White-throated Sparrow – A Lifer

To a birder, a lifer is a bird that has seen for the very first time.  Hence, we saw a White-throated Sparrow on the 29th of February, for our first time.  It was at Spring Creek Park, scratching in the grass.  It was that it was all alone that got our attention to check it out.  It is a rare bird here, but not unusual to see on on ocassion.  Anyway, it brings my life list total to 286.  The photo isn’t really great.  As you can see, it was right at the edge of shade and bright sunshine.  That makes for difficult exposures.  But what a great start to a fun couple of days birding.

White-throated Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

As we drove through the park we spotted two photographers, both with the requisite camo clothes, tripods, and huge lenses.  Like I used to have.  They had out-of-state plates on their car.  Anyway, they had flushed that female Great Horned Owl off of it’s nest and it was resting high in a tree.  I stopped, got my little ‘ole 150-600mm lens out and nailed a great shot as it thankfully headed back to it’s nest.  I hand-held the camera and I was dressed in plain old clothes.

female Great Horned Owl heading to the nest.

female Great Horned Owl heading to the nest.

I think those two guys were part of a huge bunch that was harassing the owl on Sunday afternoon.  That group was headed up by the Mr. Doe that was instrumental in saying that I harassed wildlife by sharing the info to knowledgeable birders.  Well, ’nuff said about that.

We continued on through Spring Creek Park then headed to the Middle Concho Park that is located just across the water, but since there is no bridge, it is about an eight mile drive around to get to it.

Here are a few more images from around that area.  Click on any image in this post to see some very nice enlargements.

First, is this little Pied-billed Grebe.  They just swim around, occasionally diving under the water for something and usually coming up with nothing.  But what the heck…..they look like they are smiling and happy.

Pied-billed Grebe

Pied-billed Grebe

This Roadrunner was along the road, (where else?), looking for tidbits for lunch.  Since the little ground squirrels are coming out of hibernation, he should be able to start eating better very soon. 🙂

Greater Roadrunner

Greater Roadrunner

Can you take another owl?  This is the male that is supposed to guarding the nest where the previous female resides, sitting on the eggs.  He looks bored.  Wonder if he will make it another month or so.

Great Horned Owl - male

Great Horned Owl – male

A lot of these Meadowlarks hanging around now.  There are usually a few European Starlings tagging along.

Eastern Meadowlark

Eastern Meadowlark

There are also a lot of these Yellow-rumped Warblers here, too.  They will be leaving in mid-May, to return in October to spend the winter.

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler

The Sapsuckers can confuse a lot of people.  They look like the average woodpecker.  They used to confuse me, too, until I started to look for that white ‘stripe’ down the side of their feathers.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Let’s finish up with one of favorites.  I love photographing herons.  This is the same juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron from my previous post.  He has found a home across the water from Spring Creek Park. Always about 200 yards away. I imagine that his adult parent is watching from another hidden spot. This time he was more in the open, aiding me in getting a better image.

Black-crowned Night Heron - juvenile

Black-crowned Night Heron – juvenile

Well, that is about it for this post.  I had fun writing it and I hope you had fun reading it.

‘Til then, Happy Birding!!


19 thoughts on “White-throated Sparrow – A Lifer

  1. That’s funny. We have so many White-throated Sparrows up here in Newfoundland that they’re one of the few birds where I know the call. Then again, I grew really excited with a Northern Mockingbird who somehow got lost and ended up in Newfoundland. Birding is funny like that. Congrats on 286 🙂

  2. Congrats on another lifer, Bob. We have a pair of Great Horned Owls residing somewhere in our RV Park. Have not been able to locate the nest. But they are mighty vocal at night.

  3. Very nice post of birds and that owl photo is amazing! I think the reason you are not in the “camo and huge lens” group is because you are respectful of what you love and photograph the same with joy. Continue on, sir, and know you are loved. hugs

    • Thanks, Beth. Actually I used to own a “big” lens, but as I aged it was a bit hard to maneuver it in the confines of my car, as I do most of my photography from it. It is my mobile blind, so to speak. The new lens that I now use, gets the same great quality images. But it is the fans like you, that I have, that makes want to continue doing what I do best. That is to keep creating images for all to enjoy. Hugs back at ya. 🙂

  4. Bob. Thanks for bringing the outdoors indoors for those of us who don’t get out as often as we would like to. Beautiful photos and interpretation from your keen eyes.

  5. As usual, your photos and comments are top notch! Thanks for sharing your expertise with those of us who are not very experienced.

  6. I definitely had fun reading it, and the pictures are terrific, as usual. I love the white-throated sparrows. They are very ordinary birds here, but somewhat camera shy. They seem to hide in trees behind lots of little twigs, so it’s hard to get a clean shot. Do roadrunners really eat ground squirrels? We don’t have roadrunners in Ohio, so that is a new bit of information for me. Thank you for sharing your delightful trip.

    • Thanks, Skip, I am glad you like my, hopefully, entertaining posts. Roadrunners do eat rodents, birds and other small animals.. Our ground squirrels are about the size of a gopher.

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