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Photo Shoot Report: December 17th @ San Angelo State Park

December 18, 2011
White-crowned Sparrow

© jmillerphoto.com - White-crowned Sparrow

I was a little worried about this visit.

The bird blind at San Angelo State Park was a home away from home for me during my three year stay in San Angelo.  I spent a good deal of time both photographing in the blind and taking care of minor maintenance issues for about the last year I was there.  It was my baby.

And then I left.  I made periodic visits over the next year and a half.  Sometimes they were good.  Sometimes, well, not so much.

It had been almost a year since the last time I was at the park and in the bird blind when I made this visit.

I had heard some not so kind words about the blind from a couple of sources, including some voices that I respect quite a bit.

I had also spoken over e-mail with both the park superintendent and the head of the Friends of SASP about my concerns.  I’ve worked with both of them over the years and I know that they are very good people who genuinely care about the park and the bird blind.

So as I walked into the blind I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to find.  What I got was a decent experience.

I spent about two hours in the blind.  I made quite a few images, though certainly far fewer that I normally do at the blinds at Pedernales Falls SP or South Llano River SP during the same length of time.  Fourteen different species were seen and some decent images were made.  The highlight of the set was seeing a Canyon Towhee for the first time since I returned from Ohio.

But what was missing in the blind were two of the primary ingredients needed in any bird blind to attract birds:  Food and dripping water.  Zero food was seen in any of the feeders  Water was certainly present in the water feature/trough, but there was no flow of water.  These lack of the basics reflected in my shooting numbers.  Just 158 shots in two hours.  Yes, for most people that would be a lot of images.  But when I went back to my archives and notes it represented a little more than half of what would be normal this time of year with similar types of weather.

After my shooting I spent some time with the park superintendent and discussed my concerns.  I am convinced that the concerns are known and are being worked.  As an example, he discussed the fix for the water before I had a chance to bring it up.  The best news of all is that new windows have been ordered and will be installed soon.  The windows have been in bad shape for a long time and have been on the edge of being dangerous for the last couple of years.  This is welcome news indeed.

Overall it wasn’t a bad day.  The blind is not perfect.  It has issues that are being worked.  But it is still a pleasant place to spend a couple of hours on a Saturday morning.

About the Image:
There was an abundance of White-crowned Sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys) in the bird blind area.  A welcome winter visitor to the park.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 18, 2011 10:00 pm

    Good work with the blind. I hope it gets back to it’s former self soon. And nice image of that Sparrow. 🙂

    • December 18, 2011 10:01 pm

      Thanks, Katie. I have confidence it will. Too great of an asset to see fade away.

  2. December 18, 2011 10:54 pm

    Great shot. 🙂

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