Sunday, June 1, 2008

June 1st Report: San Angelo S.P.

Following up from the last report from the blind. I did get the chance last weekend to walk some of the trails in San Angelo S.P. after having last visit cut short. I walked what is labeled as the "Shady Trail" on it's trail head on the North Shore entrance to the park. I saw a few birds, to include a variety of Northern Cardinals, Golden-Fronted Woodpeckers, and a Summer Tanager, but found the photographic lines to be wanting. I did have great luck on the trail with hairstreak butterflies and a wide variety of species of damselfly. On the downside, I left my macro extension tube at home so it means that I will need to walk the trail again someday. I also had a distant encounter with a Water Moccasin, so I am not likely to do that one by myself anytime soon, either...

It was a good quick morning in the blind. My off-duty supervisor put a last-minute event on my schedule around 10AM so I didn't get to take full advantage of the morning.

Birds were most active after about 9AM. Light was decent, but not great. As is the usual, the light was better before the birds arrived and not so great after they got there. An earlier opening of the park wouldn't have helped much. I must spend some time explaining this to the birds so they can get their watches synchronized to the best photographic light ;)

The Laundry List:

Species List
Black Chinned Hummingbird
Bronzed Cowbird
Brown-Headed Cowbird
Bullock's Oriole (F)
Cactus Wren
Curve-billed Thrasher
Doves (Mourning & White-Winged)
Golden-Fronted Woodpecker (Male & Female)
House Finch
House Sparrow
Painted Bunting (Male & Female)
Northern Bobwhite Quail (Mating Pair)
Pyrrhuloxia (Male)
Red-Winged Blackbird (Exclusively Male)
Wild Turkey (Hen)
Western Kingbird

On the way to and from the blind I spotted Scissortailed Flycatchers and a second bird that I'm going to need some guidance on from my birder friends.

No Black-Tufted Titmouse this morning. This may be the first time in months that I've not seen at least one. No Northern Cardinal this morning either. We (the other photographer in the blind and I) heard them, but they did not make an appearance. Mourning dove numbers are dropping. On the way to the park I saw a fledgling White-Winged Dove repeatedly being unsuccessful at it's first flight.

It was good to see the Pyrrhuloxia this morning, though it would have been even better if he had been nice enough to show himself in a position where I could take a good picture of him...

The word for the day was bravery. I'm counting the Wild Turkey as being seen in the blind because I still had one foot in the blind when I spotted her walking by the human entrance to the blind. She did not seem to be all that concerned that I was there and calmly walked around the fence for some seed and some water. Certainly not the brightest Wild Turkey that I've seen in my time in the blind.

The Western Kingbird was a new one for me within the confines of the blind. It spent an extensive amount of time perched and came back a couple of times. The female Bullock's Oriole was also a first for me--so much so that I had to refer to the book at home before I could make a positive ID.

Curve-billed Thrashers were in relative abundance today.

The Bobwhite Quail were considerably braver as well, getting all the way up to the wall of the blind.

Butterfly numbers are also still coming up. I saw a number of hairstreaks as I walked up the trail and the numbers of Variegated Fritillaries and Pipevine Swallowtails seemed significantly higher.

Blue-Ringed Dancer Damselfly [
Argia sedula], San Angelo S.P., (c) 2008 Jim Miller
Western Kingbird, San Angelo S.P., (c) 2008 Jim Miller

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