Birding getting better…….


It must be the cooler temps that we have had the past few mornings.  Ann and I went out to the local parks for a few hours.  It might be my imagination, but there seemed to be more activity than we have had recently.  We saw 26 species.  Although not a great number, but it did include a few surprises.  A Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, three Yellow Warblers, a Carolina Wren, just to name a few that we don’t see everyday.

Here are some images that I managed to get.

Ann, my bride and spotter, saw this Green Heron across the water about 100 yards away.  I maneuvered our car around so I could park on the bank and shoot across the water.  The photo turned out great, thanks to my Canon EOS 7DmkII and my Tamron 150-600mm lens.  Heavily cropped, of course.

Green Heron

Green Heron

This Yellow-billed Cuckoo presented a challenge.  He and a companion were frolicking in the trees so I had to move the car several times to get into position, and he was far above my head..  For those of you who wonder why I didn’t get out of my car, the answer is that the birds don’t co-operate as well when I am visible.  The car makes an excellent bird blind.

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

We decided to drive out Spillway Road where we sometimes see nice bird activity.  Along the way, I spotted this juvenile male Painted Bunting.  I was disappointed that we didn’t see an adult male, but it was nice to be able to get this image.

juvenile male Painted Bunting

juvenile male Painted Bunting

Unfortunately the above three were the only acceptable (to me) images that I got.  Seeing 26 species doesn’t alway translate into photographs, I am sorry to say.  Most of the birds are either too far away, hidden in the trees, or flying by faster than I can get the camera off of my lap. :-)

In my best Arnold Schwarznegger voice, “Owl be bach”. :-)

Nighthawk and a Roadrunner


102° today, the eleventh day of 100° or hotter.  The average here in San Angelo is 18 days per year of 100° days.  The record was in 2011 when we had 100, yes, that’s right, 100 days of 100° or more.  I hope we don’t break that record.

Anyway, we can’t stay in forever.  We do venture out sometimes earlier in the day, which was the case today.  We decided to take a drive through San Angelo State Park.  We saw the usual summer residents of sparrows, mockingbirds, etc.  Also, several quail scurrying through the deep grassy areas.  Of course, I was on the eye out for photo ops.

Driving out to the Isabel Harte section of the park, we spotted this Common Nighthawk.  On top of that, as I was taking this photo, Ann spotted another one on another tree branch about 20 yards away.  Of course, it flew before I had a chance at it.  I am always amazed at the camouflage of these birds.  It is so easy to miss them.

Common Nighthawk

Common Nighthawk

There wasn’t too much action after that.  The temp started climbing and most of the small birds that we saw, were looking stressed.  But as we decided to leave we spotted this Great Roadrunner in a tree.  It had just given chase, unsuccessfuly, to a Cactus Wren.  While it was resting and catching it’s wind from that, I was able to get this photo.

Greater Roadrunner

Greater Roadrunner

So that is it for this post.  I’ll probably try to make to the local city parks sometime during the upcoming week.  We’ll see what has been happening there.

Of course, it behooves me to also give you this update:

My new “World of Bob Zeller – Outdoor Photographer” DVDs are here. Outstanding collection with great sound track. 100 of my best images; birds, landscapes, and others.   Better than my book. Produced by DSTappan Productions of Knoxville, Tennessee. Price is 25.00 that includes Texas tax and shipping. Local residents only 20.00 if I can deliver it to you. I do business the old-fashioned way, just a handshake. You mail me a check to: Bob Zeller, 4401 White Ash Ln., San Angelo, TX 76904-4528, and I will get one shipped to you. Also, my phone is 325-944-1839 or e-mail me at bobzeller@pobox.com.  I have many references if you need.

It has gotten great reviews from the people that have purchased them.  If you purchase one and don’t like it, (highly unlikely, I think), I will return your money.

Thank you and happy birding!!

Photos and a DVD update.


Still pretty warm (hot) here and we are not getting out much.  The birds are laying pretty low, so I am getting caught up, going through old images, and resurrecting some.  Here is one that I came across that I captured in February and never before published to this blog.  Probably one of my favorites of a Northern Bobwhite.

Northern Bobwhite

Northern Bobwhite

Another February photo of a Black-crested Titmouse.

Black-crested Titmouse

Black-crested Titmouse

From April, an Osprey.

Osprey

Osprey

Recently, driving in the heat through Mary Lee Park here in San Angelo, I discovered that the Prairie Dogs are expanding there range away from the nature center there.  This little guy was eyeing me carefully as I drove by.

Black-tailed Prairie Dog

Black-tailed Prairie Dog

Click any image to see some great enlargements.

DVD UPDATE:

My new “World of Bob Zeller – Outdoor Photographer” DVDs are here. Outstanding collection with great sound track. 100 of my best images. Better than my book. Produced by DSTappan Productions of Knoxville, Tennessee. Price is 25.00 that includes Texas tax and shipping. Local San Angelo residents only 20.00 if I can deliver it to you. I do business the old-fashioned way, just a handshake. You mail me a check to: Bob Zeller, 4401 White Ash Ln., San Angelo, TX 76904-4528, and I will get one shipped to you. Also, my phone is 325-944-1839 and my e-mail is bobzeller@pobox.com.  I have many references as to my honesty if you are interested.

That’s all for now.  Happy Birding!!

 

The Dog Days of Summer


The temperatures around here in San Angelo have been hovering around the 100 degree mark or a little higher.  That means that it is best to stay in out of the heat.  That is what the birds and wildlife seem to be doing.  Ann and I have not been getting out too much, either.  But a couple of days ago we decided to stop binge-watching the seven seasons of “The Andy Griffith Show” and get out, if only to get some fresh air and stretch our legs.

