Bird activity at Spring Creek Park

The weather has cooled and birding has improved over the past few days.  It is hard to believe that just four days ago on the 18th, San Angelo had a record-breaking high of 97°.  It broke the old record of 92 set back about 100 years ago by five degrees.

So anyway, a few days ago, Ann and I went to Spring Creek to check out the birds there.  What fun we had.  First we came upon a Red-tailed Hawk just as it flew from a tree in front of us.  I quickly watched to see where it landed.  Luck was with us and it landed in a tree about another 150 yards away.  It had it’s back to me and it was back-lit, but I did get this photo as it looked back at us.

Red-tailed Hawk - 1/2000 sec. @ f7.1, ISO 6400.

Red-tailed Hawk – 1/2000 sec. @ f7.1, ISO 6400.

A few minutes later, we saw several Cattle Egrets along the edge of the water.  I got out of the car, and keeping trees between me and the birds I tried to get within camera range.  They were skittish and I only managed to get a photo of this one that was slower than the rest.

Catttle Egret - 1/2000 sec. @ f7.1, ISO 160.

Catttle Egret – 1/2000 sec. @ f7.1, ISO 160.

As we circled through a horseshoe drive portion of the park, we spotted this Vermilion Flycatcher in a smal live oak next to the road.  It was on the opposite side of the car so I couldn’t shoot through the window easily.  I got out of the vehicle, placed my bean-bag on the roof of the car and got a pretty decent image, if I do say so myself.

Vermilion Flycatcher - 1/2000 @ f7.1, -0.3 EV, ISO 160.

Vermilion Flycatcher – 1/2000 @ f7.1, -0.3 EV, ISO 160.

Also along the water, we saw a Spotted Sandpiper hopping along.

Spotted Sandpiper - 1/2000 sec, @ f6,3, -0.3 EV, ISO 320

Spotted Sandpiper – 1/2000 sec, @ f6,3, -0.3 EV, ISO 320.

It is always fun to run across a roadrunner.

Greater Roadrunner - 1/1600 sec. @ f6.3, -0.3 EV, ISO 160.

Greater Roadrunner – 1/1600 sec. @ f6.3, -0.3 EV, ISO 160.

Greater Roadrunner - 1/1600 sec. @ f6.3, -0.3 EV, ISO 160.

Greater Roadrunner – 1/1600 sec. @ f6.3, -0.3 EV, ISO 160.

After leaving the park, we saw this Osprey looking out over the water, hoping to see an early lunch.

Osprey - 1/1000 sec. @ f6.3, -0.3, ISO 1000.

Osprey – 1/1000 sec. @ f6.3, -0.3, ISO 1000.

After having so much fun that day, we decided to return the following day.  Immediately, we saw a Great Blue Heron in the water.  I liked it’s pose and as I turned the car to get a good shooting angle, a large Osprey flew down and scared the heron off.  The Osprey decided to stay awhile and stayed in the water where the heron had stood.  It apparently like the water temperature so it decided to bathe and get itself clean.  It flopped around, shook it’s wings, dove under the water for an instant than shook itself dry again.  It repeated this several times.

Osprey - 1/1000 sec. @ f7.1, -0.3, ISO 320

Osprey – 1/1000 sec. @ f7.1, -0.3 EV, ISO 320

Osprey - 1/2000 sec. @ f6.3, - 0.3 EV, ISO 1000.

Osprey – 1/2000 sec. @ f6.3, – 0.3 EV, ISO 1000.

Osprey - 1/1000 sec. @ f7.1, -0.3 EV, ISO 250.

Osprey – 1/1000 sec. @ f7.1, -0.3 EV, ISO 250.

Finally, it took off and landed a few yards away to dry off.

Osprey - 1/2000 sec. @ f7.1, -0.3 EV, ISO 800.

Osprey – 1/2000 sec. @ f7.1, -0.3 EV, ISO 800.

