Monday, February 27, 2012

Blind Map Updated

I have updated the Texas Bird Blind Google Map.  I added both the Kreutzberg Canyon Natural Area and Blanco SP information.

Still hunting down a couple more.  As I find the information, I will pass it along.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Initial Blind Report: Kreutzberg Canyon Natural Area

I have neglected this blog.  I do apologize.  My Assorted Ramblings blog and work has been taking up the lion's share of my time and I have not spread the news about this new set of blinds.

There are three new blinds to report to you.  Well, new to me.  But also reasonably new to everyone, having been up I believe just a little more than a year.

Kreutzberg Canyon Natural Area is a smallish county park in Kendall County, about 20 minutes or so outside of Boerne, Texas.  It sits on the Guadalupe River, though admittedly I've not been down to the river yet in the two visits that I've made.

The entry price is right--Free.  Though at the same time I strongly urge you that if you use the blinds that you drop a couple of dollars in the donation container to help pay for feed and future upkeep.  If we're using it, we should be paying for it.  I have used the concept that I'd pay $5 to get into Pedernales Falls SP so I try to drop that in the bucket.

There are three blinds on the property.  I will do more detailed write-ups on them later because there is a significant difference in what you will see from blind to blind.  But for now I will paint with a roller and later I'll get out the small brush to work the trim.  Much of this preview is going to be comparing this blind to others on public lands.

The three blinds are labeled the Cuckoo, Chaparral, and Cardinal.  The Cardinal blind is closest to the River.  The Cuckoo is closest to the office, though you can see the Chaparral from the Cuckoo so there's not a lot of a distance between the two. All are more or less the size of medium to large sized storage sheds.  The biggest is probably as big as the Acorn blind at South Llano River SP.  The smallest on par with the blind at San Angelo SP. 

All three blinds have comfortable seating, but they are fixed in place.  Seats similar to the Acorn blind at South Llano River SP minus the padding/spring.  I found this very conducive to shooting.

The enclosure area for the blinds are much more intimate than any I've seen.  The back wall of the deepest enclosure area is closer than the back wall at SLRSP's Acorn blind.  The downside on a couple of them is that the metal fencing material that they used 

There are wooden doors that open to give photographers non-glass openings--very much like the one at Lost Maples SNA but bigger.  The downside is that there is no place to sit (bring your own folding stool or be ready to sit on your knees) and it is awkward for a tripod.

Like PFSP, you can certainly shoot through the glass and I was pretty successful in doing so.  Refraction effects become noticeable if you're more than about 30ยบ off of shooting straight through so pick your perch carefully and hope for good luck.

There are tiny water features at 2 of the 3 blinds.  There was no water feature visible at the Cuckoo blind, though there was rainwater collection going on so I don't know if there is a water feature but it is broken or if one does not exist in that blind.

The other two blinds utilize rainwater collection from the roofs.  I am assuming this water is reused for the water features.  This is outstanding planning and very eco-friendly.

The park is located at 143 Mark Twain Drive.  My 4 year old GPS maps located this property on the first try, so it isn't tough to get to.  It is about 25 minutes from Interstate 10 or about 20 minutes from the heart of Boerne.

Again, as I catch up I will give a little more detail to the three blinds as each has their own character and their most likely suspects when it comes to bird species.

Bewick's Wren, Kreutzberg Canyon Natural Area, © 2012
Northern Cardinal (Male), Kreutzberg Canyon Natural Area, © 2012