed these photos from our Christmas weekend.  The weather here in San Angelo is going to have big changes the next couple of days, so I don’t know when I will get out again.  But if the sun shines, and there is no winds to speak of, it can be beautiful even if the temperatures get down real low.  I will be watching for opportunities.

My 2015 list didn’t make the goal of 210 that I had hoped for.  We are still a 185, with the prospects of adding more pretty small.  Too many medical issues kept me in for part of the year.  But in about a week, 2016 will begin with new hopes for a longer list.

I hope to publish another post before the end of the year.

Til then, Happy Birding!

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14 thoughts on “‘Twas the days after Christmas……

  1. Beautiful images as always, Bob. Really like the Eastern Phoebe. Glad that you had a good Christmas and a very Happy New Year to you & Ann. Looking forward to visiting in late January and thank you again so very much.

    • Thanks, Dave. I hope you are enjoying yourself down there in south Texas. Someday, you need to get to west Texas and to the Big Bend. You don’t know what you are missing. Happy New Year!

  2. Belated Christmas greetings to you and Ann. I got really lazy and curled up with some good reading.Who knows what you will spot before the end of the year but as a new one approaches i wish you happy beginnings.

  3. Good photos of those flighty little birds! Glad you got as close to your goal as you did. 2016 will be a good birding year for you and Ann. Stay in and stay warm for a couple of days. hugs

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