As I said before in my previous post, the weather is really warming now. We have visited the local parks and as far as birding, the results are almost nil. For example, Ann and I decided to check out the local parks around Lake Nasworthy this morning. I never had a chance to press the shutter on my camera. That is not good. We have been having much better luck, though, at San Angelo State Park. We have made three trips out there and by taking our time and driving over those approximately 20 miles of roads, I have picked up some very nice photographs. We are usually home by noon as the temperatures start to reach 100° by then. Here are some images from the past few days. Click on any of them to see some nice enlargements.
We had reports of a Swainson’s Hawk nest, just a couple of miles from our home, off the frontage road of Loop 306. To get a good view we had to park behind the local Steak Express and watch it from across the highway. Thank goodness for long lenses. We parked there for about an half hour on two previous mornings and could only see a bit of feathers of a young one on the nest, behind some leaves and branches. This third morning, we were treated with the arrival of the adult.
We headed out to San Angelo State Park after that. As we started driving around, we heard first the call of a Yellow-billed Cuckoo and a few minutes later we spotted him in the branches.
Another view of another Yellow-billed Cuckoo.
All over the park we could hear the call of the Bobwhites. It wasn’t difficult to see some in the low tree branches.
There is an abundance of Ash-throated Flycatchers in the park. I was able to get really close to this one, for a formal head-and-shoulders portrait.
We spotted this Blue Grosbeak from a distance. Too far for a decent photograph. So we decided to wait. We sat in the car with the engine turned off and eventually it, or one just like it, finally alit about 100 feet away. He seemed to be happy.
Another bird that is hard to get close to is the Painted Bunting. We would spot several high in the tops of trees, but, again, too far for a photo. But as with the Blue Grosbeak, we eventually got lucky again and I was able the capture this one. One just need patience.
The Common Night Hawk is just the opposite. Pretty easy to photograph, but very difficult to find. This one was in a tree in the Isabelle Harte Multi-use area of the park. It was only about seven feet off of the ground, but because of their coloring we nearly missed it. I was only about 20 feet away, in my car, AKA my mobile blind, when I made the photograph.
We decided to move away as I don’t like to stay too close, even though I was well hidden. But it did eventually fly from the perch and landed across the road in another tree. I took this next photo from farther away, and as you can see, if I didn’t already know the bird was there, it would have been hard to spot.