Images from a perfect day…..


Saturday began as a beautiful day.  It’s hard to beat 70 degrees and almost no wind around here.  I decided to try to get some images of some more birds at Middle Concho Park.  We went back to that brushy area along the perimeter of the park.  I was rewarded with a Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus).  It was the first I had seen this year.  But they have been around all winter, so they have evaded me, or I just wasn’t looking in the right places.  They will probably be gone by mid-April.  It was flitting in and out of the brush, and stopped momentarily on the barbed wire.

Hermit Thrush

Hermit Thrush

Across the river, there were about 25 Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, (Dendrocygna autumnalis).  They were pretty spread out along the shore and in the water so I could only include these two in the frame.  At the distance, I used my Canon EOS 7d with 500mm lens and 1.4 tele-converter.  It is also heavily cropped.

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks

Finally, this Northern Mockingbird, the state bird of Texas, appeared alongside of the car.  Couldn’t resist taking the shot.  Almost full frame.  My 100-400mm hand-held lens was perfect for this image.

Northern Mockingbird

Northern Mockingbird

Neither of these last two images would qualify as some of my best, as they are just a little more than grab shots.  But it was just great to get into the great outdoors.  Actually, we saw about 34 different species of birds, but as it happens most of the time ,they are on the move in the trees or making a fast flyby.  Just spotting a bird, does not equate to getting an image.

Back from X-Bar Ranch


We got back from the Live Oak Lodge at the X-bar Ranch this morning.  Still in the act of getting caught on some of my stuff that needs doing.  We picked up Suzie, our Shi-Tzu from the sitters and she is glad to be back.  We had a great time and are looking forward to going back in the spring.

We saw a bunch of birds there that we don’t usually see around San Angelo.  There were many Hermit Thrushes.  I hadn’t seen one in the wild in a couple of years.  Susan and Sid Johnson, who live in Eldorado not far away, brought pizza out to our cabin Tuesday evening so they could bird with us for with a couple of hours.  Suzanne instantly brought our attention to a Dark-eyed Junco.  Darn, she’s good. 🙂 

Hermit Thrush

Wednesday morning Ann and I got out early and saw a Spotted Towhee, then a somewhat rare White-throated Sparrow.  That is another lifer.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get a photo of it.  It didn’t stay long enough to get a decent image. 

In other news, I have decided to start a Bird of the Week series.  It will begin tomorrow, so watch for it every Friday.  Earlier I had contemplated doing a Bird of the Day, but decided that series wouldn’t last very long at that rate.   But the weekly idea means I can string it out much longer.

As you can see, I have inserted a photo of the Hermit Thrush.  On Monday, I will show you some more images after I sort through them and do a little editing.  And I’ll have a little story about our hike.