Bird activity at Spring Creek Park


The weather has cooled and birding has improved over the past few days.  It is hard to believe that just four days ago on the 18th, San Angelo had a record-breaking high of 97°.  It broke the old record of 92 set back about 100 years ago by five degrees.

So anyway, a few days ago, Ann and I went to Spring Creek to check out the birds there.  What fun we had.  First we came upon a Red-tailed Hawk just as it flew from a tree in front of us.  I quickly watched to see where it landed.  Luck was with us and it landed in a tree about another 150 yards away.  It had it’s back to me and it was back-lit, but I did get this photo as it looked back at us.

Red-tailed Hawk - 1/2000 sec. @ f7.1, ISO 6400.

Red-tailed Hawk – 1/2000 sec. @ f7.1, ISO 6400.

A few minutes later, we saw several Cattle Egrets along the edge of the water.  I got out of the car, and keeping trees between me and the birds I tried to get within camera range.  They were skittish and I only managed to get a photo of this one that was slower than the rest.

Catttle Egret - 1/2000 sec. @ f7.1, ISO 160.

Catttle Egret – 1/2000 sec. @ f7.1, ISO 160.

As we circled through a horseshoe drive portion of the park, we spotted this Vermilion Flycatcher in a smal live oak next to the road.  It was on the opposite side of the car so I couldn’t shoot through the window easily.  I got out of the vehicle, placed my bean-bag on the roof of the car and got a pretty decent image, if I do say so myself.

Vermilion Flycatcher - 1/2000 @ f7.1, -0.3 EV, ISO 160.

Vermilion Flycatcher – 1/2000 @ f7.1, -0.3 EV, ISO 160.

Also along the water, we saw a Spotted Sandpiper hopping along.

Spotted Sandpiper - 1/2000 sec, @ f6,3, -0.3 EV, ISO 320

Spotted Sandpiper – 1/2000 sec, @ f6,3, -0.3 EV, ISO 320.

It is always fun to run across a roadrunner.

Greater Roadrunner - 1/1600 sec. @ f6.3, -0.3 EV, ISO 160.

Greater Roadrunner – 1/1600 sec. @ f6.3, -0.3 EV, ISO 160.

Greater Roadrunner - 1/1600 sec. @ f6.3, -0.3 EV, ISO 160.

Greater Roadrunner – 1/1600 sec. @ f6.3, -0.3 EV, ISO 160.

After leaving the park, we saw this Osprey looking out over the water, hoping to see an early lunch.

Osprey - 1/1000 sec. @ f6.3, -0.3, ISO 1000.

Osprey – 1/1000 sec. @ f6.3, -0.3, ISO 1000.

After having so much fun that day, we decided to return the following day.  Immediately, we saw a Great Blue Heron in the water.  I liked it’s pose and as I turned the car to get a good shooting angle, a large Osprey flew down and scared the heron off.  The Osprey decided to stay awhile and stayed in the water where the heron had stood.  It apparently like the water temperature so it decided to bathe and get itself clean.  It flopped around, shook it’s wings, dove under the water for an instant than shook itself dry again.  It repeated this several times.

Osprey - 1/1000 sec. @ f7.1, -0.3, ISO 320

Osprey – 1/1000 sec. @ f7.1, -0.3 EV, ISO 320

Osprey - 1/2000 sec. @ f6.3, - 0.3 EV, ISO 1000.

Osprey – 1/2000 sec. @ f6.3, – 0.3 EV, ISO 1000.

Osprey - 1/1000 sec. @ f7.1, -0.3 EV, ISO 250.

Osprey – 1/1000 sec. @ f7.1, -0.3 EV, ISO 250.

Finally, it took off and landed a few yards away to dry off.

Osprey - 1/2000 sec. @ f7.1, -0.3 EV, ISO 800.

Osprey – 1/2000 sec. @ f7.1, -0.3 EV, ISO 800.

This whole sequence took place about 150 yards away from my camera position.  In retrospect, I wish I had videoed the whole time.  But I didn’t want to take a chance of missing the whole thing, while trying to set up my camera for recording.  I ended up with about 150 different exposures, and perhaps after reviewing all of them, I may find some more interesting images.

Meanwhile, up in the trees away from the water, this Great Horned Owl slept through the excitement.

Great Horned Owl - 1/2000 sec. @ f6.3, +0.7 EV, ISO 6400.

Great Horned Owl – 1/2000 sec. @ f6.3, +0.7 EV, ISO 6400.

We ended our little foray into Spring Creek Park by getting an image of one of my favorite birds, the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher - 1/2000 sec. @ f7.1, ISO 250.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher – 1/2000 sec. @ f7.1, ISO 250.

I hoped you enjoyed this post.  Click on any image to see some amazing enlargements.

 

‘Til the next time, Happy Birding!!

 

Advertisements

12 thoughts on “Bird activity at Spring Creek Park

  1. Nice birds. And eck.. I was there at those high temps and high humidity. Ugh! I still saw a nice variety. You live in a great birding place…both east and west birds.

    • Thanks, Kelly. We do get both varieties. If you think it is humid here, try central and east Texas. Here in San Angelo we are relatively dry most of the time, being so close to the Chihuahuan Desert.

  2. I have had opportunies to watch osprey and eagles bathing. It is a joy. Thanks for continuing to share your beautiful photos.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s