Running late again……..


After a very action filled ten days, I am finally back to write another post.  Sorry about the long delay, but things happen.  Currently, our A/C is not running.  We have contracted to have a new complete unit installed, but that won’t happen until next Tuesday the 11th.  The installing company did loan us one window unit, and fortunately the temps here are in the low 90s and will be in the 80s in a couple of days.  So we cope.  Also, about ten days ago, I was eating a chicken salad from Wendy’s and unfortunately I bit down on a tiny bit of something hard, perhaps a bone, and I chipped one of my front teeth.  I know have a cute little gap, much like that little “What Me Worry” guy on the front cover of Mad Magazine many years ago.

Of course, part of my delay is that birding was quite slow for a few days. We would go out and wonder where did all of the birds go.  So, for a change of pace, we made a trip to South Llano River State Park.  It is noted for the great birding there.  It really wasn’t that great their either, but with what I got there and what I have photographed the past three days, I feel I can contribute to a nice post for you.  I know you like a lot of pictures.

Right now there are a couple of Great Kiskadees hanging out around Spring Creek Park, here in San Angelo.  A fellow birder, Randy Hesford informed us of them back on September 25.  Kiskadees are very rare here.  Anyway,we went out the following morning and spotted them about 200 yards away across the water.  We were hoping they would come to our side, but they stayed where they were so I tried to get photos with my Tamron 150-600mm lens.  Here is one those distant photos.  Heavily cropped so the image quality is not very good.

Great Kiskadee - 1/1250 sec @ f6.3, +0.7 EV, ISO 6400.

Great Kiskadee – 1/1250 sec @ f6.3, +0.7 EV, ISO 6400.

Nearby a Great Blue Heron was grazing.

Great Blue Heron - 1/1250 sec. @ f6.3, +0.7 EV, ISO 6400

Great Blue Heron – 1/1250 sec. @ f6.3, +0.7 EV, ISO 6400

There was nothing more happening, so we went home.  The following morning we were back to see if the Kiskadee were still there.  I got another shot from a little farther away, but it shows both of the birds.

Great Kiskadees - 1/1000 sec. @ f6.3, +0.7 EV, ISO 6400.

Great Kiskadees – 1/1000 sec. @ f6.3, +0.7 EV, ISO 6400.

On the following day, we decided to go to San Angelo State Park.  We were a little later than usual, so we didn’t know how successful we would be.  But luck was with us as we drove along one of the many roads there.  We had been seeing a Kingbird, in the area.  We were thinking Western Kingbird.  But after thinking about it, we realized it was all alone, and we remembered that most of them had already left.  So as you suspect, I had been ignoring it.  But I decided to try and get a good photo and look at it closer.  Well it turned out to be a Cassin’s Kingbird, a bird seldom seen here.  It goes to show you, during migration, anything can show up, such as those Great Kiskadees.  Here, I might add that Randy Hesford saw and photographed a Couch’s Kingbird hanging out with the Kiskadees.  Another rarity.  So here is the photo of the Cassin’s Kingbird.

Cassin's Kingbird - 1/1000 sec, @ f7.1, ISO 200.

Cassin’s Kingbird – 1/1000 sec, @ f7.1, ISO 200.

After driving through the State Park and not getting anything more interesting, we decided we still had time to go to Middle Concho Park.  There I was able to photograph this gorgeous Vermilion Flycatcher.  The amazing part was that I happened to drive close by this tiny live oak tree.  A brilland flash of red caught my left eye.  There, only about eight away, was the tiny bird sitting.  I  quietly got my camera off of my lap and started shooting.  He must have sat there for around three minutes.  He then moved to another branch, just a little farther away, maybe ten feet.  Again, I was able to take my time a get several more images.  Here are two of them.  I hope you like.

Vermilion Flycatcher - 1/1000 sec. @ f5.6, +0.7 EV, ISO 2500

Vermilion Flycatcher – 1/1000 sec. @ f5.6, +0.7 EV, ISO 2500.

Vermilion Flycatcher - 1/1000 sec, @ f6.3, -0.3 EV, ISO 3200

Vermilion Flycatcher – 1/1000 sec, @ f6.3, -0.3 EV, ISO 3200.

The next day we decided to go to South Llano River SP.  They have four different bird viewing blinds.  We usually try to hit all four, as we can see a variety of birds at each one.  We have had better days there, but we saw enough to make the trip worthwhile.  Here are a few images from that little jaunt down to the Junction, Texas area.  Randy Hesford accompanied us, and while were there, we ran into another birder friend, David Hunt.

Northern Cardinal - 1/1000 sec. @ f5.6, +1 EV, ISO 2500.

Northern Cardinal – 1/1000 sec. @ f5.6, +1 EV, ISO 2500.

Yellow Warbler - 1/800 sec, @ f6.3, +0.3, ISO 400.

Yellow Warbler – 1/800 sec, @ f6.3, +0.3, ISO 400.

Vermilion Flycatcher, female - 1/1000 @ f5.6m -0.3 EV, ISO 100.

Vermilion Flycatcher, female – 1/1000 @ f5.6m -0.3 EV, ISO 100.

Black-throated Sparrow - 1/1000 sec, @ f7.1, -0.3 EV, ISO 400.

Black-throated Sparrow – 1/1000 sec, @ f7.1, -0.3 EV, ISO 400.

Back to San Angelo.  On October 2nd, my 82nd birthday, thank you very much, we decided to run to the State Park again.  I came away with this nice close-up of a Grasshopper Sparrow.

Grasshopper Sparrow - 1/800 sec. @ f5.6, +0.7 EV, ISO 160.

Grasshopper Sparrow – 1/800 sec. @ f5.6, +0.7 EV, ISO 160.

On October 4th, we decided to go back to Middle Concho Park to check on the Vermilion Flycatchers.  I got this shot of a female of the species.

Vermilon Flycatcher, female - 1/1000 sec. @ f6.3, -0.3 EV, ISO 640.

Vermilon Flycatcher, female – 1/1000 sec. @ f6.3, -0.3 EV, ISO 640.

Also,

Ladder-backed Woodpecker, female. 1/1000 sec. @f7.1, ISO 1000.

Ladder-backed Woodpecker, female. 1/1000 sec. @f7.1, ISO 1000.

In attendance was this Ladder-backed Woodpecker female.

So that is it for this post.  It is lengthy, and I hope it made up for my lateness. 🙂

Please click on any image to see some great enlargements, especially if you are viewing this on a computer.

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8 thoughts on “Running late again……..

  1. Happy belated birthday Mr. Zeller!!  Wishing you great birding in your 83rd year! Best regards, Melanie

  2. Lovely pics, Bob! What fabulous colours. Can you whistle through that tooth? 🙂 Hope you get it fixed, by the way! And hope you get the a/c up and running soon.

    • Thanks, Jo. Nope, can’t whistle at all now. Haha!! Our A/C will be completely replaced on Tuesday. Fortunately, the weather has cooled a bit and hopefully we won’t need the A/C much before then.

  3. Great post Bob and happy birthday! Love the photos of the vermillion flycatcher. I get excited every time I get a chance to photograph them. I hope I see them and the kiskadees when I’m there Wednesday morning!

    • Thanks, Kelly. I appreciate those kind words. The two kiskadees were still here this morning. They are in Spring Creek Park. We saw them across the water at the southern end of the park. But they do fly back and forth, too. Early morning is when we have been seeing them. Good Luck!!

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