Debbie and I were “stuck” in San Antonio, Texas for a month while I had a little surgery. All is well and if I could have chosen a better place to have to spend a month in spring, I don’t know where that would be. I think San Antonio is one of the finest, bird friendly cities in the U.S.A. Large, clean, mature parks with multi-level habitats fill the city and out-lying areas. We didn’t have to travel far to photo birds like this Painted Bunting. It’s obvious to see where it got it’s name. What a beautiful bird!
We were so fortunate to shoot birds like this Long-billed Thrasher. Experienced birders know this is a rare find. Singing away for us (or so we think).
Debbie and I were also very lucky to call in this rare Olive Sparrow. Rare to us anyway.
Now, for the story of the day. Debbie and I sometimes use iBird Pro birding apts. to help us I.D. and call birds in the field. PLEASE BE CAREFUL WHEN USING CALLS TO BRING BIRDS IN CLOSER TO YOU. THEY DEFINITELY CAN UPSET THE BIRDS! That being said and I mean it, here’s the story.
Debbie and I (mostly Debbie) research areas to find certain birds so we can have goals for photographing. This day’s goal was to find a Black-capped Vireo to capture an image of. A bird that has a very limited range in the U.S. A bird very, very special to us and many other birders… As often happens, we park the jeep, look around a bit and head off in different directions. The weather is warm so darling Debbie is going to spend her birding time around shade today. Me, I head up a hill full of stickery shrubs and trees looking for the bird. I stop here and there and play the vireo’s call with no luck at all. Not a peep (sorry) so I carry on till discouragement sets in and start back down the hill. I stopped in the shade of a tree where I had just been 20 minutes earlier and half-heartedly play my ipod again. I’m standing there reviewing pictures on my camera I’d taken earlier when I notice my iPro was being answered by a bird almost sitting on the back of my hat!! I’m sure I grew pale and if I had any hair left on my head it would have stood straight up. Slowly I turn around and see the Vireo. He’s almost too close to shoot and I fumble with a focus and like a hunter with deer fever I try to find the trigger. Okay, maybe not a big deal to a lot of people but when you see these photos lets see what you think. The Black-capped Vireo.
Wow, Wow, Wow! I can’t wait to show Debbie. Recharged, I scoot down the hill to find disappointed Debbie wandering around with the jeep searching for me. She sees right through my smuggy smile and says “you got it didn’t you!?” So I share the shots and now Debbie is ready to get her own photos, (yes, we do compete a bit). We leave the bird I had called in so as not to bug him anymore. Driving back down towards the ranger station we both see a likely-looking spot for Vireos. We stop and call and right away a pair of Black-capped Vireos are flying around posing for us. We end the day and this story with a great sigh of satisfaction. Happy Birding, ChrisnDebbie.