This whole sequence took place about 150 yards away from my camera position.  In retrospect, I wish I had videoed the whole time.  But I didn’t want to take a chance of missing the whole thing, while trying to set up my camera for recording.  I ended up with about 150 different exposures, and perhaps after reviewing all of them, I may find some more interesting images.

Meanwhile, up in the trees away from the water, this Great Horned Owl slept through the excitement.

Great Horned Owl - 1/2000 sec. @ f6.3, +0.7 EV, ISO 6400.

Great Horned Owl – 1/2000 sec. @ f6.3, +0.7 EV, ISO 6400.

We ended our little foray into Spring Creek Park by getting an image of one of my favorite birds, the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher - 1/2000 sec. @ f7.1, ISO 250.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher – 1/2000 sec. @ f7.1, ISO 250.

I hoped you enjoyed this post.  Click on any image to see some amazing enlargements.


‘Til the next time, Happy Birding!!


Running late again……..

After a very action filled ten days, I am finally back to write another post.  Sorry about the long delay, but things happen.  Currently, our A/C is not running.  We have contracted to have a new complete unit installed, but that won’t happen until next Tuesday the 11th.  The installing company did loan us one window unit, and fortunately the temps here are in the low 90s and will be in the 80s in a couple of days.  So we cope.  Also, about ten days ago, I was eating a chicken salad from Wendy’s and unfortunately I bit down on a tiny bit of something hard, perhaps a bone, and I chipped one of my front teeth.  I know have a cute little gap, much like that little “What Me Worry” guy on the front cover of Mad Magazine many years ago.

Of course, part of my delay is that birding was quite slow for a few days. We would go out and wonder where did all of the birds go.  So, for a change of pace, we made a trip to South Llano River State Park.  It is noted for the great birding there.  It really wasn’t that great their either, but with what I got there and what I have photographed the past three days, I feel I can contribute to a nice post for you.  I know you like a lot of pictures.

Right now there are a couple of Great Kiskadees hanging out around Spring Creek Park, here in San Angelo.  A fellow birder, Randy Hesford informed us of them back on September 25.  Kiskadees are very rare here.  Anyway,we went out the following morning and spotted them about 200 yards away across the water.  We were hoping they would come to our side, but they stayed where they were so I tried to get photos with my Tamron 150-600mm lens.  Here is one those distant photos.  Heavily cropped so the image quality is not very good.

Great Kiskadee - 1/1250 sec @ f6.3, +0.7 EV, ISO 6400.

Great Kiskadee – 1/1250 sec @ f6.3, +0.7 EV, ISO 6400.

Nearby a Great Blue Heron was grazing.

Great Blue Heron - 1/1250 sec. @ f6.3, +0.7 EV, ISO 6400

Great Blue Heron – 1/1250 sec. @ f6.3, +0.7 EV, ISO 6400

There was nothing more happening, so we went home.  The following morning we were back to see if the Kiskadee were still there.  I got another shot from a little farther away, but it shows both of the birds.

Great Kiskadees - 1/1000 sec. @ f6.3, +0.7 EV, ISO 6400.

Great Kiskadees – 1/1000 sec. @ f6.3, +0.7 EV, ISO 6400.

On the following day, we decided to go to San Angelo State Park.  We were a little later than usual, so we didn’t know how successful we would be.  But luck was with us as we drove along one of the many roads there.  We had been seeing a Kingbird, in the area.  We were thinking Western Kingbird.  But after thinking about it, we realized it was all alone, and we remembered that most of them had already left.  So as you suspect, I had been ignoring it.  But I decided to try and get a good photo and look at it closer.  Well it turned out to be a Cassin’s Kingbird, a bird seldom seen here.  It goes to show you, during migration, anything can show up, such as those Great Kiskadees.  Here, I might add that Randy Hesford saw and photographed a Couch’s Kingbird hanging out with the Kiskadees.  Another rarity.  So here is the photo of the Cassin’s Kingbird.

Cassin's Kingbird - 1/1000 sec, @ f7.1, ISO 200.

