Pine Warbler, a lifer…….


For you who may be unfamiliar to the birding vernacular, a lifer is a bird that an individual sees for the very first time, then adds it to his or her’s ‘life list’.  Currently, my life list is at 285. That is the total that I have compiled since I got into birding about six years ago.  Since there are nearly 800 species in the state of Texas alone, it certainly is nothing to brag about.  I would like, though, to eventually get to 300.  At my age, that is a manageable goal.  So, in that vein, I can tell you that I got my 285th yesterday.

Having had a successful little tour of Spring Creek Park, seeing several species and getting some photos, we ventured over to Middle Concho Park to see what might be there.  As we drove through, we saw an area where many small birds were darting through the Live Oak and Mesquite trees. Titmice, Vermilion Flycatchers, and American Goldfinches.  All of a sudden a yellowish bird caught my eye.  I knew instantly that it was not a goldfinch that I was looking at.  Then I remembered that a couple of other birders had mentioned that a Pine Warbler was running with a bunch of goldfinches.  After getting several shots off with my Canon 7D Mk II and Tamron 150-600mm lens, I looked at the images on the back of the camera and compared them to my Stokes Guide.  Lo and behold, a Pine Warbler.

A Pine Warbler is very, very rare to the Concho Valley and Tom Green County, so this was an exciting find.  This image is one of about seventy-five that I tried to get.  The bird is quick and fast, and I didn’t get very many usable photos.

Pine Warbler

Pine Warbler

After getting that photo, I got a shot of this very cooperative Yellow-rumped Warbler.

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler

As I mentioned above, previously we had been to Spring Creek Park.  Here are a few photographs from there.

This White-breasted Nuthatch is the first that I have seen in this park in a couple of years, although I know they are present.  Just not always visible.

White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch

In the same area this Bewick’s Wren was flitting among the brush……..

Bewick's Wren

Bewick’s Wren

……..along with this beautiful Eastern Phoebe.

Eastern Phoebe

Eastern Phoebe

So, all in all, a pretty fun day, when I can come away with a few acceptable images to post here.

On another note, this is the time of the year when there are various Christmas Bird Counts going on.  This link to the Lost Pines was sent to my by Garth Beyer.  Check it out, it may be something you may be interested in.  It sounds like fun.  http://www.visitlostpines.com/hyatt-lost-pines/activities/christmas-bird-count.aspx.  I probably won’t participate.  I am at that age that I would rather stay by the fire with liquid refreshment on those upcoming cooler days.

 

 

Baby, it’s cold outside…….


It’s so cold I saw a dog frozen to a water hydrant. 🙂

I put a bucket of hot water outside and it froze before it stopped steaming. 🙂

I was going to stay in and think up one-liners, then decided to do a post.  I noticed it has been several days since I wrote anything.  I did manage to get out and get a few snapshots.  Still getting used to my new Canon EOS 7D Mark II.

The light was all wrong for this Cormorant.  He was back-lit so I had to do some adjusting to my exposure.  Not bad.  The colors of his feathers look pretty nice.

Double-crested Cormorant  showing off his colors.

Double-crested Cormorant showing off his colors.

The Black Vulture is always hard to get a good exposure because of the dark colors.

Black Vulture

Black Vulture

The Meadowlarks are starting to arrive in large numbers.

Western Meadowlark

Western Meadowlark

This Bewick’s Wren tried to hide from me.

Bewick's Wren

Bewick’s Wren

That’s about it from me for this time.  Sorry for the short post.  I forgot to mention that I have a torn muscle in my chest.  Feels like a broken rib, but my buddy, Aleve, is helping me get through it.  I sneezed hard and that is what the doctor said caused it.  Leave it to me to get all of the weird stuff.

By the way, mark your calendars.  December 13, from 3:00 ’til 6:00PM.  At the Fort Davis Art Gallery.  They are honoring me with a reception as their featured artist as part of the Fort Davis Frontier Christmas celebration.  Stop by if you are in the area.

Well, I might build a fire in the fireplace if the smoke doesn’t freeze and plug up the chimney. 🙂

The skinny guy might have talent…….


This past week was spent doing a few odd things around the house, and a few hours birding.  Nothing spectacular captured, but after getting home and looking at my results a second time, I realized that there might be some keepers here.   Here are some highlights.

American Kestrel

American Kestrel

This American Kestrel was sitting on a utility cable near the entrance to Middle Concho Park.  I love these feisty little raptors.  A ferocity belies their cute appearance.

American White Pelican

American White Pelican

Yes, we do have a few Pelicans this far from the coast.  Nearly every year a few make San Angelo their winter home.  I was especially proud of this image that I captured of one just placidly gliding along.

Northern Flicker

Northern Flicker

This Northern Flicker is the yellow-shafted variety as you can see by the the yellow feathers beneath the tail.

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird

A female Eastern Bluebird perched on a tree.

Bewick's Wren

Bewick’s Wren

This Bewick’s Wren (pronounced buick’s).  He thought that I couldn’t see him, but my 150-600mm lens sought him out.

Greater Yellowlegs

Greater Yellowlegs

The Greater Yellowlegs loves to wade in the waters of the Spring Creek Park.  I wonder where he got the name.

Osprey

Osprey

The Osprey, one of my favorite raptors.  Hope you like this image.  I feel that he is just sitting and pondering the future.  As a matter of fact, the more I look at this photo, the more I like it myself.  Heck, I just may have a bit of artistic talent myself.  Notice in the title of this post that I opted for ‘skinny guy’ over ‘old geezer’.  Hey, I still have my ego to contend with.

Click on any enlargement to see some great enlargements.

Roadrunner and Wren


We are still in the summer doldrums when it comes to birding here.  Going to the SA State Park has slowed down to producing only a few birds for photography.  In a couple of weeks it will start changing and we will have the winter birds beginning to migrate.  I don’t know about other areas, but we have many, many more birds here in the winter than we do in the summer.

On one of our latest outing we saw only 17 different species, but luckily I managed to get a couple of pictures.  This Bewick’s Wren (Thryomanes bewickii) was in a tree outside of the bird blind.  I took the picture from the window at a distance of only about ten feet.

Bewick’s Wren

Later on, down the little lane that leads to the blind, we spotted this Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus), in a tree along the path.  The light wasn’t too great, early morning sun filtering through the branches.

Great Roadrunner on tree limb.

Enjoy the photos and click on either one to see and enlargement.

I am going to do some blatant advertising again, and direct you to the links on the right of this page, to preview and/or purchase a book or calendar.  I might add that my book is also available as an e-book for your iPad.  (at at cheaper price, too)  For signed autographed copies, contact me direct at:  bobzeller1@aol.com.

Spring has sprung!


American Robin

Ann and I went to San Angelo State Park this morning to take care of the bird blind.  We got the water turned on a few days ago, and park personnel drained and cleaned the little pool for us.  So this morning we were out there with our weedeater, getting it spruced up.

We spotted our first American Robin, a guaranteed harbinger of spring.  We also noticed that the mesquite are starting to get their leaves.  That also, is a good sign of spring.  We sat in the blind for awhile and watched the usual population of birds for this time of year.  We also spotted three Northern Bobwhite and the Spotted Towhee pictured below.

Spotted Towhee

Bewick's Wren

This photo to the left is a Bewick’s Wren that has built a nest on our patio in a decorative bird house that Ann and put out there.  Perhaps we may have a little family there.

Happy Birding!!