Yesterday’s birding and new lifer

Ann and I decided that another nice day deserved to be spent birding.  We spent a couple of hours at Middle Concho and Spring Creek parks, then we got a call on our cell phone from Suzanne Johnson down at Eldorado.  A Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula), had been spotted at the water treatment ponds.  So we left immediately to get down there.  We saw it and I got a nice photo of it.  It was lifer number 239 for me.

Common Goldeneye

Canon EOS 7D with Canon 500mm f4 IS lens and 1.4 tele-converter.  Exposure 1/1600 sec. @ f8, -0.3EV, ISO 400.  Partial metering and aperture priority.  Captured from our car, using a Puffin Pad window support.  Distance to subject was about 100 yards.

Total of 40 bird species spotted:

  1.  American Coot
  2.  Northern Mockingbird
  3.  Great Blue Heron
  4.  Pied-billed Grebe
  5.  Golden-fronted Woodpecker
  6.  Cinnamon Teal
  7.  Gadwall
  8.  Northern Shoveler
  9.  Great Egret
  10.  Green-winged Teal
  11.  Wilson’s Snipe
  12.  Great-tailed Grackle
  13.  Red-tailed Hawk
  14.  European Starling
  15.  Western Meadowlark
  16.  Double-crested Cormorants
  17.  Yellow-rumped Warbler
  18.  House Finch
  19.  Savannah Sparrow
  20.  Eastern Bluebird
  21.  Vermilion Flycatcher
  22.  Ring-billed Gull
  23.  American Coot
  24.  Wild Turkey
  25.  White-winged Dove
  26.  Northern Flicker
  27.  Red-winged Blackbird
  28.  American Goldfinch
  29.  Lesser Scaup
  30.  Eared Grebe
  31.  Northern Pintail
  32.  Horned Grebe
  33.  Ruddy Duck
  34.  Canvasback
  35.  Common Goldeneye
  36.  Ringed-neck Duck
  37.  Killdeer
  38.  Lark Bunting
  39.  Egyptian Goose
  40.  Eurasian Collared Dove

More blasts from the past

Here are a few more images that I captured earlier this year.  Like yesterday’s post, this one features again, photos from a fall visit to the water treatment ponds at Eldorado, Texas.  The date was October 3, 2011.  Click on any image to see an enlargement.  Hope you enjoy.

Nashville Warbler

American Pipit

Red-shouldered Hawk

Great Blue

Camera information:

Nashville Warbler (Oreothlypis ruficapilla)Canon EOS 7D with Canon 100-400mm zoom lens.  1/2000 sec. @ f6.3,  -0.3 EV,  ISO 800.  Shutter priority with spot metering.

American Pipit (Anthus rubescens) :  Canon EOS 7D with Canon 500mm lens and 1.4 tele-converter.  1/3200 sec. @ f6.3, -0.3 EV,  ISO 400.  Aperture priority with partial metering.

Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)Canon EOS 7D with Canon 500mm lens and 1.4 tele-converter.  1/2000 sec. @ f16, ISO 1600.  I just set the camera on Program, hoisted the camera, aimed, and shot.

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)Canon EOS 7D with Canon 500mm lens and 1.4 tele-converter.  1/2500 sec. @ f8, ISO 400.  Aperture priority  with partial metering.

All shots with the 7D were handheld.  To see more of my photographs click on the Flickr Logo on the right side of this page.

Yellow-headed Blackbirds

The end of the year is here, so I think I will show you some posts of photos from earlier in the year.  I don’t think you have seen these shots of the Yellow-headed Blackbird (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus).  I photographed the top two photos down at the water-treatment ponds at Eldorado, Texas, back in April.  They were wandering along the shoreline of one of the ponds.  The third (bottom) image was captured in September of 2008 at San Angelo State Park, atop a mesquite tree.

Western Texas is on their migratory path.  I saw my first one many years ago, when it landed on our back-yard fence.  Another time we saw one sitting on the roof of the kiosk at the entry to Big Bend National Park  The females, are somewhat non-descript and only about half the size of the male.

Yellow-headed Blackbird

Yellow-headed Blackbird

Yelllow-headed Blackbird

Pertinent photo information:

Photo 1.  Canon 7D with 500mm lens and 1.4 tele-converter.  1/1000 sec. @ f11, -0.3 EV, ISO 640.  Aperture priority.

Photo 2.  Canon 7D with 500mm lens and 1.4 tele-converter.  1/1000 sec. @f11, ISO 800.  Aperture priority

Photo 3.  Canon 40D with 100-400mm zoom lens.  1/5000 sec. @ f5.6, ISO 400. Aperture priority.

I hope you enjoyed the photos.  For more of my images, click my Flickr Logo on the right side of this page.

White-breasted Nuthatch

Going through older photographs, I came across this image of a White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis).  It is not a bird that you will see very often locally here in the Concho Valley.  We were spending a few days at Davis Mountains State Park in July of 2010.  We were at their bird viewing area spending some time.  After awhile I looked across the street where there is a open picnic area.  I noticed that there was a post in the ground with a spigot on it.  It was dripping water and there were several birds around it.  I picked up my tripod and 500mm lens and traipsed on over there.  Not very soon after setting up my equipment, this nutchatche showed up and I was able to get some nice photos.

White-breasted Nuthatch

Sibley’s describes it as our largest nuthatch. This species is found in open woods with mature trees, most often oak and pine trees, where it’s nasal calls are heard frequently.

Friday, January 7, 2011.   27 species

Northern Shoveler     12
American White Pelican     30
Great Blue Heron     3
Northern Harrier     1
Cooper’s Hawk     1
Red-tailed Hawk     1
American Kestrel     1
Killdeer     2
Greater Yellowlegs     6
Least Sandpiper     20
Ring-billed Gull     100
White-winged Dove     4
Mourning Dove     2
Blue Jay     1
Black-crested Titmouse     3
Bewick’s Wren     1
Northern Mockingbird     12
Curve-billed Thrasher     1
Spotted Towhee     1
Canyon Towhee     1
White-crowned Sparrow     12
Northern Cardinal     8
Pyrrhuloxia     8
Red-winged Blackbird     100
Western Meadowlark     4
House Finch     12
House Sparrow     6

Happy Birding!!

West Texas Happy New Year!

Here it is just a few hours left in the year.  I have been ‘outta pocket’ the last couple of days.  Getting end of year tax reports, bookkeeping, etc. to end the year.  But also doing a little birding, trying to get my annual bird count up.  I believe I saw 180 species, but was shooting for 200.  But a new year dawns.  Here are a couple of shots that I got yesterday I thought you might enjoy.

Mourning Dove

Ladder-backed Woodpecker

I want to wish all my readers, far and wide, the most joyous and Happy New Year.