Waiting for Spring


Cold weather here in San Angelo, with drizzle and freezing temps.  A few days ago it was near 80 degrees.  But wait.  In a couple of days it will be back to near spring temperatures again.  Such is living in west Texas.  Anyway, I am anxious for spring and the spring migration.  Needless to say, with the ups and downs of the weather, birding is pretty slow.

Because of that, my blog posts have been a bit slow, too.  But I am taking advantage of such lulls to get personal projects done.  I got my two broken front teeth replaced.  Crowns on those and the two adjacent canine teeth.  However one glitch.  When installing the four crowns, one that was supposed to go on one of the canines, accidentally fell off and I swallowed it.  Such fun.  Got x-rayed to confirm it and another is ordered.

But in between dental appointments and drizzly days, we did manage a few outings.  Here are a few images from those forays into the wild.

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Great Horned Owl

The Great Horned Owls had been missing from Spring Creek Park, where we had seen them the past few years.  Finally a couple of weeks ago, a pair finally show up.  This is the male.  The female usually takes flight and heads across the water.  I have not determined where or if they have  nest.

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Greater Roadrunner

For some reason, probably because of the changeable weather, it was a few weeks into the near year before we spotted a Greater Roadrunner.  Finally a fellow birder tipped us off of one at Middle Concho Park.  You can see, this one looks like a young one.

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Ladder-backed Woodpecker

This is one my better photos a Ladder-backed Woodpecker.  I have gotten some in the past, but I was never as satisfied with them as I am of this one.

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Ruby-crowned Kinglet

I never tire of trying to photograph these tiny kinglets.  It takes great effort and lots of photos to get one in focus.  The are feisty, fast little guys.  Constantly on the move.  On this one, I got a glimpse of the red crown that they expose occasionally.

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Golden-fronted Woodpecker

I believe the Golden-fronted Woodpecker is one of the most photogenic birds.  I love photographing them when I get the opportunity.  This one is a male, identified by the red crown atop the head.

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Eastern Phoebe

The ever-popular Eastern Phoebe.  Cute little guys.  Always around.

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Canyon Towhee

I was fortunate to catch this Canyon Towhee pretty close to me and singing his heart out.

That is all of the photos that I will to show at this time.  Again, I hope you enjoy all of my posts.  With nice weather on the horizon, I hope to get out in the field again soon.

Shooting from a blind or in the wild…….


I am a bit late with my first post of the year.  Not any huge reason for it, just a few scattered things that took up much of my time.  Of course, I could blame part of it on the weather which at times, has been a bit nasty.  Then there was a problem, not finished, that I am replacing my two front teeth with a bridge.  They had broken off and at first it looked that they would be extracted.  Then the dentist said they could be saved with a bridge.  So that was the option I decided on.  He did a root canal on each of them to start things.  Then there was the two-week healing time.  Then I went back last week to get ‘fitted’ for the new bridge.  Again, I am waiting for it to be finished, and finially on February 13, I will have a new shining smile.

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Great Horned Owl

So during that time, with those delays and the weather, I didn’t get out much.  However, on other projects, my calendar went well.  I still have a few left if anybody is interested.  Just contact me in the comments for more information.

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Cooper’s Hawk

I read an interesting post by a fellow nature photographer Jim Miller.  He frequents the various blinds and photo ranches around the state.  You can click here to read it.  If you like to photograph from bird blinds you will find it informative.  Personally, I don’t use blinds very often.  I prefer to get out in the wild and hunt down my photo opportunities.  I find it more fun and challenging.  The downside of photo blinds is you get so many photos that are repetitive, as the different birds resting on the same tree stump, etc.  But they do make nice posed portraits.  Also, there is the danger of including seed and feeders in the shots.  However, the better organized photo ranches try to avoid having that sort of thing in the camera’s line of sight.

Then there is the price.  It can cost anywhere from 150.00 and up to spend any time at those photo ranches.  Of course, there are perks. Comfortable chairs in a comfortable environment.  Well placed perches and seeds to lure the birds to the area.  You just have to sit back and wait for the birds to arrive.

Here in San Angelo there is a blind at the state park.  No cost to use it.  I use it on occasion, perhaps once in a two-month period.  It is decent and attracts birds.  However on that note, there are birds that are not attracted to bird blinds, simply because they are not seed eaters.  Examples are hawks, owls, flycatchers.  But even they, will occasionally make an appearance because of the water feature.

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Golden-fronted Woodpecker

All of the photos in this post are captured in the wild.  In fact, about 95% of the photos I have posted here over the years have been taken in the wild.  I travel the parks and back roads of west Texas, in my quest for wildlife photos.  I use my Ford Escape as a mobile blind, shooting from the window.  I use a SafariPack bean bag for stabilization by draping it over the window sill.  My set-up of choice is a Canon 7D Mark II with a Tamron 150-600mm Gen 2 zoom lens.

Here are a few more images from the past few weeks.  As I mentioned above, all photographed in the wild.

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Belted Kingfisher

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Red-tailed Hawk

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Northern Bobwhite

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American Kestrel

So, it doesn’t matter what your preference is.  Photographing from a blind, or doing as I do, prowling the wild.  It is the the final outcome that is important.  Whatever you enjoy doing the most.  I hope you enjoyed this post and the photos.  Until the next time……..

Happy Birding or Happy Shooting to all!!!