You have heard me tell you several times how much Ann and I enjoy going to Middle Concho Park, and it’s sister park, Spring Creek Park across the river. It seems that there is always a chance to see something different. Of course, that is because of the changing seasons, different birds are there at different times of the year. There are over 380 species of birds that can be seen in the Concho valley, and I dare say that most of them can be seen at these parks, at one time or another, depending when you happen to visit. You may get lucky and spot one of the Horned Owls like the one pictured below.
Great Horned Owl
We spotted this owl high in a tree in Spring Creek Park. There was a lady nearby, walking a small dog, unaware of what was perched above her head. She laughed when we told her why I was pointing my camera up there.
This Belted Kingfisher was cavorting along the river and finally lit on a power line that crosses the water. Nervously, I hurriedly set my Canon 7D with 500mm lens with a 1.4 tele-converter on my drivers side window sill and got the shot before it flew off looking for another place to fish.
On another day we saw several Great Egrets. This one was across the river and I was able to get the shot. Another wading bird that you can see almost every day of the year, is the Great Blue Heron like the one pictured below.
Great Blue Heron
The Osprey is another bird that thrives on fish, and the catfish in these waters are one of his favorites. Here one sits on a tree branch enjoying his dinner.
Osprey enjoying catfish dinner.
Another raptor that frequents these parks is the Red-tailed Hawk. One morning Ann and I witnessed three of them. Two were flying through the trees close together in Middle Concho Park, while the third was across the river perched high in a tree. Watch out for low flying birds.
Of course we can’t ignore the smaller birds, can we. These parks teem with species like, Eastern Bluebirds, Robins, Warblers, etc. Below is a Yellow-rumped Warbler.
The best way to appreciate the birding here is to just drive very, very slow through the area. Watch the treetops, watch for un-natural movement in the branches of the live oaks, use your binoculars, and listen. Sometimes we come to a complete stop, and discover there are tiny birds all around us. At least we can hear them or see the branches move. We then put our binoculars to work to locate the source.
These two parks are maintained very well. The grass is mowed on a regular basis and early in the week the park employees are always on the job picking up trash left over from the careless individuals that use the place on weekends. They seem to not see the trash cans that are placed about forty feet apart all through the park.
We find that the best time to do any birding is on the weekdays. On any given day you literally may have the park all to yourself. Have fun. Click on any of these photos to see some nice enlargements.