Fun Birding with Bob and Ann

Did you hear the one about the drunkard that was standing on the beach throwing rocks at the seagulls?¬† When the cop asked him why he was doing that, the sot said, “I don’t want to leave any tern un-stoned”. ūüôā

Boy, that is a great lead-in to my post today.¬† Around noon Saturday Suzanne Johnson called, said she was in town with her husband, Sid.¬† They¬†had just been near Lake Nasworthy and told us there was a couple of Forster’s Terns (Sterna forsteri)¬†out there on some buoys.¬† Well, you know me.¬† “Have camera, will travel”.¬† I grabbed my camera, then grabbed Ann and we headed out there.¬† Forster’s aren’t really common around here.

Sure enough, when we got there about 10 minutes later, we saw one of them.  It was a little far for a decent photo.  The one that I show here is one that I took a couple of years ago down at the water treatment ponds in Eldorado.

Forster's Tern

Since the weather was pretty nice, and since we were already there, we decided to check out the parks around the lakes and see what else might make a showing.  It turned out to be a fun afternoon.  Another highlight was seeing some Dark-eyed Juncos (Junco hyemalis). I am very familiar with the Juncos, but it was the first time I had ever seen them here in San Angelo.  Our local check list shows them to be uncommon here.

Dark-eyed Junco - slate-colored

For you interested birders, here is a complete list of the 30 species we saw Saturday afternoon.

  1. Forster’s Tern¬†¬† 1
  2. Mute Swan   1
  3. Ring-billed Gull   11
  4. American Coot   75+
  5. Northern Mockingbird   4
  6. Great Blue Heron   2
  7. Northern Shoveler   15
  8. Pied-billed Grebe   4
  9. Western Meadowlark   10
  10. House Finch   18
  11. Orange-crowned Warbler   1
  12. Dark-eyed Junco (slate)   12
  13. Cedar Waxwing   30
  14. White-crowned Sparrow   12
  15. White-winged Dove   10
  16. Northern Flicker   1
  17. Red-winged Blackbird   6
  18. American Goldfinch   14
  19. Eastern Bluebird   12
  20. Clay-colored Sparrow   12
  21. Yellow-rumped Warbler   6
  22. Golden-fronted Woodpecker   4
  23. Ladder-backed Woodpecker   1
  24. Double-crested Cormorant   20
  25. Eastern Phoebe   1
  26. Cinnamon Teal   3
  27. Great-tailed Grackle   1
  28. Great Egret   1
  29. Vermilion Flycatcher   1
  30. Ring-necked Duck   2

Camera used on both photos was my Canon EOS 7D with 500mm lens.

Forster’s Tern:¬† 1/1250 sec @ f22, -0.3EV.¬† ISO 1250, partial metering, aperture priority.

Dark-eyed Junco:  1/400 sec @ f4, ISO 3200.  partial metering, aperture priority.

Click on either photo for an enlargement.