‘Tis the season for Warblers


Oh, the weather outside is…….nasty.  And getting colder by the minute as you can see by the snow falling on this blog.  Yes, a Siberian Clipper, or what is best known around these parts as a Blue Norther is going to come whistlin’ in.  I don’t think there is anything between San Angelo and the Canadian border except a snow fence.  And I’ll bet a dollar it is laying on the ground.

So, what about those warblers.  I don’t think I have ever written a post about them.  At least not collectively, anyway.  We have a few that winter around here, and I thought you might like to see some pictures of each.  So, not in any particular order I present………

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler

The Yellow-rumped Warbler is probably the most seen here in the San Angelo area.

Black and White Warbler

Black and White Warbler

A neat story about the Black and White Warbler.  What an original name.  Anyway, I was at the bird blind at San Angelo State Park, sitting there watching to see what birds might fly in.  Suddenly, the Black and White flew in, perched on that twig.  Fifteen seconds later it was gone.  I had never seen one before, and I have never seen one since.  It is a very rare bird around here, and I was at the right place at the right time.

MacGillivray's Warbler

MacGillivray’s Warbler

The MacGillivray’s Warbler is very similar to the Nashville Warbler pictured below.  But check the eye.  The MacGillivray’s has the barred eye.

Nashville Warbler

Nashville Warbler

Wilson's Warbler

Wilson’s Warbler

Without that black cap on the Wilson’s Warbler, it would be confused with the Yellow Warbler pictured below.

Yellow Warbler

Yellow Warbler

I hope you enjoyed these photos.  Click on any of them to see some enlargements.

Two New Bird Visitors


Doing a little photo shooting at San Angelo State Park this morning, I spotted and photographed these two migratory visitors.  One is a Gray Catbird, a lifer for me, and the other is a MacGillivray’s Warbler, which I haven’t seen one for a couple of years.

  • Gray Catbird
  • Canon 7d
  • Canon 100-400 zoom lens
  • 1/2500 sec. @ f5.6  EV -1/3  ISO 2000
  • Shutter Priority
  • Partial metering

  • MacGillivray’s Warbler
  • Canon 7D
  • Canon 500mm lens w/1.4 teleconverter
  • 1/1250 sec. @f10 EV +1/3  ISO 2000
  • Aperture Priority
  • Partial metering

Maybe they will stay around long enough for me to get some more photographs.  Click on either image to see an enlargement.

Damp, Cool, Overcast Day


Hey, this isn’t Michigan.  This is supposed to be West Texas, where it is usually hot and dry.  As usual, the rain that we get isn’t in the right places.   O. C. Fisher Lake is down to only 4% of it’s capacity according to the experts, but I suspect it is getting closer to 3%.

It could be worse.   Many, many years ago, there was a TV show called “Laugh-in”.   It starred two comedians by the names of Rowen and Martin.  Well, they gave San Angelo “The Fickle Finger of Fate” award when O. C. Fisher lake caught fire and took a fire truck with it.

Ann and I are taking over the bird-feeding job at San Angelo State Park bird blind for a few days, as the people that usually do it are out of town.   We went out there this morning, and it was chilly enough for a jacket.   We hung around for a bit but I think most of the birds were hunkered down for warmth.

I wanted to see those MacGillivray’s Warblers again.   I want to be sure that I hadn’t mis-identified them.  The Mourning Warbler is very similar and it would have been very easy to make a mistake.  But both species are seldom seen around this area.  It would have been quite a co-incidence of both were here at this time, and I don’t think that happened.

In the photo that I posted a few days ago of the MacGillivray’s, I thought I could see the dark lore that connected across between the eyes.  The Mourning Warbler doesn’t have that.  However, the photo is not very distinct; the only usable one I obtained.  That may well be just a shadow over the eyes.  The bird presented a challenge to photograph as he or she, was flitting in and around a reedy, grassy wet area. 

I may get lucky soon.  Stay tuned……………

Happy Birding!!

visit www.zellertexasphotos.com

MacGillivray’s Warbler


Forget about all that talk yesterday about my age, and birthdays and all that stuff.  Today it is back to normal for me.

We got a call from Sid and Suzanne Johnson.  They wanted to come to San Angelo to go birding.  You don’t think that I am going to say no to a proposition like that, do you.  Ann says let’s do it.

After they arrived we headed to San Angelo State Park and the bird blind.

MacGillivray's Warbler

MacGillivray's Warbler

We put the usual feed out as we like to help out there on week-ends.  Not much activity there for awhile, mostly because there was a hawk shadowing the area for awhile.  After he was gone things picked up a bit.  House Finches, Black-crested Titmice, House Sparrows, Red-winged Blackbirds, but not much else until………….. there was movement in an area of some standing water and some reeds.  We spotted three MacGillivray’s Warblers.  They are a specie that is seldom seen in the area.  I managed to get a few photos but the birds were flighty in amongst the grass.  The one shown here is the best of the lot, then not the greatest.  I was using my 100-400mm hand-held. 

I went back to the van for my 500mm but by the time I got it set up, the moment and warblers were gone.  Next time I will have my 500mm set up first and be ready as soon as I walk into the blind.  Nevertheless, it was a lifer for me.

Later, after leaving the blind, we drove down towards the lake shore.  The American White Pelicans, and the American Avocets were  still hanging around.  Also some Blue Herons, Egrets, Sandpipers, and I think I spotted some American Coots.

Then we drove out the the Nasworthy Dam.  There they had the outlet flowing pretty heavily so that gushing torrent did nothing for any bird watching.  So we decided to call it a day, but for one last stop over the Twin Buttes Reservoir Equalization Channel.  There we spotted three Ospreys.  So all in all, not a bad day considering it was pretty much cool, cloudy and windy.

Happy Birding!!

More photos at www.zellertexasphotos.com