Weekend Birding Photos


Ann and I took advantage of the nicer temperatures this past weekend.  It was nice to get out to do a little birding.  One thing we enjoyed was the antics of this Red-breasted Nuthatch.  It was in a some brush, and not very close.  It presented some lighting problems but I managed to get some shots.  Here is one of them.  Performing without a net or safety ropes. 🙂

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Red-breasted Nuthatch

We went back on Monday, tried to find it again.  I played his call on my iPad, but we only attracted some wrens and an Eastern Phoebe.  Go figure.

The juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron was back near his favorite area.  I don’t know why we don’t see it more often as when we do, he is nearly always in the same place.

juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron

juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron

On the way home, we saw this Great Blue Heron in a nearby pond.  At first he was just strolling looking for a likely meal, but eventually he tired of that and decided to take flight.  My Canon EOS 7D Mark II with a Tamron 150-600mm lens grabbed it at about 1/4000 sec. at f6/3, ISO 400.  Love that combination.

Great Blue Heron taking flight.

Great Blue Heron taking flight.

More in a few days.  Enjoy.

 

Birding in the Big Bend


Ann and I are back after spending a delightful four days in the Big Bend area of west Texas.  The weather was great, actually better than normal, as the temps barely reached the 100 degree mark in the afternoon.  Cool nights made the sleeping easy.

On Monday afternoon, after arriving in Marathon, Texas, to stay the night, we decided to go to the nearby Post Park, a very nice birding area.  We saw several species there and also met another friendly birder, Dean Hansen, who was helpful in identifying some of the birds.  It was there that we picked another one for the life list.  A Red-breasted Nuthatch.  Unfortunately I didn’t get a photo to show you.  By the way, it does not have a red breast, instead it was more yellow.

Yours Truly

Yours Truly

Cholla Blossoms

Cholla Blossoms

We stayed Monday night at the historic Gage Hotel in Marathon, then Tuesday morning took the 75 mile trek south into the Big Bend National Park.  After stopping at the park headquarters at Panther Junction we made the drive up in to the heart of the Chisos Mountains to where the Basin Lodge is located.  We didn’t intend to stay there, but the trails leading from there make for great scenics and birding.  There was a black bear alert for a mother and four cubs that had been seen nearby, but as luck would have it, we didn’t get to see them.

Cactus Wren - singing a welcome song at the Panther Junction park headquarters.

Cactus Wren – singing a welcome song at the Panther Junction park headquarters.

Later that afternoon, we headed out of the west side of the park into Study Butte, where we had reservations at one of the little ‘casitas’ at Far Flung Outdoor Center.  That was to be our home for the next three nights.  After unloading our luggage and settling in, we headed to the La Kiva restaurant.  Happy hour at 5:00 featuring one dollar margaritas.  We shared a 12 ounce T-bone and were back at the cabin by 7:00 to sit on the porch and enjoy the desert evening.

Scaled Quail, also known as Blue Quail.

Scaled Quail, also known as Blue Quail.

Wednesday morning we were ready to head to Rio Grande Village RV Campground on the far east side of Big Bend NP.  It is one of the prime birding areas of the park, and it did not disappoint.  We saw several birds to add to our burgeoning list of birds we’ve seen in the park.  We learned of a rare nesting pair of Common Blackhawks that were nearby.  The area is roped off by the National Park Service in deference to a possibility of some newborns.  One of the below photos is of one of the hawks eating a lunch, while the other adult in the second image is watching over the nest.  We believe that there may already be eggs there, or will be soon.

Common Blackhawk - eating lunch

Common Blackhawk – eating lunch

Common Blackhawk - watching over nest in lower left of photo.

Common Blackhawk – watching over nest in lower left of photo.

That is all for this post.  In a few days I will tell you about the rest of the trip and another lifer.  Enjoy the photos, and click on any of them to see enlargements.