Mid-November Musings


Of course, I could have said mid-November blues, but that sounds so discouraging.  Again, our high record temperatures here in the San Angelo area, has kept the birding slow.  The northern birds are reluctant to  come this far south until the temps get down a bit.  Fortunately, that time is coming next week.  Unfortunately it took me the past two weeks to amass enough photographs for this post.  The good news, fortunately I did get a nice collection to show you from our sporadic trips into the field.

Let’s see, my last post was on October 29.  Sorry, folks, I didn’t mean to wait so long, but here we go.  I am just going to post photos more or less in the order I got them.  By the way, click on any of them to see some very nice enlargements.

On October 30 we took a little time, early in the morning, to run to Spring Creek Park.  We had been watching for the Great Horned Owl that frequents the area.  We almost missed him when he appeared in a nearly bare tree near the water.  Of course, some little twigs almost got in the way.  I think that he thought he was hidden.

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl – 1/1000 sec. @ f6.3, +0.3 EV at 6400 ISO.

Continuing along the water, we saw this Great Egret doing a little hunting of his own from a tree branch.

Great Egret

Great Egret – 1/000 sec. @ f6.3, -0.3 EV at 500 ISO.

We didn’t get out again until November 3.  This time we visited San Angelo State Park.  The only usable image I captured then was this beautiful female Pyrrhuloxia.

Pyrrhuloxia

Pyrrhuloxia – 1/1000 sec. @ f7.1, ISO 1000.

On November 4 we ventured to Middle Concho Park.  There I found this gorgeous Great Blue Heron just hanging out along the shore line.  It was another beautiful day, just right for basking in the sun near Lake Nasworthy.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron – 1/1000 sec. @ f7.1, ISO 1250.

On the way home we spotted this Osprey high on a utility pole.

Osprey

Osprey – 1/1000 sec. @ f7.1, ISO 1600

November 13 found us back at Spring Creek Park, where we happened to meet fellow birder, Randy Hesford.  We were sitting under some trees eating a burrito and sipping coffee, when he drove up next to us.  He had just spotted a Wood Duck and wanted to give us directions to where we could see it.  I hadn’t seen one in the past couple of years, and I grabbed at the chance.  All bird photographers have nemesis birds, birds that they have difficulty finding and getting good photos.  This duck is one of my nemesis birds, and I was happy to get this photo.  It wasn’t that easy,though.  I had to leave my blind, aka my Ford Escape, and hike to the shoreline, hoping I wouldn’t spook him.  Before getting out of my vehicle, I grabbed my other camera, another Canon 7D Mark II, only with a 100-400mm zoom lens.  It is a lighter setup, easier to handle when I am walking.

Wood Duck

Wood Duck – 1/1250 sec. @ f6.3, ISO 640.

We didn’t get back out to Spring Creek Park again until the 17th of November.  We were searching for some Golden-crowned Kinglets that have been seen, but they eluded us.  Instead I was fortunate to see three little Dark-eyed Juncos hopping among the branches of a tiny tree.

Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco – 1/1000 sec. @ f7.1, ISO 4000.

From there we decided to go over to Middle Concho Park.  There, we spotted this red-shafted Norther Flicker high atop a tree.

Northern Flicker

Northern Flicker – 1/1000 @ f6.3, +0.3 EV, at ISO 320.

We finished the day with this beautiful Western Bluebird.

Western Bluebird

Western Bluebird – 1/1600 sec. @ f7.1, +0.3 EV, at ISO 3200.

I hope you enjoyed these photos from the past couple of weeks.  With the exception of the Wood Duck, all other photos were with an identical Canon 7D Mark II and my Tamron 150-600mm lens.  Incidentally, I have upgraded that lens to a second generation Tamron 150-600mm lens.  It has some refinements over the original and I will be using it in the future.

So, until my next post, Happy Birding!!

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15 thoughts on “Mid-November Musings

  1. Great photos! I don’t know if you recall last time I commented on your Lark Sparrow and you informed me that it’s really common in Texas (but for me it was exciting). Well the Wood Duck has become really common here, so the tables have turned! Glad you were able to get a great shot of one.

  2. Hi Bob. When you say the new version of the Tamaron has some changes, would you give me an idea of the changes? As you know, I own one thanks to you, and like it except for focusing and weight. John

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    • John, I just took it out of the box and tried it out this morning. I think the optics have been improved as I feel the shots i got seemed a bit sharper. You can lock the zoom in any position now. Also, the tripod mount is removable and that decreases the weight a few ounces. The lens is an ounce or so lighter anyway, and I feel I can handhold it quite a bit easier. The focus seems excellent to me, but I never had any problem. I didn’t know you had a problem focusing it.

  3. Your photos are always impressive but you raised your bar with your photo of the Wood Duck. You are a persistent son of a gun and and you reap the rewards. Keep it up.

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