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Three Blinds and a Hike

March 18, 2013
Black-crested Titmouse

© jmillerphoto.com – Black-crested Titmouse

Wow… what a weekend of shooting.  I’m going to break up these posts over Saturday and Sunday because there were many shots and much to talk about.

So Saturday took me out into the field again after a one weekend break.

Stop one was at Kreutzberg Canyon Natural Area (near Boerne, Texas.  It had been a long time between visits for KNCA.  End of April last year to be exact.

My last time out was incredibly unproductive.  I went for bird shots out of the blinds and I came away with nothing.  Not a single bird inside the blinds.

But it had been a while, I was hoping for good things out of the blinds but I wasn’t holding my breath.  And the results were, well, just okay.  Productive blinds are more than good structures and landscaping every once in a while.  They are a labor of love and they take daily attention to put out fresh seed and to make sure water is flowing properly, plus a regular flow of donations to keep the seed out.  South Llano River SP is an example of how to do it right, but they’ve been at it for years.

I got a few birds in the middle of the three blinds, but I was completely shut out again at the blind closest to the parking lot and the blind closest to the river. I’ve got some strategies for next time and probably an e-mail or two to send before I go out again.

I took into account that the birding may not have been perfect, so I did prepare to do some hiking, and it was an enjoyable hike.  Sadly we do not have a lot of wildflowers out so the butterflies were not in amazing abundance.  But I did make a few good shots, scouted out some spots for my next trip, and left reasonably content.

Dot-winged Baskettail

© jmillerphoto.com – Dot-winged Baskettail

Now in the past I would always just drive home, but instead I went into Boerne, had lunch, and then moved onto the Cibolo Nature Center near the Boerne City Park.  I had heard about this park a few times but I’d never taken the time to actually go out there.   I was happy I made the side trip over.  Not a lot of photography luck, but I did end up with some fresh damsels on Cibolo Creek and what may be (stressing may) a new county record for a Dot-winged Baskettail dragonfly.  About half-way through the hike the winds picked up so any other photography was pretty much out.

All in all it was a good day.  But the weekend was only half over and Sunday was pretty cool, too.

About the Image:
The Standard Gear was employed on the tripod for both of the shots.  The Black-crested Titmouse (Baeolophus atricristatus) was nice enough to perch on the antlers adorning one of the image shots inside the middle blind of the three at KCNA.    ISO 400, 1/1000 at f/9.  What I am calling a teneral Dot-winged Baskettail (Epitheca petechialis) was the find of the day but was wedged really well in to a tight spot amongst the vegetation.  ISO 400, 1/400 at f/11.

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