Cassin’s Kingbird – 1/1000 sec, @ f7.1, ISO 200.

After driving through the State Park and not getting anything more interesting, we decided we still had time to go to Middle Concho Park.  There I was able to photograph this gorgeous Vermilion Flycatcher.  The amazing part was that I happened to drive close by this tiny live oak tree.  A brilland flash of red caught my left eye.  There, only about eight away, was the tiny bird sitting.  I  quietly got my camera off of my lap and started shooting.  He must have sat there for around three minutes.  He then moved to another branch, just a little farther away, maybe ten feet.  Again, I was able to take my time a get several more images.  Here are two of them.  I hope you like.

Vermilion Flycatcher - 1/1000 sec. @ f5.6, +0.7 EV, ISO 2500

Vermilion Flycatcher – 1/1000 sec. @ f5.6, +0.7 EV, ISO 2500.

Vermilion Flycatcher - 1/1000 sec, @ f6.3, -0.3 EV, ISO 3200

Vermilion Flycatcher – 1/1000 sec, @ f6.3, -0.3 EV, ISO 3200.

The next day we decided to go to South Llano River SP.  They have four different bird viewing blinds.  We usually try to hit all four, as we can see a variety of birds at each one.  We have had better days there, but we saw enough to make the trip worthwhile.  Here are a few images from that little jaunt down to the Junction, Texas area.  Randy Hesford accompanied us, and while were there, we ran into another birder friend, David Hunt.

Northern Cardinal - 1/1000 sec. @ f5.6, +1 EV, ISO 2500.

Northern Cardinal – 1/1000 sec. @ f5.6, +1 EV, ISO 2500.

Yellow Warbler - 1/800 sec, @ f6.3, +0.3, ISO 400.

Yellow Warbler – 1/800 sec, @ f6.3, +0.3, ISO 400.

Vermilion Flycatcher, female - 1/1000 @ f5.6m -0.3 EV, ISO 100.

Vermilion Flycatcher, female – 1/1000 @ f5.6m -0.3 EV, ISO 100.

Black-throated Sparrow - 1/1000 sec, @ f7.1, -0.3 EV, ISO 400.

Black-throated Sparrow – 1/1000 sec, @ f7.1, -0.3 EV, ISO 400.

Back to San Angelo.  On October 2nd, my 82nd birthday, thank you very much, we decided to run to the State Park again.  I came away with this nice close-up of a Grasshopper Sparrow.

Grasshopper Sparrow - 1/800 sec. @ f5.6, +0.7 EV, ISO 160.

Grasshopper Sparrow – 1/800 sec. @ f5.6, +0.7 EV, ISO 160.

On October 4th, we decided to go back to Middle Concho Park to check on the Vermilion Flycatchers.  I got this shot of a female of the species.

Vermilon Flycatcher, female - 1/1000 sec. @ f6.3, -0.3 EV, ISO 640.

Vermilon Flycatcher, female – 1/1000 sec. @ f6.3, -0.3 EV, ISO 640.


Ladder-backed Woodpecker, female. 1/1000 sec. @f7.1, ISO 1000.

Ladder-backed Woodpecker, female. 1/1000 sec. @f7.1, ISO 1000.

In attendance was this Ladder-backed Woodpecker female.

So that is it for this post.  It is lengthy, and I hope it made up for my lateness. 🙂

Please click on any image to see some great enlargements, especially if you are viewing this on a computer.

Flashes from My Past

As I mentioned in my last post, it is getting into the summer doldrums.  The summer birds are here but they feel like I do.  Just a bit lazy about getting out in the warm afternoons.  So, to break up my routine a bit, I think I will veer away from birds only, in this post.  After all, this blog is also about photography, not only birding.

