No Polar Vortex here

I have been reading about the cold weather approaching the mid-west.  I am a native of Michigan, but I left there in 1955 when enlisting in the Air Force.  So I know what they are going through up there and I am glad I now reside in west Texas.  Brrrrr……

The temps around here are a bit better, hanging around 60 during the day and around 30 at night.  The birding is a bit slow, but if you look carefully you can find little jewels, and actually see perhaps around 30-35 species in a day.

Since my last post a couple of weeks ago I have been lucky and got a few nice photographs.  My favorite of the year so far is this Osprey.  Interestingly, I have photographed an Osprey at the same location, actually on the same branch several times over the years.  It is at a location that overlooks a body of water off of Lake Nasworthy.  With all of the brush, there is a certain tree branch that sticks out above the water and it is a favorite perch for osprey, herons, egrets and an occasional kingfisher.  But of all of those photos, this one that I photographed a few days ago, is my favorite (so far).  I can’t explain why, but maybe it is the pose or the interesting background.



Here are a few more that have made the past couple of weeks interesting for us as we wait for migration to start.

The light was overcast and perfect for photographing this White-breasted Nuthatch.  They are somewhat rare here but they can be found, albeit not easy.


White-breasted Nuthatch

I am always on the lookout for these tiny hawks.  The American Kestrel is a feisty little guy that is quick and hard to capture.  It doesn’t stay perched for very long periods.


American Kestrel

Now, the Common Yellowthroat is really difficult to catch.  They usually hang around reedy areas, but sometimes can be found in thick brush as this one was.  Very shy, they don’t show themselves often.


Common Yellowthroat

Did I mention getting a bit lucky?  While driving through Spring Creek Park here near San Angelo,  I spotted this Ladder-backed Woodpecker.  I had gotten several photos of one in the past, but never had I been in position to get such a close-up as this one.  I was still about 50 yards away, but with good light, I was in great position to reach it with my Tamron 150-600mm lens.


Ladder-backed Woodpecker

As you all know, I really like the challenge of photographing the tiny birds.  Even the sparrows.  There are around 35 species of them, and each of them has a certain little something that sets them apart from each other.  I still can’t recognize them all, partly because only a few of them frequent San Angelo.  This photo is a juvenile White-crowned Sparrow.


White-crowned Sparrow, juvenile

I will finish this post wit this photo of a Great-horned Owl.  He hangs out is a particular live oak tree in Spring Creek Park.  I have seen him on several occasions this month in that tree.  Most of the time he appears to be ‘snoozing’ and has his eyes closed.  This time he was wary of me.  He does make it hard, though.  He changes his position often and Ann and I have to search very carefully.  A few time we have nearly given up of seeing him before we finally spot him, hidden and camoflagged.


Great Horned Owl

So, you can see, even though it appears that the birding might be a bit slow, we have had very exciting days.  As they say, the fun is in the hunt.

Until the next time……..HAPPY BIRDING!!