At San Angelo State Park, this Northern Bobwhite presented a problem when trying to photograph it.  It’s was partially hidden, except when he was calling.  When he called he stretched his head up, and I could focus on his entire head.  So I patiently waited for the right moment, as the head was up for only a few seconds each time.

Northern Bobwhite sing to his mate.

Northern Bobwhite

Greater Roadrunner

Greater Roadrunner

Ash-throated Flycatcher

Ash-throated Flycatcher

At the ‘mudhole’ near Twin Buttes Reservoir there was a little more activity.

Northern Mockingbird

Northern Mockingbird

Killdeer

Killdeer

Blue Grosbeak - female

Blue Grosbeak – female

That’s it for now, until we decide to get out again.  By the way, another reason for not getting out is that I am in the act of getting a DVD produced.  It contains 100 of my best photographs, not only birds, but landscapes, flowers, etc.  The images are selected from the past few years, plus a great music tract.  It will be available in about two weeks.  I must say, I have seen the preview, and it is awesome.  I am very proud of it.

Well, time to see what that rascal kid, Opie, is up to now.  Season 2, episode 14. :-)

New DVD Available


This is a special post for my readers.  I have great news.  I, along with my friend in Tennessee, Dstappan Productions, have produced a very nice DVD of 100 of my best images, accompanied with music.  It is currently for Windows only.  If Interested, please mail me a check for 25.00 to: Bob Zeller, 4401 White Ash Ln., San Angelo, Texas, 76904-4528.  That amount will cover any taxes and shipping by Priority Mail.  I don’t take credit cards anymore….too expensive.  But we in west Texas are used to doing business with an e-handshake.

The DVD contains 100 images, assorted birds, animals, landscapes.

Be sure to give me your address and contact info, e-mail or phone, etc.

As I said, it is for Windows operating systems only at the current time.  We are working on producing one for TV viewing and that should be available soon.

Hope to hear from many of you.  Thank you.

Post Independence Day Photos


I hope everyone had a great Fourth of July Holiday!!

For the past week or so, Ann and I have been trying to work in some birding, between doing household chores and visits to the vet with our Shih Tzu, Suzie.  She has eye problems that we are trying to clear up.  Anyway, here are a few miscellaneous photos that I managed to grab during that time.

This Scissor-tailed Flycatcher I got lucky with at San Angelo State Park.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

This Canyon Towhee, also at San Angelo State Park, was partially shaded with leaves from the mesquite, but I think the image still looks pretty good.

Canyon Towhee

Canyon Towhee

Ordinarily I mostly ignore House Finches because they are here in great numbers and I guess I take them for granted, but I thought that this little female was pretty.

House Finch - female

House Finch – female

The next three image also from San Angelo State Park.  I can’t resist these gorgeous blue birds.

Blue Grosbeak

Blue Grosbeak

Western Kingbirds are in abundance here during the summer.

Western Kingbird

Western Kingbird

We are experiencing a large increase of Northern Bobwhites this year.  When driving through the park we were always within earshot of their calls.  This one scampered across the road in front of us.

Northern Bobwhite

Northern Bobwhite

The following two photos are from our previous trip to South Llano River State Park.

Northern Cardinal - juvenile

Northern Cardinal – juvenile

How about a squirrel thrown into this collection.  At one of the blinds at SLRSP.

Squirrel

Squirrel

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

Photos from Here and There…..


I don’t have a good story for you today.  We’ve been spending the past week or two doing some things around house, and not getting much birding done, save for a couple of short outings here and there.  So here are two images from a quick trip yesterday to South Llano River State Park.  We didn’t stay too long, it was very hot and humid in the blinds, and even the birds decided to take a day off.

Inca Dove

Inca Dove

Black-throated Sparrow

Black-throated Sparrow – juvenile

Yellow-breasted Chat

Yellow-breasted Chat

I was reluctant to include the above photo of the Chat.  I had a senior moment, I guess, and mistakenly used a shutter speed of 1/250 instead ot the intended 1/1250 per sec.  It blurred the photo somewhat and I had to do some correction in post processing.  I included it because I don’t see these very often, and it appeared for a few minutes at the water feature at the park.

The following are some photos that were in my archives that I thought you would like.  By the way, click on any of the photos in this post to see enlargements.

First up, a Black-capped Chickadee that I photographed at my niece’s home in Interlochen, Michigan, back in 2008.

Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee

A Savannah Sparrow that I photographed recently at the mud hole near Twin Buttes Reservoir in San Angelo, Texas.

Savannah Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow

A Yellow-billed Cuckoo, San Angelo back in 2011.

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Black-throated Sparrow that I captured at South Llano State Park several years ago.

Black-throated Sparrow

Black-throated Sparrow

A Northern Flicker photographed near Spring Creek Park in San Angelo, Texas.

Northern Flicker - (Yellow-shafted)

Northern Flicker – (Yellow-shafted)

Two images of Cedar Waxwings near San Angelo, Texas.  I don’t know which image I like best.

Cedar Waxwings

Cedar Waxwings

Cedar Waxwings

Cedar Waxwings

Black-headed Grosbeak.  Photographed at the Davis Moutains State Park during a visit in May of 2014.

Black-headed Grosbeak

Black-headed Grosbeak

I hope you enjoyed the photos included here.  I’ll try to have more in the near future.