As a longtime professional outdoor and nature photographer, I have encountered some very interesting and exciting photo opportunities.  In the past fifteen years or so, I have amassed thousands of images, some great, some not so good.  But I have been published in over a dozen publications or books, including many covers.  My work has appeared on a billboard, murals and various websites, and in homes and offices across the country.  Like any photographer, I have several favorites that that I have secreted back in my files.  I thought it would be nice to share a few with you.  If you like them, I may publish a few more in a later post.

Let’s start with this photograph that I took earlier this year down in Big Bend National Park.  That area was created millions of years ago by exploding geological formations.  Canyons were created.  Mountains were created.  Wow!  It must have been something to see!  This photograph shows some of the geodes that were tossed around by some kind of volcanic upheaval.  In the back ground are hills of volcanic ash, called tuff.  Those boulders are really just a bit larger than bowling balls, but with my 10x16mm wide angle lens they appear bigger.  I actually got down on the ground to capture this.  Fortunately, my dear friend and fellow professional photographer, Deb, was nearby and she and her husband helped me up.  It’s hell to get old.  Anyway,it turned out to be one of many favorite photos from my travels to Big Bend National Park.

Big Bend Moonscape

Big Bend Moonscape

This bobcat was in the woods out near Spring Creek Park here in San Angelo a couple of years ago.  Ann was with me, and we were creeping along a boundary fence next to a wooded area.  Ann spoke up and said she saw a shadowy figure moving up ahead.  We both then saw it as we got closer, and realized it was a bobcat.  It was starting to get deeper into the woods.  As we got parallel to it I hesitated. thinking that it was too far away to get a usable photo.  But then, it stopped and turned facing us.  I grabbed my Canon 70D and Tamron 150-600mm lens and settled it on the window sill of our car.  By then there was a lot of brush between me and the animal, but I was using only my center focusing spot of the camera, and I was able to “thread” it through the twigs and branches to focus on the animal’s eyes, at a distance of about 75 yards.



This next photo of a Vermilion Flycatcher was created during another trip to Big Bend National Park.  There are many great birding areas there, and we always try to visit each one.  One of our favorite places to see a good variety is the Rio Grande Village campground.  We were there late in the spring of one year and the snowbirds, i.e. visitors from the north that come south for the winter, had mostly vacated the area to return home.  By driving thru the area, we see a good collection of birds and an occasional bobcat.  Anyway, this photo is one of my favories of the flycatacher species.

Vermilion Flycatcher

Vermilion Flycatcher

Oh, yes, I must tell you about my photo life before birds.  I was really into photographing flowers and landscapes.  In San Angelo we have one of world’s largest and best water lily collections.  For photographing flowers this is a must place to visit.  For this photo I was down there late in the afternoon.  Skies were partly cloudy with those nice puffy white clouds floating around.  I browsed around the five pools of lilies, looking for the right shot.  I came upon this particular lily, and I liked the way the lily was juxtaposed near the lily pads.  The white clouds reflecting in the water look gold, because of a treatment in the water.  I had and old film camera, I believe it was a Canon EOS3, and a Tamron 200-400mm lens on a tripod.  I worked for around 30 minutes getting set up, as the cloud movement and light changed every few minutes.  I finally was satisfied.  I clicked three bracked exposures.  Ann looked through the viewfinder while it was still on the tripod and remarked, “Bob, you have a real winner here.”   This was the one of the three that I picked.

"Prima Donna Magnifico" (Magnificent Ballerina"

“La Prima Donna Magnifico” (Magnificent Ballerina”

Later, I was showing it at an art show, and an art professor from Angelo State University saw it and proclaimed it to be “La Prima Donna Magnifico”, meaning Magnificent Ballerina.  I liked that name and went with it.  The photo won me first place in three local art shows, and in an international competion sponsored by Photographers Forum Magazine it took 4th place out of about 18,000 color entries.  It went on to be my most profitable image for several years.

