Sunday, June 8, 2008

June 8th Report: San Angelo S.P.

I am dragging tonight. It's been a very long weekend at SASP. I spent 7 hours on Saturday at the park working with Friends of SASP talking about birding, bird photography, and the bird blind. Awesome time, but very windy and very busy. My personal thanks go out to Family Power Sports of San Angelo for providing a Kawasaki Mule to help ferry folks from the pavilion where most of the events were going on to the bird blind. It made a huge difference.

Today I spent another 4 hours in the park at the bird blind and a quick drive around the park to include a brief visit to the Prairie Dog Town. I had not been out there before and honestly it is far from being the highlight of the park. I think with some work it could be a magnificent draw to the park, but in it's current form there's not much to be seen there.

I did get a couple of good doggie shots from my 4-wheeled blind and I'm sure that those will show up shortly. I will know to go earlier in the morning next time to get better angles, or possibly later in the afternoon, though those will be done also within the confines of the 4-wheeled blind because late afternoon is also a great time for snakes. If I'm making images of snakes, I prefer to do them with a 600mm lens with a 2x teleconverter and with an RF shutter release.

As for the blind report. Got in early, left later than normal. Weather was pretty miserable. Windy and very cloudy up until close to noon. Temperature was reasonable enough (translated: cool) but the lighting was a bear to work with. But there was a good variety of species available there making for a reasonably mediocre morning. The laundry list...

Species List
Bewick's Wren
Black-Chinned Hummingbird
Boat-Tailed Grackle
Bronzed Cowbird
Brown-Headed Cowbird
Bullock's Oriole (Male)
Cactus Wren
Curve-Billed Thrasher
Golden-Fronted Woodpecker (Female)
House Finch
House Sparrow
Mourning Dove
Northern Bobwhite Quail (Mating Pair)
Northern Cardinal (Male only)
Northern Mockingbird
Painted Bunting (Male & Female)
Red-Winged Blackbird
White-Winged Dove

The trend of White-Winged Doves outnumbering Mourning Doves continued, with the Mourning Doves not showing up until around 11 am.

Boat-Tailed Grackle is a regular resident elsewhere in the park, but I'd not seen that bird in the bird blind before. Northern Mockingbirds spent a good deal of time posing as well--a reasonably usual behavior as the spring turns into summer and there are a few more insects within the confines of the blind..

The male Northern Cardinals were being exceptionally photo tolerant today with about 50 frames shot in 3 opportunities.

Good day in the blind, but I'm drained...

Image: House Sparrow (Male), San Angelo S.P., (c) 2008 Jim Miller

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