The luckier I get…………
I have been told that I am lucky to get some of these shots that I show you. I agree part way. I feel that I am lucky to live in an area where there is a lot of wildlife. However, a large part of time it is because of careful planning, research, then getting to the right place where I may find what I am looking for. In other words, I kinda make my own luck. Also, spending thousands on a photographic education, cameras and equipment makes getting lucky a bit easier.
So let me show you the lucky shots that I have been able to get since my last post. By the way, even though I have these great close-ups, I am rarely any closer than twenty yards. I heavily crop all of my images for tight composition. It is a credit to my great lenses.
A favorite haunt of mine is an area of reeds and cat-tails near Spring Creek Park here in San Angelo. I knew that there was a Common Yellowthroat residing in there somewhere. The habitat was perfect plus one had been reported being seen there recently. So Ann and I got us a burrito at Rosa’s along with some coffee and set out early in the morning. I parked my mobile blind, AKA Ford Escape, about 20 yards away. Then we waited…….and waited………and waited. After about 45 minutes, well after the burritos and coffee were gone, the yellowthroat ventured out in the open. I swear I saw him yawn. I had, of course, had my camera ready so I was able to track him through the grass and reeds. Her is my best image of around fifty attempts.
It was a great start to a day of birding. From there, we traveled out Spillway Road on a hunch. Last year, a Say’s Phoebe, stayed around near the nature trail. I didn’t really expect to see it again, but sure enough he was there flitting around in the trees. Now that was a pure stroke of luck.
After that, we ventured into Spring Creek Park proper and observed a Great Egret for awhile. It was across the water and we watched and waited to see if it might catch a fish for my camera. A funny note:…while were were a waiting, a car with a couple of other bird watchers stopped for a minute. Then, they decided to move on and come back “when the egret was moving more”. That attitude will not net anyone great photos. In fact, that is the best way to miss good photos.
But anyway, I digress. We watched for another twenty minutes and decided it wasn’t going to do any serious fishing. I settled for this nice pose.
A couple of days later we were back out there again. We had been told that a Sora had been seen in the same area as the yellowthroat previously. We knew we were probably in for another long wait, as the Sora is another very secretive bird that rarely shows it self. At first, after about forty minutes, we decided it wasn’t going to show for us. We left for another area where I captured this tiny Ruby-crowned Kinglet. Something had aroused him, possibly a nearby mockingbird, and he was showing his “red hair”.
We decided to go back to look for the Sora. This time we approached from a different angle and finally spotted him in the open and feeding. I found a good spot where I could shoot him without getting in the way of oncoming traffic. There as some plastic trash near him and I waited until he gradually moved where it wouldn’t be in the photo. For a mud hen he is kinda pretty I think.
To round out the week, I got a tip where I might find a Green-tailed Towhee. Although not a rare bird, it is not seen around here regularly. So we went to San Angelo State Park where it had been seen. We had been told of the general location, but not a specific spot, but after a bit of searching we spotted it flitting around in some trees. I had only one chance before it flew, but I got lucky with again. The image worked well after I adjusted the light and contrast in my digital darkroom.
If you are following our march to the end of the year goal of seeing 200 different species by then, we are now at 80. A long way to go as it will get harder. But we shall prevail! 🙂
I guess that ends this final post for January. I’ll see you back here in a few days.
‘Til then, HAPPY BIRDING!!