August birding in Uvalde


Ann and I decided to take off for a couple of days and visit friends down in Uvalde.  We left Wednesday morning for the three hour drive.  We arrived at our friends, Bob and Marianne Shackleford, about noon, just in time for lunch.  Bob has fixed a water feature in his yard and has had many birds arriving to partake of the wet stuff and a free meal of birdseed.

Although, Bob complained that the birding was ‘slow’, Ann and I were very pleased that we were able to see some birds that we don’t usually see in San Angelo, and add six more to our 2016 list: Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Crested Caracara, Harris’s Hawk, Green Jay, Great Kiskadee, and a Roseate-Spoonbill.

About that Roseate Spoonbill, it is a very rare bird to show up in Uvalde.  I was fortunate to spot it in a pond about 75 yards off the highway.  We all had a good look at.  It was among some sparse shrubs of some type along the water.  I couldn’t get a decent photo from where we were parked, so I got out of the car and tried to quietly make my way closer.  But I was impeded by deep weeds that hid about 8 inches of water.  I accidently spooked a Great Blue Heron that was nearby, and it in turn, spooked the spoonbill.  So, unfortunately, no photograph.

I also missed a photo of the Great Kiskadee.  I was sitting in the Shackleford’s front yard.  As it came in, I was in the process of putting a new battery in my camera, and I didn’t get it turned back on in time.  The kiskadee was there for only a brief few seconds.

Here are some photos.  There are more, but I haven’t had time to get them all edited.  Click on any of these to see some nice enlargements.

Hariss's Hawk

Harris’s Hawk

Crested Caracaras

Crested Caracaras

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Green Jay

Green Jay

Here is a photograph of a Great Kiskadee from a previous trip to Uvalde.  Not a great photo, as it was taken from a greater distance, but I think you will like it.

Great Kiskadee

Great Kiskadee

Also after digging through my archives, I found this photo of a Roseate Spoonbill.  It and two others spent about three days here in San Angelo back in 2010.  I photographed it at O. C. Fisher Reservoir.

Roseate Spoonbill

Roseate Spoonbill

Before I forget, I wish to thank Bob and Marianne Shackleford for their generous hospitality.  We stayed at a nearby Hampton Inn, but the Shackleford’s insisted we dine with them for several meals.  As we say here, they fixed us up with some very nice vittles.

I hope you enjoyed this post, and as always, prints are available of all of the photos in this post or a previous post.  A further note, my 2017 calendars are in.  They will go fast, so contact me if you are interested.

Happy Birding!!

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Hot Diggety!! Migration is starting!!


Okay, I might be rushing the season, but with the storm Saturday dropping an average of two inches and the temps dropping into the low nineties and even upper eighties, you can’t blame me for getting excited.  And, right on time, a Yellow Warbler showed up at the bird blind in San Angelo State Park.  I got this photo, which isn’t a very good one because it took me by surprise, and I had a camera in one hand and a breakfast burrito in the other.  It didn’t stay around, so I didn’t get a second chance.  It isn’t as sharp as I would like, but at least, you can tell what it is.

Yellow Warbler

Yellow Warbler

Because of the heat, birding was not very good.  Still, during a few limited short trips out I did get a few images last week.  Please click any image to see some very nice enlargements.

A trip to the Hummer House down near Christoval, netted me a couple good photos of a Black-chinned Hummingbird.

4G7A1523-net-hummer-black-chinned-bob-zeller

Black-chinned Hummingbird

Black-chinned Hummingbird

Back in San Angelo, we went to San Angelo State Park, early one morning.  We stopped at the blind there first and this Curve-billed Thrasher obliged us by making a brief stop.  The light was still a little low but I think my Canon 7D Mark II handled it nicely.

Curve-billed Thrasher

Curve-billed Thrasher

The following morning, we returned to to just take a meandering drive through all of the roads that interlace the park.  It is great fun doing that, as we never know what we will come across.

Cactus Wren

Cactus Wren

There were still numerous Scissor-tailed Flycatchers hanging around.  Because of the shorter tail, I believe this one is a young one.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher - juvenile

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher – juvenile

Before heading home we saw this perched Common Nighthawk, not fully awake yet.

Common Nighthawk

Common Nighthawk

I guess that’s all for this post. I hope to get in more birding in the following days, now that the temperatures are more tolerable, both to me and the birds.

Oh, one more thing.  I have my 2017 Calendars in now.  More beautiful than before.  Twenty bucks plus mailing will get you one.  E-mail me at bobzeller@pobox.com if interested.

You can see more of my photos at http://bobzellerphotography.smugmug.com