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So where have you been, Jim?

May 18, 2012

It has been a busy few weeks.  I have gotten a little bit of photography in along the way so I’ll recap those outings.

Pink Flower

© jmillerphoto – Pink Flower

Prior to this week, my last photography outing was April 29th.  I went up to Kreutzberg Canyon Natural Area in search of birds.  As you the long-time readers of this blog can tell, if I went out looking for birds and I post a flower, you know it was a bad day in the bird blinds.  Not a single bird in the blinds.  No house sparrows.  No house finches.  No doves.  Nothing.  I got a few damselflies, a few flowers, but otherwise it was a disappointing visit.

Common Yellowthroat

© – Common Yellowthroat

This past weekend I had professional obligations that kept me from shooting, but I had arranged to use some vacation time that was going to disappear at the end of the year if I didn’t take it.  So Monday I started the week by going to Pedernales Falls State Park near Johnson City, Texas.  It was a good start to the week, with some decent images.  I also had a chance to be reacquainted with good friend Pabu.  Pabu, or as more frequently seen as PABU, is the bird bander’s code for the Painted Bunting.  I missed out on seeing them almost entirely last year–just a brief viewing in my yard in San Angelo before we moved was all the time I got to spend with him.  There were a couple who came into the blind area at Pedernales Falls, but the images weren’t very good.  I had a life list add of an immature Orchard Oriole.  If I can find the time to blog about that over at Texas Photo Blinds I will.

Indigo Bunting

© – Indigo Bunting

Tuesday was a moderately rainy day.  I was happy to see the rain and it gave me a chance to knock out some tasks around the house.  On Wednesday I headed out to South Llano River State Park near Junction, Texas.  Great day of shooting there.  I got much better images of my good friend, Pabu.  Plus I got this life list add with an image of an Indigo Bunting.  This particular find is worthy of a blog entry all its own.  After a couple of hours in the blind I headed down to Buck’s Lake and made images of dragonflies and damselflies.  It was first really good dragonfly day and I added at least one life list find (Checkered Setwing) and perhaps another add.

Roseate Skimmer

© – Roseate Skimmer Dragonfly

Thursday was a trip out to Warbler Woods Bird Sanctuary in Cibolo, Texas.  I had not been there since the start of the new year and it was good to return.  No birds that I’m willing to share from that trip, but I did make some good dragonfly images and I managed to find at least two odonate county records and perhaps a third.

Blue-fronted Dancer

© – Blue-fronted Dancer Damselfly

And then finally today I headed out to a new location.  I’d heard some positive things about Castroville Regional Park out in Castroville, Texas.  There were conditions present for a wide variety of damsels and dragons.  It did not disappoint, though the numbers of dragons could have been better.  Really huge quantities of Familiar Bluets were present and about five different species of dragons that I could identify.  I think if I had stayed longer and waited for things to warm up a little bit more then the species spread would have been even better.

All in all it has been a great 4 days of shooting.  In short, I have met my month’s goals across the board.  I am still going to try to get out this weekend for a little more shooting–I have 3 or 4 places that are close that I’d like to visit in hopes of getting additional dragonfly numbers.  Stayed tuned for something early in the week.

About the Images:
I identified the pink flower at one point in time, but the notes from that trip are gone and I’m not that good of a flower identification person.  ISO 200, 1/200th at f/14.

The Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas) was not a life list add for me, but it was the first decent image I’ve made.  Had the window been a little cleaner in the Pedernales Falls bird blind I probably would have done better with this one.  ISO 400, 1/125th at f/5.6

As noted before, the Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea) was a life list add for me.  This one will get an additional blog post from me for reasons I’ll explain later.  ISO 400, 1/80th at f/5.6

The Roseate Skimmer (Orthemis ferruginea) was also not a life list add for me, but gosh they are pretty.  ISO 200, 1/100th at f/16.

I’ve seen plenty of Blue-fronted Dancers as well.  ISO 400, 1/400th at f/10.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 18, 2012 10:23 pm

    Enjoyed the post, Jim. Great photos. 🙂

  2. May 19, 2012 5:12 am

    Lovely images – esp. of common yellowthroat- this guy can be hard to get a good picture of!

    • May 19, 2012 6:06 am

      Thanks Cindy. I had seen a Common Yellowthroat in San Antonio during the winter, but they were being bashful. The great thing about the blind is that birds can move about their business without fear of us darned humans so this one was willing to sit for a few seconds longer.

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