Images from Pedernales Falls State Park

As I promised, here are several more bird images that I got at the blinds at Pedernales Falls State Park.  I believe that spring has sprung, given that the weather was great and the birds colorful.  I won’t bother with any senseless text here, but just let you enjoy the photographs.  But be sure to click on the images themselves, to see some beautiful enlargements.

Carolina Wren

Carolina Wren

Lesser Goldfinch - male

Lesser Goldfinch – male

Lincoln's Sparrow

Lincoln’s Sparrow

Black-chinned Hummingbird

Black-chinned Hummingbird

Ladder-backed Woodpecker - female

Ladder-backed Woodpecker – female

Lesser Goldfinch - female

Lesser Goldfinch – female

Ladder-backed Woodpecker

Ladder-backed Woodpecker

Many thanks to all that enjoy my work and offer comments.  I really appreciate the notes and compliments.  To see more of my work, click the Fine Art and the Flickr logos on the right side of this page.

Those cute Black Vultures

Okay, so Black Vultures (Coragyps atratus), aren’t so cute.  I just said that so you would read this post.  Pretty sneaky, eh?  Anyway, Katie, (her blog), loves the Turkey Vultures and I had promised to do a post about them.  Well, I’m sorry, Katie, but they, the Turkey types are gone for awhile, so maybe you can learn to love these. 🙂  For the un-informed, turkey vultures have a red head and the black vultures are, well, all black.

Ann and I were at the Spring Creek and Middle Concho parks that are near Lake Nasworthy, doing some local birding when we came across these.  The light was pretty good, partly cloudy, so I could get some shots that were not over-run with harsh shadows.  They had been feeding on a nearby armadillo carcass  Their fast-food place is called Carrion Carry-out.  Okay, old joke, courtesy of Gary Larson, sorry. 🙂

Black Vulture

Black Vulture

Black Vulture

Even though the light was better, it still is difficult to bring out the details in the overall blackness of their coat when they are back-lit.

Photo Info:  Canon EOS 7d with 100-400mm lens, aperture priority, spot metering and auto ISO on all images.  The first was created at an earlier date, the bottom two were photographed Sunday morning.

Photo 1:  1/640 sec. @ f10 – plus 1/3 EV – ISO 320

Photo 2:  1/640 sec. @ f7.1 – plus 1/3 EV – ISO 800

Photo 3:  1/640 sec. @ f7.1 – ISO 1250

Click on any image to see an enlargement.

Friday Odds and Ends, Pictures, etc.

Well, TGIF!!  Where the heck does time go anyway??  It seems we just had a Friday a week ago.  They say that when you get my age and start down hill, you pick up speed.  And away we go…..


We finally got our new Bushnell Spotting Scope that we ordered.  It was supposed to be delivered yesterday.  FedEx said that it was delivered to our door, but it wasn’t.  So I got on the horn to FedEx, they done some checking and discovered that it was sent to the wrong address, and we got it this afternoon.  We’re looking forward to using it this weekend with our monthly bird adventure at the state park.


My showing of my photographs continues at Crockett National Bank.  Originally was to end on December 31, but extended by popular demand until January 31.  I am honored about that.  So far I have sold two pieces of my work.

Brown Thrasher

I received an invitation to enter two of my works in the annual Stribling Art Extravaganza in March.  It is a show and sale, so I will be picking out two of my best.  I haven’t decided which ones to use, but I am open to suggestions.

Spotted Towhee

I heard from my old friend Johnny Harper in Midland, Texas.  Sixteen months ago he was diaganoxed with Stage 4 Lymphoma.  After those sixteen grueling months of chemo, surgery, and I don’t know what all, he seemed like his old self.  Can’t wait to see him again.  He is hankering to go on a trip with us to our favorite stomping grounds, Big Bend National Park.

Loggerhead Shrike

Well, I think that’s about it for now.  Hope you enjoy the pictures.  I can’t seem to write a post without throwing in some of my images.  Click on any of them to see enlargements.

Happy Birding!

San Angelo Birding Trip Sat. Dec. 4

I’ve gotten behind on my postss.  This is a busy time of the year for me.  I ‘ve been trying to get some birding time in, so when Suzanne and Sid Johnson said they wanted to get together Saturday it was a welcome respite.  We started at San Angelo State Park, at the bird blind, then  headed for the boat ramp.  I think we saw around 27 species in all at the park.

Following that we head for the park near Spring Creek Marina.  Lots of Eastern Bluebirds, Orange-crowned Warblers, Eastern Phoebes, Golden-fronted Woodpeckers, Ladder-backed Woodpeckers, and several others.  I forgot to mention, that we had stopped at what we call Huntington Lake, and there were waterbirds or ducks of almost every description.  Wigeons, Ducks, Merganzers, just to name a few.

All total for the five hours we spent was 43 species according to Ann’s count.  As for photos, I didn’t get too much as I got into the birding aspect more than usual.  I don’t think that any of what we saw presented a large photograph opportunity.  However, I did come away with a nice small image of a Belted-Kingfisher and a Ladder-backed Woodpecker.

Beltedd Kingfisher

Ladder-backed Woodpecker

Click on either image to see an enlargement.

Happy Birding!!

