The cute Scaled (Blue) Quail


In going through some more images from the past, I remembered these that are from early summer of 2007.  The Scaled Quail (Callipepla squamata), also known as Blue Quail.  A medium-sized, short-tailed quail with a tufted crest.  Feathers have a scaled appearance.  In my opinion, the numbers of them in west Texas are diminishing, as I haven’t seen them as often as I used to.

I have been fortunate to sell one of my photographs to an advertising agency.  Here I have three more images that you may enjoy.  They were taken about four years ago, when I was still using an old Canon EOS 20D, but still had my Canon 100-400mm lens.  I used Partial metering, at Aperture priority on all these images.

Scaled Quail

1/250 sec. @ f8 – ISO 400

Scaled Quail

1/400 sec. @ f5.6 – ISO 200

Scaled Quail

1/640 sec. @ f5.6 – ISO 200

I hope you enjoyed these images.  Click on any of them to see enlarged photos.

Birding Big Bend Again March 2011 – Part I


Back from our favorite haunts again.  Our stay at the Lajitas House was just great.  Large, spacious, quiet and comfortable.  We sat and watched birds and quail come up on our patio.  At night the stars were so bright it was almost blinding.

Scaled Quail on the patio

The first day, Tuesday, we went into Big Bend NP to check out some birding places.  We stopped at the ruins of Sam Neal’s house that stood over 100 years ago.  The vegetation and trees are all grown up, but there is a little shaded area that is frequented by birds of all types.  Thrashers, thrushers, sparrows, towhees. 

Common Black-hawk

While there we visited with another birder/photographer, Cindy McIntyre,  (http://cindymcintyre.blogspot.com) from Maine.  She is a Big Bend NP ranger.  She had been to Rio Grande Village, an RV camping area on the on eastern side of the park.  She told us about two rare Common Black-hawks that were nesting there.  She said the site was easy to see, as the park service had the area marked with signage, to protect the birds.

Vermilion Flycatcher

So as you would guess, on Wednesday we headed over there.  Sure enough.  We spotted one hawk almost immediately.  It was sitting on a branch in plain sight.  A great photo opportunity, and I took advantage of it.  It was also another lifer for me, number 222.  Previously, I thought I had already reached 222 but found that I had erroneously added a Purple Finch to my list, when I have actually never seen that bird.

In a nearby area, we saw several Vermilion Flycatchers moving around.  They are tiny, flighty, creatures that can’t sit one spot more than a couple of seconds, and also dificult to get close to.  However, I was able to get my 500mm with a tele-converter, mounted on a tripod, about 35 yards away.

Click on any photo so see an enlargement.

Coming soon, Part II.  I will tell you some more about the trip and our experiences.