Today, along with trying to write this post, I am also getting my various equipment cleaned, sorted, stashed and packed. We are leaving for the Big Bend area on Wednesday morning. We are meeting our Tennessee friends in Terlingua, staying at The Chisos Mining Company at Easter Egg Valley. That is a motel, named after a now defunct mercury mine and the pastel painted cabins that dot the desert.
We will be spending five days and nights, prowling the mountains, canyons and desert of Big Bend National Park and the adjacent Big Bend Ranch State Park. That area of the state of Texas is a well kept secret I have come to discover. I say that because I have had people ask me, Texans mind you, where Big Bend is. It is in far west Texas, down where the Rio Grande makes it’s big turn from flowing southeast to turning to flow northeast.
As most of my regular readers know, I love going to that area, not only to photograph birds, but also the four-legged wildlife and the magnificent landscapes. Of course, if I can add to my bird lists, so much the better. On that note, I will tell you that in the past three days, I have put 53 species on my 2016 Big Year list. Soooo….. with my goal of 210 for the year, I should get there in the next 12 days. Right????
Okay, let’s get to the images that I have captured these past three days. In no particular order. Click on any image to see an enlargement.
Let’s start with a rare visitor to this part of Texas, the Green-tailed Towhee. It’s range is usually in far west Texas, but occasionally one will show up that can’t read a range map and won’t ask for directions. This one wound up at the blind at San Angelo State Park.
Also at the blind, this Curve-billed Thrasher.
This pretty Pyrrhuloxia showed up, too. I just love trying to spell his name.
Driving into Spring Creek Park we saw this female Golden-fronted Woodpecker working without a net.
Golden-fronted Woodpecker – female
On another tree branch, just sitting and looking pretty, was this Western Bluebird.
I have a hard time passing up a photo of a Great Blue Heron. One of my favorite subjects.
Great Blue Heron
Looking far across the water, Ann spotted what looked like a bird in the brush. At a distance of about 250 yards, we had to look through our binoculars to see what it was. It was a challenge to my Canon 7D Mark II, but it and the Tamron 150-600mm lens got the job done. It was hard to make the ID from that distance, but I see a rounded tip of the tail, and perhaps some black on the top of the head. I will call it a Cooper’s versus a Sharp-shinned Hawk.
I love the challenge of capturing the tiny birds in the brush. Here is a neat photo of a juvenile White-crowned Sparrow.
White-crowned Sparrow – juvenile
Speaking of juveniles, let’s finish up with this young Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – juvenile
That’s it for this post. Now back to packing up for our trip. My next post will be around the 13th of January. I hope to have some fun stuff to show you.
‘Til then, Happy Birding!!