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2012 Photo Shoot Day #3: Pedernales Falls SP (Jan 7)

January 10, 2012
American Robin

© jmillerphoto.com - American Robin

I almost didn’t make this trip.

I was late getting moving Saturday morning.  A restless night of sleep had me repeatedly reaching for the snooze button on the alarm.  By the time I convinced myself to get moving, it was getting close to 8AM.  And I still needed to get gas and some cash to get into the park.  I nearly turned around after getting to the gas station, convinced that the best light was gone for the day and I was wasting my time.  I’m glad I didn’t.

I spent 2+ glorious hours in the bird blind at Pedernales Falls.  The birds were thick and cooperative.  It was a 19 species day in the blind, bringing my year’s total up to 32.  The light was a little harsh, but nothing I couldn’t resolve in post-processing.  And the frames were doing their best Energizer Bunny® impersonation as they kept going and going and going.

At about an hour and 40 minutes into shooting I looked on the frame counter and couldn’t believe it–just 5 frames left on the card.  For goodness sakes this was a 16Gb card and there were only 5 frames left.  Did I have a spare?  Of course not.  When I bought the camera I bought a second card but in 7 months of shooting I’d never come close to filling one card so what was the use carrying (and potentially losing) that $30 spare card.  Rookie mistake.

Northern Cardinal

© jmillerphoto - Northern Cardinal

As luck would have it, the sun was getting to the point of unusable to I had actually paced myself reasonably well.  There were two highlights to the day.  First was seeing two male Ladder-backed Woodpeckers in the blind at the same time.  I’ve never seen two male woodpeckers of any species put up with each other in the same general vicinity without a fight but these two were being very non-territorial.  The other highlight was my fourth Life Bird of the year, adding the Eastern Towhee to the mix.  It was in the last set of frames I shot before packing up the camera and heading home.

When I got the images home I was very pleased with what I had and there will undoubtedly be at least a dozen that I eventually print.  Some of them are all ready up on Flickr, and of course you can view those on the right.

Reminder to Jim:  The next time you think you’re maybe wasting your time because you left later than you wanted, go with the thought behind curtain #2 and get to the bird blind.

About the Images:
This American Robin (Turdus migratorius) marked a couple of firsts for me.  The initial first was that this was the first time I had ever seen an American Robin come into the blind area in any blind I’ve worked.  They prefer living protein to seed protein, but they will never turn down a drink of water and a place to bath.  The other first was the first shot I’ve been truly happy with of this very common bird.

And in keeping with what appears to be a trend this year, yet another female Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis).  I have rarely seen so many Northern Cardinals in one cozy location.

These two and a few others are over at Flickr in larger and much sharper versions.  WordPress appears to be auto-softening images these days for reasons I’ve yet to figure out.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 10, 2012 10:57 am

    Great post,Jim and great pictures.

  2. January 10, 2012 8:30 pm

    Glad to hear the Eastern Towhee is still there, since I still haven’t seen it. I’m determined to not venture out this weekend, so I can plow through my existing photos. Great Work!

    • January 10, 2012 8:49 pm

      Thanks, Jason. He was a little tardy into the blind, showing up just short of noon.

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