Tuesday, February 17, 2009

February 16th Blind Report: San Angelo State Park

It's always good to have a Monday away from the office to go out to "the other office." Saturday was a lost shooting morning due to Concho Valley Photography Club. Always a blast and a great learning experience, but I can't shoot and be at the club meeting. Sunday's light was horrible--no sense wasting my time on bad light.

So Monday rolled around and it was heavily overcast. I wasn't holding my breath on getting great shots, but I knew that this would be better than my lack of opportunity on Sunday.

I made it out to the blind at about 9AM. A phone call on my way into the park slowed me down by about a half hour or so. Light was cold and minimal when I got out there, but as the morning progressed so did the light. Started out shooting at ISO 200 with exposures of 1/40th to 1/60th of a second at f/6.3 and by the time I left, depending on the direction I was shooting, exposure times were 1/150th to 1/400th of a second at the same ISO and f-stop.

Image opportunities were good. Multiple opportunities on Red-winged Blackbirds. They were darn near at invasion levels from time to time. A small smattering of Brown-headed Cowbirds made their return as well. I'm never pleased to see them, but have to report what I see.

There were a couple of oddities. Pyrrhuloxias, who normally are not exactly people friendly, made much closer passes to the blind. I think I matched my all-time favorite male shot on this photo opportunity. Also reasonably rare was the orange variant of the House Finch. I'm told that this is not a subspecies, but just a rarity. Whether through genetics or diet is an open debate. Regardless, got a couple of decent images of him as well.

No laundry list--my copy of my notes did not make it between the car and the house.

House Finch (Male) - orange variation, San Angelo State Park, ©2009 Jim Miller
Red-winged Blackbird (Male), San Angelo State Park, ©2009 Jim Miller

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