Friday, September 11, 2015

South Llano River State Park: Day 2

Sunday dawn revealed clear blue skies, which made photography at the park blinds a little easier than on Saturday. We again spent much of the morning and early afternoon at the blind near the Buck Lake trail.

Many of the same species turned up once more. 

The House Finches weren't looking their best, because some were young birds while others were adults but still molting.

We were very excited to see our first Bunting. However, it was an Indigo rather than a Painted - and, like the Finches, it was looking far from its best.


Black-chinned Hummingbirds were extremely busy, with one male continuing to dominate the only feeder.

Black-crested Titmice are delightful little birds but I never find it easy to them because they seem to be constantly on the move in unpredictable directions.

Luckily, on this occasion one decided to spend a while bathing.

Our final minutes at the blind were enlivened by the arrival of a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, which unfortunately never ventured down from the tree tops.

We moved over to the Juniper Blind, which was quiet except for Goldfinches, Northern Cardinals, Black-chinned Hummingbirds and a Black-throated Sparrow (below). 

Things improved when a couple of juvenile Western Scrub-Jays appeared.

One seemed to think that the answer to the heat was to puff up its feathers.

On our way out of the park, we stopped to look for the male Vermilion Flycatcher that someone had told us was hanging out near the RV dump station. It didn't take long to locate the bird, although it absolutely refused to come completely out of the shade.

 The splash of color provided by the male Vermilion at least partly made up for the absence of the brightly-colored male Painted Buntings.

So far our trip hadn't produced the number or variety of birds that I'd been hoping for. (Of course, Dee would say that none of our trips ever live up to my expectations.) However, I would still have Sunday afternoon and a little time on Monday morning to bird a couple of other sites in the area. One was the local sewage plant and the other was Junction City Park. With any luck both sites would produce some different and interesting birds.

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