Thursday, September 10, 2009

September 6th Report: San Angelo State Park

As I mentioned a while ago, I still will have a couple of opportunities to head back to the old homestead to take care of business, spend some productive time with the family, and also get the opportunity to visit the blind.

While home for some planned medical issues, I had the opportunity to go back to San Angelo State Park and spend some quality time in the bird blind. Before I got out there I was lucky enough to meet up with one of the park staff that I dealt with regularly while a member of the board of Friends of SASP. He had a couple of moments and was nice enough to give me a sneak peek at a new structure going into the park. I won't go too much in depth because the final pieces have not been worked out yet. But suffice to say that I am very happy with the direction that things are going in at the park and the new structure, once put in place, will make photographers very happy.

As to the visit in the blind... I spent about an hour or so in the blind. It wasn't nearly as long as I would have like to have spent, but again there were other priorities for the trip and the fact I had any time to spend in the blind was amazing.

A recent heavy rain had added some life to the place. A couple of things caught my eye as to the state of the area. First was that there was a veritable plethora of doves, both Mourning and White-winged. This bodes well for the upcoming hunting season in the Concho Valley.

Second was the significant lack of cowbirds, both Brown-headed and Bronzed. This seems to be reasonably typical of this time of year, but I'm hoping that the efforts by the park to thin out the ranks by putting out the rolling trap have been successful.

There was not a lot of color in the blind. Most of the yucca plants have reached the end of their blooming cycle and the salvia appears to have been trimmed back quite a bit. Add this to the fact that this year there is no hummingbird feeder up, and the predictable results is that there was only one Black-chinned Hummingbird making the rounds. I saw but one Northern Cardinal pair during my time in the blind. Actually a mating pair and a youngster, but they didn't spend much time there--my presence may have spooked them. No woodpeckers, no Pyrhulloxia, no orioles, no Painted Buntings.

I was also surprised at how few house finches were around. I am hoping it was either just a time of day thing or just luck of the draw.

Black-crested Titmice were making the rounds as well. During my drive for my "preview of coming attractions" I saw both a Greater Roadrunner and a number of Turkey Vultures.

It was awful good to be home again and hopefully I'll get the chance again soon.

No images yet--I'm only traveling with my netbook and it doesn't have the power necessary to run Lightroom or Photoshop. Guess the images will just have to wait until I get back to Ohio. It should be interesting to see where my level of skill is given that I have shot less than 100 images in the last three months.

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