I also love photographing golf courses.  We have some beautiful courses here in San Angelo.  I have done work for Quicksand Golf Course, and framed photos of all of their holes hang on the walls there.  At least they were there the last time I played there several years ago.  But one of my favorite golf images is one of the first hole at San Angelo Country Club.  When I was photographing the course, I was trying to pick out a feature of the hole that was memorable.  In this photo, I positioned myself behind a water pond short and to the right of the green and took the shot through the trees.  You can see the flag there if you look close.

Hole #1 - San Angelo Country Club

Hole #1 – San Angelo Country Club

Several years ago, a new Visitor’s Center for the San Angelo Chamber of commerce was constructed along the Concho River.  Hailed as one of the most beautiful such visitors’ centers in the state, I decided to try and get a nice photo of it.  To do so, I picked a morning when the water was dead calm and I could get a nice reflection.  I chose a position directly across from the building so I could get the entire structure in the image.  The exact spot that I needed was precisely where a tree was growing.  I sat down on the ground with my back to the tree and composed the picture.  Here is the result.  For a short period it was on a billboard, north of the city, welcoming visitors to the area.

San Angelo Visitors Center

San Angelo Visitors Center

San Angelo Billboard

San Angelo Billboard

One spring Ann and I took a little tour in the hill country of Texas to see the Texas Bluebonnets in bloom.  One image I particularly liked.  We had come across this little knoll, and right before us was some bluebonnets in the foreground.  Then right across a low water crossing there was a meadow with whitefaces, (Hereford cattle), grazing.  I crouched low so as to get the bluebonnets in the photo.

Later, the people that owned the local McDonald’s Franchise contacted me to buy the rights to one of my images for a mural in one of their restaurants.  I showed them my portfolio and they decided on that particular photo, as they liked the bluebonnets.  They in turn had another compny make the mural, which turned out to be in a wall covering form.  They installed it on a large wall.  But, would you know, they positioned furniture in place that covers the bluebonnets.  It still looks very nice.

McDonald's Mural

McDonald’s Mural

Well, I think I will end this post here.  I don’t want to bore you with to many of these memories.  But I promise I will be back with some more soon.  Please click on any image to see some very nice enlargements.  I also feel obliged to mention, prints of any of my photographs are available for sale.  If interested, contact me at

And then the rains came……..

Rain is nice.  Especially here in San Angelo, where it seems we are in a perpetual drought, except some years are worse than others.  This past year hasn’t been as bad as some previous.  So having said that, we have had drizzly showers on and off the past few days.  We have been limited to getting out to just a few hours between rains.

I have only a couple of images to show for the effort.

Ladder-backed Woodpecker

Ladder-backed Woodpecker

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl

The two images above were captured at Spring Creek Park, here in San Angelo.

In between our treks, I spent time going through some of my old images and I came across a few older ones that you might enjoy.  This are just random shots from early 2014.

Ash-throated Flycatcher

Ash-throated Flycatcher

Vermilion Flycatcher - immature male

Vermilion Flycatcher – immature male

Vermilion Flycatcher - adult male

Vermilion Flycatcher – adult male

Western Scrub-jay

Western Scrub-jay

White-eyed Vireo

White-eyed Vireo

The clouds are starting to part today, so hopefully I will be able to get some new images in the coming week.  Click any photo to see enlargement.

Happy birding!!

Vermilion Flycatcher and others.

This post is best viewed on a computer or device where you can click the photos and see nice enlargements.

Since my last post, Ann and I have mostly been hanging around the local area, looking for more new birds and new photo ops.  I guess we are still unwinding from our Big Bend trip.  The weather here has been fickle, as well.  Around 90° one day, down to a current 51° as I write this around noon on April 28.  A chilly day for west Texas.

Yesterday, though, it was pretty nice, albeit a bit windy.  I caught this Vermilion Flycatcher darting among the trees at Middle Concho Park at Lake Nasworthy.

