First a quick note. I have blind reports that I need to catch up on for the previous 2 weeks and I hope to have those out in the next day or so. As has been the norm, it's been a long year this month.
Strange morning in the park. I had high expectations for the light as I was leaving home for the park, but by the time I got there the skies had gone more overcast than I had hoped. As such I was regularly shooting in the beginning at ISO 400, f5.6, in the 1/30-1/50th range. Certainly not good for stop action for some of our more active birds (i.e. Black-crested Titmice).
Traffic was reasonably slow up until about 20 minutes before I had to leave. Species spread was very tight--only 13 different species. Last week the number was at about 20. The laundry list is here--I've decided that from this point forward for San Angelo State Park I will use my blind checklist and put it into a new PDF rather than trying to type all of the information.
The highlights and lowlights...
Highlight: Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. A couple of males were hitting the feeder. I got some perched shots but the light was not strong enough for me to attempt an in-flight shot. I saw my first Ruby earlier in the week in my backyard, but these were the first pictures I was able to get of them. Awesome looking birds.
-- No Northern Cardinals this morning. Not a one. The place was flowing with them last week with males, females, and juveniles, but today not a one. May have been the overcast skies or it may be that they have again made a switch in foods back to proteins to get ready for the winter. I did spot one on my way down FM 2288 towards the South Shore entrance.
-- Very few house finches. Maybe a couple all morning
-- Cowbird population is down a bit from last week
Titmice were the most frequent visitors this morning. Both White-winged and Mourning Doves are understandably spooked this time of year and were not their normal heavy feeding selves.
Decent morning in the blind. Looking forward to more next week.
Image: Ruby-throated Hummingbird, San Angelo S.P., ©2008 Jim Miller