Monday, March 23, 2009

March 21st Report - San Angelo State Park

Good morning in the blind. I had hoped to get out and about this weekend to someplace other than the same old thing, but family obligations and a very sore wrist kept me from traveling very far. I'm scheduled for another appointment for the wrist sometime in the next couple of weeks so hopefully we'll get to the bottom of that one--it's eating into my photography time ;)

But since I was more or less stuck in San Angelo (though happily stuck, may I add), and the light looked to be perfect, I headed out to the park to see what I could see.

Light was outstanding. Maybe a little bright at first and certainly the quality of the light changed often during my time in the blind. But it was almost universally good and only my impatience and knowing I had other things to accomplish on Saturday kept me from staying longer. Start time of actual shooting was around 8:25 and I stayed exactly 2 hours. Body count of the images was just south of 270 images and most of them were very good. The only significant mistake that I made was that I went to ISO 400 early in the morning because the shutter speeds were getting below 1/80th. As things brightened I did not go back to drop the ISO back to 200. With the 30D this is not a huge issue--noise is minimal at ISO 400. But at 200 it is far better.

First image of the day was a male Northern Cardinal. Last image was a Red-winged Blackbird. In between was a good variety of the standard late winter/early spring birds. The Orange-crowned warbler made his appearance and the small covey of Northern Bobwhites made an appearance as well with at least 5 being in the blind area at once. Pyrrhuloxia were out in large numbers as well, probably outnumbering the Northern Cardinals which is a very unusual occurrence. House Sparrows are becoming more abundant, though White-crowned sparrows are still out in force. If last year is any indication, the White-crowns should be starting to make their way elsewhere over the next few weeks. No repeat performances though from the Greater Roadrunner or the Golden-fronted Woodpecker and I haven't seen the Ladderbacks in weeks.

Again, a good shooting experience in the blind--well worth being stuck in town again.

Red-winged Blackbird (Female), San Angelo State Park, ©2009 Jim Miller
Pyrrhuloxia (Male), San Angelo State Park, ©2009 Jim Miller

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