Vermilion Flycatcher

Vermilion Flycatcher

Also nearby, was this Great Blue Heron.  One of my favorite wading bird subjects.  We watched him fish for awhile, but he never came up with anything worthy of eating.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

A few days earlier we were at the south portion of the large San Angelo State Park.  We stopped at the blind but didn’t see anything of interest, but visited with some nice folks from South Dakota.  We left there and decided to just drive through the park, as we sometimes see much more than we will at the blind.  We were not disappointed.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

Northern Bobwhite

Northern Bobwhite

When I started to drive away, this Bobwhite started singing so I stopped the car and took another shot.

Northern Bobwhite

Northern Bobwhite

We continued along and finished our drive with this Chipping Sparrow, who were available in great numbers.

Chipping Sparrow

Chipping Sparrow

Well, that’s all for this one.  In the words of that former California governor, “Ah’ll be boch”.

The birds are coming! The birds are coming!

The winter birds are not all here yet, but they are beginning to straggle in.  Ann and I went to our local parks yesterday and spent about two hours.  We spotted twenty-three different species in that short time.  Of course, some of them were residents, but we spotted a few Eastern Bluebirds, Yellow-rumped Warblers, a Greater Yellowlegs, three Pied-billed Grebes, and a few Gadwalls.

In other news, some friends of ours moved back to Abilene, so we went to visit them.  During the day we visited the bird blind at Abilene State Park.  Wow!  What a disappointment.  It is definitely not photographer friendly.  Several vertical ‘slats’, for want of another word, are spaced about 10 inches apart across the window.  Nor was it exactly great bird watching either in our visit.  The water facility didn’t have any water for example.  It is very tiny. There are several feeders right in front of the window that I thought was distracting.  It just seems to me that everything was just placed in a hap-hazardly manner.  Maybe it was just me, but I could see no organization it it.  In the thirty minutes we were there we saw exactly two bird species.  Black-crested Titmouse and Carolina Chickadee.  I think they need to visit our blind here in San Angelo or the nice ones at Pedernales Falls SP.

Great Egret - photographed near Abilene, Texas

Great Egret – photographed near Abilene, Texas

So that is my rant for the day.  The above photo, by the way, was not photographed near the bird blind.  Of course, you probably knew that.

Vermilion Flycatcher from my archives.  March 2014

Vermilion Flycatcher from my archives. March 2014

Today, I have been going back through my archives, and it seems that I keep making these discoveries.  The following photo was taken during a trip to Knoxville, Tennessee, way back in 2008.  We had been visiting our dear friends, the Tappans.  Ann and I, along with Deb and Paul were driving along the Tennessee River.  Deb is an awesome photographer, too, so when we came across a rookery of Black-crowned Night Herons, we promptly got our equipment ready.  There were at least one hundred of them, some flying around, and others roosting.  I had been wondering where those photos were, and I found them in a folder buried inside another folder.

A happy Black-crowned Night Heron from my archives.  June 2008

A happy Black-crowned Night Heron from my archives. June 2008

Our 2014 Big Year list is at 193 right now.  As I have mentioned before, we have a goal of hitting 200 by the end of the year so we only have seven to go.  Sounds easy, but we have to get to work.  We are going back to the Davis Mountains later this month, then a few weeks later we hope to make another trip to Uvalde.  Then there might be even time for a few days to visit the Big Bend area.  Hopefully, we can find those seven during those trips.


Just a few images from the past week.

This post might be a bit brief from the narrative side.  I couldn’t think of anything to write about more deeply.  We did make a few excursions this past week to do a bit of birding, and get a few photographs along the way.  We did see our first Bullock’s Oriole and Scissor-tailed Flycatchers of the year.  Also the first Black-necked Stilts that we have seen in over two years.  With the level of Lake Nasworthy having dropped three feet, the shoreline is wider and making great habitat for the wading shorebirds.  Here are a few photos for you to see.  I would strongly ask that you read this post by clicking on the link.  Then you can click the images and see some great enlargements.



I watched the Osprey for twenty minutes, hoping he would turn to face me a me a little bit, but it never happened.