More from Maine

My f riend, Toby Shoemaker, from Maine has been at it again.  Some more Texas Tidbits.  Check out his latest here:  Here he put all of my (so far) parts to my Big Bend series.  All the links listed so you can read each part as you choose.  By the way, Part 6, will probably be coming your way in about two weeks.

Then read on for more of his, sometimes very hilarious, and sometimes seriously historical, whatever you want to call his style.  All of if very entertaining.  If you get lost, just click on his site at the top of my blogroll.

Back from the Big Bend, Part I

We finally got back home yesterday evening from the Big Bend area of the great state of Texas.  We traveled a total of about 1,100 miles and took around 500 images, most of what will end up in the proverbial round file.  But what great fun, so many margaritas, so little time. 🙂

This morning we had to lead our monthly adult birding tour at the San Angelo State Park.  Fewer birds than usual, but we met great new people.  Two of them were Tom and Judy Gargis from Fort Worth, Texas.  We first met them along the trails at Big Bend National Park before they were leaving for home.  Co-incidentally they were making a lay-over here at San Angelo State Park before heading for the metroplex.  Small world.

I have obviously a task ahead of me to edit a lot of images.  But first I wanted to post a few that I edited last night before turning in for some rest.  I spotted this North American Bobcat, also known as a red lynx or wild cat,  near the empty Rio Grand Village RV camping area.  He wandered out of the brush and decided to take a breather beneath a tree.  Fortunately, for me, he decided to rest several minutes, allowing me to get several exposures.  I had attached my Canon 100-400mm zoom lens to my Canon EOS 7D, and took the pictures hand-held from my van window.  Click any image to see an enlargement.



We spotted this Sharp-shinned Hawk in a tree about 30 yards off the highway in Big Bend National Park.  I parked up the highway and walked back silently to get this image with the same camera set-up as above for the bobcat.

Sharp-shinned Hawk

And last, but certainly not least, I have to include this photo of a Horned Lizard, more familiarly known as a Horned Toad, or Horny Toad.  I took this image this morning at San Angelo State Park.  This is the first one that I have seen in about 10 years.  They have been becoming scarce due to the increasing amounts of fire-ants in the state.  So I was pleasantly to see that there are still a few survivors.  This one was on the roadway, so after photographing it, I made sure that it scurried off the highway into nearby deeper grass.

Horned Toad

Blue Jays and More

We have had several Blue Jays (Cyanocitta cristata) hanging around our neighborhood lately.  For a while I thought it was the Northern Mockingbird that loves to tease me in my backyard.  They, the jays, can sure cause a ruckus, though.  I finally got a photo in my back yard.  The first one below.   

Blue Jay

This Western Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) was photographed at the Cedar Gap Farm wild bird viewing area.  It is a little north of Tuscola, Texas.  For some reason or other, we in San Angelo, don’t see many scrub jays.   

Western Scrub Jay

The Mexican Jay (Aphelocoma ultramarina)  is indigenous in the United States only to the Chisos Mountains of Big Bend National Park.  It, like the scrub jay, does not have the familiar crest  A good spot to find them is the Lost Mine Trail there.  That is where I made this photograph several years when I was still shooting on film.   

Mexican Jay

Speaking of Big Bend National Park, Ann, Jodie, and I are leaving Sunday morning for that area.  Our first stop is Marfa, Texas where we hope to see the mysterious Marfa Lights.  Quite a phenomena that no one can explain.  While there we may be able to make a quick run about 20 miles north of there and catch some birds at the Davis Mountains State Park.   

On Monday morning we will head for Lajitas, but will  take a long route down through Pinto Canyon, up around Chinati Peak to the little village of Ruidosa.  Population about 50.  From there we will head back eastward to Presidio, then down the spectacular river road along the Rio Grande, and into the resort of Lajitas.  We will be spending four nights there, using it as a base for daytrips to Big Bend Ranch State Park, and Big Bend National Park.  I hope to come home with some great photographs.

Roseate Spoonbills still here!

Persistence can sometimes pay off.  After doing my regular chores at San Angelo State Park this morning, I got to thinking, “What if those Roseate Spoonbills are still around?”  Ann and I decided to go back and check and see.  Sure enough, we were rewarded.  We spotted them on a little spit of sand much closer than before.

I still had to use the 2x converter on my lens, and so back to manual focusing.  Not my favorite thing to do at those distances.  But however, I did come up with a much better image that before.  Take a look.

Roseate Spoonbills

Roseate Spoonbills

Two Roseate Spoonbills were seen at O. C. Fisher Lake at San Angelo State Park.  As soon as Ranger Melanie Lacy called me from the park, I high-tailed it out there to see if I could spot it.  After all, it would be a “lifer” for me.  I spotted them as soon as I got there with my spotting scope.  To try to get as close as possible for any chance of a photograph.  I lugged my tripod and my Canon 7d with a 2x teleconverter down to the bottom of the boat ramp at the water’s edge.  Even then the distance was so great I could barely make them out in my view-finder.  I also had to manual focus.  This is the finished shot after extensive cropping and sharpening.  Nothing to write home about but good enough to make an ID.  By the way, Melanie says this the first ever sighting of a Roseate Spoonbill at the park.

Roseate Spoonbills


Hopefully, they will stay a few days so more people can see them.  It would be great if they would also move to a closer location for easier viewing.