Monday, October 25, 2010

Photo Blind Map Update and Upcoming Workshop at Block Creek Natural Area

I spent part of my weekend doing some much needed maintenance to my Texas Photo Blind map.   It had been far too long since I took the time to verify and update the information so now it may be reasonably correct, or at least as correct as the websites I used for reference.  I added a couple of sites, but sadly had to mark a couple others as either closed or unable to find.  As always, contact the owners of the particular properties to ensure that all of the particulars are correct.  I built an accompanying spreadsheet which I may share via Google Docs in the next week or so once I am certain that I can share it without sharing everything else I do in that forum.

Also in doing my updates I discovered the Block Creek Natural Area will be hosting Larry Ditto's "Texas Hill Country Birds and Autumn Colors" workshop November 4-6.  I'm not sure how much of the workshop will be in the blinds and how much will be wandering around, but Larry's work is superb and I have heard that he puts on an excellent workshop.  More information can be found at Larry's website.

Image:  Male Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis), South Llano River SP, © Jim Miller -

Sunday, October 24, 2010

News and Notes...

Little bits of news and notes are trickling in every once in a while.  I am hearing decidedly mixed results about the blind at San Angelo State Park.  Bob Zeller reports that the fall birds are arriving, with the most notable arrival being the White-crowned Sparrows--a true harbinger of Jack Frost packing up the car and heading for my beloved West Texas.  However, another couple photographer friends of mine have reported that fall has brought a narrow species spread and the predominance of blackbirds and doves is still in full force.  Timing and weather affect that blind more than any other I've ever dealt with.  Fingers crossed for some species diversity and great images during this time of year before winter hits and the angles of light become less favorable.  I have not heard any word lately regarding the planned but delayed 2nd bird blind.  If someone could provide me some updated info I would be very appreciative.

Bill Yeates was down recently at South Llano River State Park near Junction and reports that species spread was also pretty narrow, with the blinds currently being dominated by Northern Cardinals.  In my mind that is not necessarily a bad thing--I love the Northern Cardinals.  But at the same time, there comes a point where one more picture of a particular species is just one more picture of that species.  He did bring home a couple of images that would have been lifers for me: an Eastern Phoebe and a Gray Catbird.  Bob Zeller has posted those images over at his site and I invite you to wander over there to see Bill's great images.  Gosh, we need to convince him to get into the blogging business one of these days ;)

I'm still waiting to hear some word regarding the goings on at Pedernales Falls State Park as well as word about any fall workshops that might be going on at the various private blinds in the Hill Country and/or South Texas.  Any news regarding these subjects would be appreciated.

My 2011 calendar, Dragonflies 2011 is now available for sale for $16.99 + S&H.  Yes, they are dragonflies rather than birds.  What can I say--this summer during my exile from Texas has been all about Odonates.  Of the 12 different images there are 11 different species.  The repeat (the Widow Skimmer) has a male for one month and a female for another.  I am very pleased with the images and the production quality and invite you over to Lulu to take a look.  My plan for 2012 is to have a Northern Cardinal calendar as well as another dragonfly (or possibly a damselfly) calendar.

White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys), San Angelo State Park, © Jim Miller -
Eastern Amberwing (Perithemis tenera), Twin Creek Metropark, Germantown, Ohio, © Jim Miller -