Thursday, February 24, 2011

Yellow-faced Grassquit at Goose Island, 2/23/11

Yesterday Honey and I got up early and made the long journey to Goose Island State Park north of Rockport where a Yellow-faced Grassquit was found a few weeks ago. I saw the Bentsen bird back in 2002 but wanted some pics so I thought a trip was worthwhile. After a brief look and several hours of searching I eventually hit the jackpot at site 218. As I was the only there, sneaking up on the bird got me some good photos.

His travelling buddies included a flock of Field Sparrows.

And this Clay-colored Sparrow.

Unfortunately the Harris' Sparrow and Anna's Hummingbird were not so cooperative. One of the visiting birders discovered this Green Treefrog on a cocklebur. This is one of the cooler things I have ever seen.

The nearby family of Whooping Cranes at the Big Oak Tree were closer to the road than I had hopped.

One of them had both leg bands and a radio transmitter. Not sure I would want to fly a couple of thousand miles with those attached.

Then a run over to the Port Aransas Jetty for the Little Gull gave ame a brief look before a car scared the flock but no photo. Lots of Bonaparte's Gulls were not a good substitute

Friday, February 18, 2011

Bentsen Rio Grande State Park, 2/18/11

I spent the morning at Bensten State Park hoping to get some better pictures of the Black-vented Oriole. While waiting at the feeding station near the nature center I got the opportunity to try out my new 1.4x extender. Despite the lack of sunshine I still got some OK pics and it really brought things in closer on my 300mm f/4 lens. Here's Mr. Altimira Oriole.

A female Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was unusually photogenic as it checked out the grapefruit.

Clay-colored Thrush is now an expected species. I had one at my bird bath the other day.

Giving up on the oriole, I checked out the Acacia Loop feeders for the Black-headed Grosbeak reported recently. I had one at the same spot last year.

Smudge, the hybrid oriole, is still around. Actually there's probably been several different versions of Smudge through the years. This one seems yellower than the one I had last year.

The wintering Gray Flycatcher gave me some better photos this time. Usually you have to go out to Big Bend or southern Arizona to see one in winter.

Finally on the way out I got to see the Black-vented Oriole at a distant feeder near the ebony grove. Not much of a photo. I guess I'll have to give it another try in the future.