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird

The Eastern Bluebird was in the shade a little bit, almost making the face too dark, but I love photographing them.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

The Scissor-tailed Flycatcher was a harbinger of many more to come.  Summer is almost upon us.

Eastern Phoebe

Eastern Phoebe

Spotted Sandpiper

Solitary Sandpiper

Black-necked Stilt

Black-necked Stilt

I love the elegant, gracefulness of these Black-necked Stilts.  Their slender legs are about the size of straws.

Bullock's Oriole

Bullock’s Oriole

The Bullock’s Oriole is the predominant oriole in this area.  The one above was the first I saw this spring.  It was nearly too far away for a decent photo.

Great Horned Owlets

Great Horned Owlets

The owlets were over two hundred yards away, across the lake, high in a tree.  My friend, Julie Stewart, told me about them.  She attempted to photograph them with her 300mm lens, but were almost out of reach.  She thought that with my 150-600mm lens I might have a better chance.  I got the above shot, putting my setup on a tripod at the water’s edge.  Even then, I had to do some extreme cropping, and a little sharpening.  Those tiny twigs in front of the birds made focusing from that distance very difficult.  But thank you, Julie, for giving me the chance.

So, that’s about it for this time.  I love reading your comments, so if you feel like saying a few words, give it a go below.

By the way, the Solitary Sandpiper is number 140 on my Texas Big Year list.

Photographing the Vermilion Flycatcher

The cute and feisty, little Vermilion Flycatcher is probably my favorite of all of the flyctchers.  They are tiny little guys that dart here and there, flitting around to catch elusive little gnats, insects, and  mosquitos.  They are also adept at avoiding getting photographed.  To get the job done takes a bit of patience.

It is my experience that they generally hang around in the vicinity of the same tree.  So I usually park my vehicle several yards away, giving myself a large shooting field.  Having a long lens is a definite help and I use my Tamron 150-600mm zoom on my Canon EOS 70D.  I rest this setup on my driver’s side window, using a cushion fashioned from a Noodle that I purchased at Walmart.

Using this described recipe I was able to get the two images below, one each of the male and female of the species.  I used Photoshop to crop them tight for composition, and made the necessary lighting and color adjustments.

Vermilion Flycatcher - male

Vermilion Flycatcher – male

Vermilion Flycatcher - female

Vermilion Flycatcher – female

To get the full enjoyment of viewing the photos PLEASE click on either one.  You will be pleasantly surprised.

Update:  While birding this morning I was able to add two more species to my Texas Big Year list.

138.  Bullock’s Oriole

139.  Black-necked Stilt


Going back to the Big Bend……

I am going to be brief with this post.  Again, Ann and I are leaving tomorrow morning to spend a week down in the Big Bend National Park area.  Migration is beginning and we hope to come home with some nice new photos from the area.

Here are a couple of images from the past few days.  Hope you enjoy.  Just click on any of them to see some enlargements.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher - first one of the season

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher – first one of the season

Wilson's Snipe

Wilson’s Snipe

Golden-fronted Woodpecker

Golden-fronted Woodpecker

Ash-throated Woodpecker

Ash-throated Woodpecker

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

We will be staying at the Casitas of the Far Flung Outdoor Center in Terlingua.  If you are in the area, stop by cabin #12 and visit.  Otherwise, we will be back next weekend with new photos and maybe some stories to tell.

A Little Flash of Red

We were out driving through our local parks yesterday.  Saw 43 species for a nice day of birding.  But what caught our attention in one area was a flash of red across the road in front of the car.  We looked to the left and saw a cute little Vermilion Flycatcher, with a grub, on a small branch about 100 feet away.  I was able to stop the car, and get my Canon SLR with the Tamron 150-600mm lens into position.  These images that follow are heavily cropped to give you a nice closeup of that feisty bird.  If you will click on either photo, you will see some beautiful enlargements.

Vermilion Flycatcher

Vermilion Flycatcher

Vermilion Flycatcher

Vermilion Flycatcher

Vermilion Flycatcher

Vermilion Flycatcher