Pre-Super Bowl Images


I don’t know if I will go out birding tomorrow, so I will show you some photos from yesterday and this morning.¬† Of course, there is the possibility that I may get out Sunday morning, but if I do, I will show them in my Post-Super Bowl post. ūüôā

These photos were all captured at Spring Creek Park here in San Angelo.  In no particular order, as we were just taking our time driving around.  Click on any image to see enlargements.

This is one of the bluest Western Bluebird that I have ever seen.  It was probably due to the early morning light.

Western Bluebird

Western Bluebird

We saw this Red-tailed Hawk across the water about 200 yards away.

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

He didn’t hang around long.

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

Also across the water about the same distance, this Great Horned Owl sat on a bunch mistletoe in a mesquite tree.  We had been following him around all morning.

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl

Last but not least, was the cute little Orange-crowned Warbler perched in the early morning sun.

Orange-crowned Warbler

Orange-crowned Warbler

That is probably it for the weekend.  Hope you enjoyed the photos.

Happy Birding!!

Western Bluebirds in West Texas


There are plenty of Eastern Bluebirds around west Texas.  However, there is another bluebird  that is not seen very often here, and that is the Western Bluebird, (Sialia mexicana).  Yesterday I was lucky enough to see about a half dozen of them in a small local park area.  Besides that, I was also fortunate to be able to get my vehicle close enough for these pictures.

Western Bluebird

Western Bluebird

Western Bluebird

Western Bluebird

Now compare these with the image below of an Eastern Bluebird, (Sialia sialis).  The blue covers the entire head and chin of the Western, whereas on the Eastern the blue stops just below the beak.  The Western belly is more grayish, in contrast to the bright white belly of the Eastern.

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird

The Eastern is found pretty much in the entire United States west of the Rockies.  You can see the Western usually in very far West Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and the Pacific coast.  Here in San Angelo, we are about 300 miles east of their usual range.  Enjoy the images and click in any of them to see an enlargement.

Portrait of a Great Blue Heron


This is one image that I almosed tossed out in my digital trash.¬† When I was¬†photographing the Great Blue Heron, (Ardea herodias),¬†the other day, he was about 150 yards away, across the river.¬† While trying to get some shots hand-held I threw my aiming point off a bit.¬† You might say that my gun went off in the air. ūüôā

Anyway, I chopped the heron off above the knees.¬† Fortunately, I, like other dedicated photographers, always take many, many exposures of any given subject.¬† So I had more shots like the one I¬†posted yesterday.¬† This morning while taking a closer look, I decided I could make a portrait of this handsome guy.¬† And, besides, I need something to write about in today’s post.¬† So, here is the result of that little mis-adventure.

Portrait of a Great Blue Heron

Also, during that little trip by the river, we saw several Western Bluebirds, (Sialia mexicana).¬† Since, most of the bluebirds that we see here are the eastern variety, I waited about posting any images until I could make sure of the ID.¬† I didn’t get any photos¬†that were ready for the art galleries, but this one is acceptable.¬† Unfortunately, because he is face directly at the camera, you don’t see much of his beautiful blue.¬† The photo is, of course, an adult male.

Western Bluebird - adult male

I hope you are enjoying all of my posts about the birds and birding of west Texas.  So keep reading and coming back as there will be much more in the future.

Great Blue Heron:  Canon EOS 7D with Canon 500mm f4 lens and 1.4 tele-converter.  Exposure:  1/2000 sec. @ f6.3, -1.3EV,  ISO 100.  I reduced the exposure because of a lot of glare off of the background.

Western Bluebird:  Canon EOS 7D with Canon 500mm f4 lens and 1.4 tele-converter.  Esposure:  1/1250 sec. @ f8, -0.7EV, ISO 100.  I messed up on this one, in that I inadvertantly reduced the esposure by 2/3, when I intended to increase it by the same amount.  I corrected it Photoshop.  Whew!!!

Lemonade from lemons – Mountain Bluebirds


I spent the day going through some of my old photos.¬† Looking for throwaways that I might try to salvage.¬† I came across these two Mountain Bluebird photos that I had taken back in February of 2010, during one of my many trips to the Big Bend area of west Texas.¬† I wanted to get close to some of these birds, as we don’t have them around my home area,¬† but it was not to be.¬† I had to settle for a couple images taken from a distance away.

I, for some reason or another, I hadn’t tossed them.¬† So I decided to see if I could make something of them.¬† So here are the originals and the end results.¬† Enjoy.

un-edited

Mountain Bluebird in brush

  • Canon EOS 7D
  • Canon 100-400mm zoom lens
  • 1/500 sec. @ f8
  • ISO 1000
  • Lens focal distance 400mm
  • Metering – partial

un-edited

Mountain Bluebird on fence post

  • Canon EOS 7D
  • Canon 100-400mm zoom lens
  • 1/500 sec. @ f8
  • ISO 500
  • Lens focal distance 400mm
  • Metering – partial

So as you can see, the final results probably won’t win any awards, but I do now have some usable photos of these beautiful birds.¬† Maybe on my next trip I will get some close-ups. ¬† Click on image to see an enlargement.