Home > Birding, Vacation > South Llano State Park and Sonora Caverns

South Llano State Park and Sonora Caverns

Summer Tanager?

For lack of anything else to do, I decided to just up and go to South Llano and Sonora, spending the night in Sonora. I wasn’t expecting to see much in SL bird-wise during the summer. Jim’s blog has already documented the blinds. One thing I’ll note is that each blind has a name now. Probably to make it easier to figure out which one you’re talking about since there are FOUR of them. Maybe next time through I’ll take photos of the blinds and the names; I didn’t feel like switching lenses. Anyway, just the usual summer suspects. I believe I did get a Summer Tanager, which I think is new for me. The blind nearest the park office was the most popular. I also liked the one near camping area 19. It has natural flowers for the hummingbirds. So if you get the angle right, and they stay still you can get some photos of hummingbirds when they are not at the feeders. Definitely recommend bug spray. Hopefully spring and fall are better. And keep an eye for ants, esp. fire ants. They are pretty much everywhere (not in the blinds of course), but be mindful of where you stop on a trail.

It’s been a very long time since I’ve been to Sonora, and don’t remember any of it. Before you go, CALL to find out when tours are. I lucked out and got there just before one left. Right now, they seem to be doing them every two hours. This may or may not be because they are also shorthanded right now. This is a warm cave, not the cool cavern you might expect, so don’t bring a jacket. I think this one was prettier than Inner Space, though they are so different, it’s hard to compare them. I may or may not update this post with photos later. I have a difficult time taking cavern photos, esp. getting the white balance right. However for some reason, using the flash gets pretty close to the correct color. Unless you’re on a photo tour (which Sonora offers), I think caverns may be best experienced with your eyes, not your camera.

Hummingbird

Sonora Caverns

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Categories: Birding, Vacation
  1. bobzeller
    July 13, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    What a coincidence. My wife and I were at the blinds at Llano State Park yesterday. It’s the second time that we have tried them. I found that they are little sweat boxes this time of year. We also saw a Summer Tanager. As you said there wasn’t much else to talk about. I failed to get any decent photos this time. I returned to San Angelo State Park this morning and I think we saw 29 species in a couple of hours. Got a great photo of a Cactus Wren which I will post to my Texas Tweeties post later today.

  2. nosajio
    July 14, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    It’s definitely not cool! I would like to go out there when the turkeys are roosting. That should be a sight. I added a photo of the summer tanager and a hummingbird. Those are the two best ones. It’s tough to find the patience to sit in the summer heat.

  3. bobzeller
    July 14, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    Nice photo of the female Summer Tanager. I saw the male while I was there, bus missed the shot. I think my favorite blind is the one behind the hdqrs bldg. I also like the one near site 19.

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