Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Periodic Update

© - White-winged Dove
As what seems to be the norm, I have been up to my neck in many tasks.  Overbooking is the term I heard the other day that seems most appropriate to my situation.  But here are some updates on what I've been doing in terms of work with blinds, keeping up with the blinds, and so on.

Latest Blind Visits:
I visited Pedernales Falls SP on July 11th.  I did a write up at Jim's Photo Ramblings.   The takeaway for blind shooters:  The perches have been moved too darn close, the suet is being gooped in large quantities, taking away from good clean shots, and less seed is being put down to discourage the doves.  The weather was not ideal the day I went, either, so all in all it wasn't that productive of a day.

I visited Stephen F. Austin SP on July 13th.  What I had listed on my Bird Blind Map as a possible blind in the park isn't one.  I have removed it.

I visited South Llano River SP on July 20th and July 26th.  On July 20th it was in the afternoon and I almost exclusively stayed in the Acorn Blind.  I had some hide and seek sun for most of my visit, which turned in some nice shots. On July 26th I visited in the morning, making images in the Acorn and Agarita blinds, along with a quick visit to Buck Lake.  Nice images of a lot of birds, though the light was not as pleasant as it was on the 20th.  I have not done a blog post on either of those visits.  I need to get caught up on those.

I also visited Abilene SP on July 26th to see how their blind was, but it was as I remembered it:  Decent for bird watching, lousy for bird photography.  It remains not on the bird blind map.

The Map (and the Spreadsheet)
The map was in desperate need of updating.  I think the last major update was done in 2011, but I've done small updates here and there over the last couple of years.  It is not a trivial task to track down all of the pertinent information, so it is taking some time.

To this point I've completed verification on all of the sites in the Lower Rio Grande Valley and the lone confirmed spot near Laredo.  I know that there are more in the Laredo area, but the information has been difficult to find and quite frankly, the Rocking R6 is so good that I haven't had much incentive to look further.

I had to remove the Cozad Ranch as it appears to have shut down, though if somebody can provide additional information to confirm or deny it would be great.  I have marked it as closed as of now.

The Kingsville and Corpus Christi areas are next before I get into the Hill Country and Hill Country River Regions.  There is a previously unknown to me ranch out towards High Island/Anahuac NWR area called the Lagow Ranch which has a blind.  I asked for more information, but didn't get it in time to do this blog entry.  It will go on the back burner until the next push to do updates.

As always, if you have information on a blind I don't have listed, please feel free to send me an e-mail and I will work towards adding it.

In addition to doing the updates to the map, I've also built a Google Docs spreadsheet to hopefully make future updates easier as well as to provide the data in a different format for folks who like text better than clicking on a map.  I've added the spreadsheet to the resources on the right column.

Another Pause
As you might have seen over at Jim's Photo Ramblings, I am in a job and life transition.  I retired from the Air Force after 22 1/2 years of service and am will be starting my first post-military job shortly.  Until I get my arms wrapped around what civilian life is like and how much time my civilian job is going to take up, I'm pausing all of my activities.

As I pick things up, this blog and my Photo Ramblings blog will be the first to fire up again.  I have some big plans for the blog to include building a website to contain the reviews of the blinds I've visited, maps (as appropriate), and other data to make things more useful.  It may be the first of my overbookings, but it will be a fun overbook.