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Posts Tagged ‘Pedernales Falls’

Pedernales Falls – Sep 7, 2015

January 20, 2016 1 comment

Distance-wise, my house is much closer to Pedernales Falls than my previous apartment. Because of the actual roads available, I’m only about 20 minutes closer, but that’s still a big improvement. Sadly, I have only been to Pedernales once since I moved. There’s been a million things to do and until recently, I was often not here on the weekends.

Black-chinned Hummingbird (male)

Black-chinned Hummingbird (male)

In late September of last year, I finally made it out. For the most part, it was the normal birds. There were several people there, which was unusual. It worked out quite well, since they were more birders than photographers. It helps me out immensely when people are watching with binoculars and either notice birds I don’t or when I’m busy taking photos. I perked my ears up when someone said they saw a White-eyed Vireo. I have been trying for years to catch one. This one was well in the back of the north blind, but it was definitely a Vireo. It was not easy to get photos, but I managed a couple and came away from the trip very happy.

White-eyed Vireo

White-eyed Vireo

 

White-eyed Vireo

White-eyed Vireo

Before I left, there was one more surprise. I looked down and was slightly terrified to see a small snake making its way across the blind, a little too close to me. I gathered my senses, and waited for it to come out from around the corner where it had darted. I have no idea what species it was, but I’m glad it was a cooperative and friendly one. According to my photos, I haven’t seen a snake since 2010!

Snake

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Armadillos!

July 27, 2014 Leave a comment

Last weekend I needed to be down south, so once again I took advantage of the location to visit Pedernales Falls State Park. It was very uneventful bird-wise. Only the usual suspects were present and the vast majority were Cardinals and House Finches. Quite a few of the birds were also juveniles, which made for some very rough-looking birds since their color is not yet fully developed. But according to my new butterfly book, I dd get my first photo of a Pipevine Swallowtail.

Pipevine Swallowtail (female)

Pipevine Swallowtail (female)

While at the north blind, we saw two armadillos scurrying back and forth behind the fence along the blind. They did this several times to our great amusement. As we were about to leave, though, one of them came out into the open! Although I have seen a dillo in daylight once at Hornsby, it’s unusual because they are nocturnal, at least in these hotter months. However in the winter, it will only come out when it’s warm. Our state mammal is surprisingly fast and difficult to photograph. It was constantly foraging, so I just kept taking photos hoping that some would be in focus.

Nine-banded Armadillo

Nine-banded Armadillo

Originating in South America, it is a relatively recent arrival to the States, having only crossed the border in the 1800’s. Note the sharp claws which are used for burrowing and digging for insects.

Nine-banded Armadillo

Nine-banded Armadillo

Aside from that, there was nothing else to report. Also, I don’t foresee any more birding trips until the fall. That will give me time to catch up on my vacation photos, of which there are many.

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Triple Birding

July 13, 2014 Leave a comment

While going through the Marble Falls Christmas lights photos, I discovered a bunch of birding photos that I completely forgot about. I did three birding visits the day after seeing lights: Marble Falls, Pedernales Falls, and Hornsby Bend.

Marble Falls

After checking out of the hotel, I drove the short distance down to Lakeside Park, where the lights are. There were numerous waterfowl in the Colorado River, but most were far off. The ones near the shore swam away when I approached, but later returned. A Ring-billed Gull was present. Now I know gulls are present anywhere there’s alot of water, but I am always surprised to find them far from the coast. A flock of darker birds contained several Scaups, but I do not know if they are Greater or Lesser. I originally identified them as Greater, but given the location, they are likely Lesser.

Scaups

Scaups

Before leaving the lake, the Marble Falls bridge deserves a brief mention. The existing bridge is 78 years old and is being replaced by two bridges. The northbound bridge was already complete and is temporarily carrying all traffic. In March of 2013, the existing bridge was imploded. I picked a random video from YouTube if you would like to see it. It’s pretty neat. The southbound bridge is scheduled for completion this fall.

Pedernales Falls

Northern Cardinal (female)  - wet version

Northern Cardinal (female) – wet version

With nothing else within camera range, I drove the short 30 miles down to Pedernales Falls. The weather was bright and sunny at Pedernales. Not everyone likes sunny birding, but I do. Sun means low ISO and great autofocus!

Northern Cardinal (female)

Northern Cardinal (female) – dry version

As you can see in the list below, there was nothing out of the ordinary. But great light allowed me to get some good photos. Cardinals are everywhere, so for years I ignored them. But then I realized that I had few, if any, really great Cardinal photos, so I keep trying now.

  • Northern Cardinal
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  • Spotted Towhee
  • Lincoln’s Sparrow
  • Lesser Goldfinch
  • Orange-crowned Warbler
  • Bewick’s Wren
  • American Goldfinch (female)
  • Ladder-backed Woodpecker
  • Lesser Goldfinch
  • Black Vulture
Ladder-backed Woodpecker

Ladder-backed Woodpecker

Always in search of better photos, I am pleased with this new one of a female American Goldfinch.

American Goldfinch (female)

American Goldfinch (female)

Hornsby Bend

Later that afternoon, I headed over to Hornsby Bend to find the Vermilion Flycatcher. I previously posted about this because it was very exciting, so I won’t rehash it again. Lately, the water levels at Hornsby have been too high for shorebirds. However, this time there actually were a few, but not many. This Spotted Sandpiper was in the right position so that his spots were actually visible.

Spotted Sandpiper

Spotted Sandpiper

Another shorebird I rarely see is the Least Sandpiper.

Least Sandpiper

Least Sandpiper

Amongst the common Northern Shovelers was a Green-winged Teal. I’m not sure if this is the first one I’ve seen, but it’s the only photograph I have, so it’s probably a first!

Green-winged Teal

Green-winged Teal

Here’s the list for the day, based on my photos:

  • Spotted Sandpiper
  • Killdeer
  • Savannah Sparrow
  • Vermillion Flycatcher
  • Meadowlarks (unknown which)
  • Green-winged Teal
  • Least Sandpiper

And that’s a wrap for 2013! Took a long time to get through all these photos from the last two months of the year. There’s several other photos for this day in the gallery. Several are actually fairly good, so take a look!