White-faced Ibises


White-faced Ibis (Plegadis chihi).  These unique looking wading birds are normally seen wintering along the Texas Gulf Coast.  However during the spring of 2010 and 2011 these appeared at the water treatment ponds at Eldorado, Texas.  Again, those ponds have become a mecca for unusual birds to show up.  It is one of my favorite birding sites.

White-faced Ibises

White-faced-Ibis

White-faced Ibis

White-faced Ibis

Mother and Juvenile

As you can see, their feathers have a irredescent, glossy sheen.  They tend to change hues with the lighting.  One distinguishing feature is the white surround at the base of the bill.  It helps in the identification from the Glossy Ibis, which doesn’t have such a feature.

The in-flight pictures were shot with my Canon 7D with 100-400mm lens at shutter priority.  On the others I attached my 500mm lens with 1.4 tele-converter and hand-held using aperture priority.

Enjoy these images, and click on any one to see some enlargements.

Birding Eldorado Water Treatment Ponds


It started out to be a day to search for a reported eagle’s nest.  One had been reported on Hwy 67 between Rowena and Miles.  We took off yesterday morning to have a look, but couldn’t locate it.  Perhaps it is at another location, and we will check into it further.

So, we decided to detour to the south and visit the water treatment ponds at Eldorado.  There are usually some surprises to be found there and again, we were not disappointed.  Here are some photos that I managed to capture.  I will put a complete list of our sightings at the end of this post.  Also, you will find my camera data below each image.  Click on any of them to see enlargements.

  • Bonaparte’s Gull
  • Canon 7D
  • Canon 500mm lens w/1.4 tele-converter – hand-held
  • Shutter priority
  • 1/2500 sec. @ f5.6 – EV – 1/3 – ISO 200
  • Partial metering 
  • Bonaparte’s Gull in flight
  • Canon 7D
  • Canon 100-400mm zoom lens
  • Shutter priority
  • 1/2500 sec. @ f5.6 – ISO 160
  • Partial metering
  • White-faced Ibis
  • Canon 7D
  • Canon 500mm lens w/1.4 tele-converter – hand-held
  • Shutter priority
  • 1/2500 sec. @ f5/6 – EV-1/3 – ISO 640
  • Partial metering
  • White-faced Ibis in flight
  • Canon 7D
  • Canon 100-400mm zoom lens
  • 1/2500 sec. @ f4.5 – EV-1/3 – SO 250
  • Shutter priority
  • Partial metering
  • Baird’s Sandpiper
  • Canon 7D
  • Canon 100-400mm zoom lens
  • Shutter priority
  • 1/2500 sec. @ f5.6 – ISO 400
  • Partial metering

I hope you enjoyed the photos and the addition of the camera settings, etc.  Now here is a list of the sightings for the day.  Again, those water ponds produced another fun day of birding.

  1. Red-tailed Hawk
  2. Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
  3. Western Kingbird
  4. Brown-headed Cowbird
  5. White-winged Dove
  6. Mockingbird
  7. Field Sparrow
  8. Turkey Vulture
  9. Wild Turkey
  10. Greater Roadrunner
  11. Barn Swallow
  12. Double-crested Cormorant
  13. Egyptian Goose
  14. Wilson’s Phalarope
  15. Bonaparte’s Gull
  16. Savanah Sparrow
  17. White-faced Ibis
  18. Upland Sandpiper
  19. Spotted Sandpiper
  20. Killdeer
  21. Eastern Phoebe
  22. Greater Yellowlegs
  23. Painted Bunting
  24. American Pipit
  25. Least Sandpiper
  26. Common Grackle
  27. Chipping Sparrow
  28. European Starling

Gulf Fritillary and shorebirds


I’m not usually into butterflies much.  I guess that’s because I never paid a lot of attention to them.  I don’t know why, as they are beautiful creaatures.  I was watching the birds at the San Angelo State Park wildlife viewing area this morning.  Right outside the window is a plant of Yellow Lantana and as I watched, this butterfly, later identified as a Gulf Fritillary landed on it.  It took it’s time, going from blossom to another.

Gulf Fritillary

 

He (or she?) was only about eight feet away.  I decided to try and get a good sharp picture, maybe freeze the action.  I turnd on my on-camera flash, set the aperture at f16 and took the shot.  The shutter speed was only 1/250 per sec, but the flash duration was much higher and that is what got the sharp image.  I am very pleased with the result.

Long-billed Curlew

 

My wife and I are still starting to see more shorebirds at O. C. Fisher lake.  Great Blue Herons, American Avocets, Black-necked Stilts, and some sandpipers that are too far away to identify.  Soon there will be more species like the Long-billed Curlew, White-faced Ibises, Pelicans, etc.  Hopefully it won’t be too long, as I am geting impatient. 

White-faced Ibis

 

In other news, my Epson R1800 Stylus Photo printer was giving me problems for awhile, so I thought maybe it was time for a new one.  I ordered and received a new R1900.  I unpacked it this afternoon and got it running.  It is doing an excellent job.  However, during the interim while waiting for the new one, I corrected the problem on the old R1800.  Instead of shipping the new one back I decided to keep it.  I will keep the old one as a back-up unless I dispose of it by selling it.

Happy birding!!

A slow chilly day…


A beautiful sunshiny day, albeit a little cool with a strong north wind.  Didn’t get out to do any birding.  I had the sniffles a bit and didn’t want to catch anything.   I worked instead out in my shop and framed some pictures for display.  I do my own printing, mat cutting, and framing.   It’s all part of the creative process.  Pat Bales called and confirmed that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department had cleared me to lead the Birding tours at the park starting in January.  I thought I’d put three of my favorite pictures on the blog today for your, hopefully enjoyment.

Yellow Warbler

Yellow Warbler

White-faced Ibis

White-faced Ibis

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

Actually I have a lot of “favorite ” pictures.  I will be adding more.  By the way, thes “framed” images are just for digital display.   My actual frames differ quite a bit from these.  And they are for sale.  If anyone’s interested in owning one,  just contact me.
Happy Birding!!