South Texas Critters in December

The weather remains unseasonably warm in south Texas, but we had a couple of cool days in December.  I drove out to the coast once just after Thanksgiving and twice more in the last ten days…just before and after last week’s 4-day “sentence” to jury duty, ugh.

I hope you photographers can squeeze in some field time during the holidays.  Enjoy the season.

Click in the upper right area of a photo to open it in a larger format with increased sharpness.  From there, you can advance through the photos.

Male Aplomado Falcon in flight.


I was fortunate to locate a pair of endangered Aplomado Falcons just after Thanksgiving.  They were busy feeding and getting ready to roost when I saw them at sundown.  These photos were done with a Canon 7D and 500 mm lens from a bean-bag on the car window.  The flight shots were done at 1/2500 second, f 6.3 and ISO 400.


Aplomado Falcon flying past my vehicle window.


Aplomado Falcon back-lighted against green coastal prairie habitat.


Male Aplomado Falcon cleaning his beak after feeding on a Hispid Cottonrat.


Aplomado Falcon perched on ranch gate as the sun sets in south Texas.


Buck white-tailed deer fighting.


I shot these white-tailed deer pics with the Canon 1D Mark III and Canon 7D cameras and Canon 100-400 mm lens, hand-held.  Hand-holding the zoom lens gives me great flexibility for getting into position to catch shots that have to be done in a hurry, often with the buck coming at me.  I started at ISO 400 about an hour before sundown and gradually increased the ISO to 800 at sunset.  All the while, I was trying to maintain as much shutter speed as possible to aid the “image stabilizer” in eliminating lens/camera vibration.  So, my shutter speed decreased from 1/2000 second to 1/250 second during that last hour of sunlight.


Big buck following a doe through back-lighted bluestem grass.


Big whitetail chasing other bucks away from his doe.


Wild Turkey toms still wanted to strut their stuff on a warm winter afternoon.


Thirteen wild turkey strolled by while I was photographing deer.  They paused long enough for me make a few images just before sunset.


Big turkey tom with feathers glistening in the afternoon sun.


Huge whitetail buck getting the scent of a doe-in-estrus. Note the lip curl.


This big guy ignored me while he was trailing a doe as the sun was setting.


The redhead ducks were back on the Laguna Madre around South Padre Island.  I was fortunate to catch a few coming to the island marshes for fresh water.


Male redheads brake for a landing in a fresh water marsh.
Drake Redheads landing.

I hope you enjoyed these photos.  Have a Happy Holiday Season.


2 thoughts on “South Texas Critters in December”

  1. Oh my, I love the Aplomado…it’s just awesome!!! Thank you for sharing your magnificent work. Sure wish I could get down there, but even tho I’m out of school, I’ve still been busy….go figure!!! You and Glenda have an awesome New Year….blessings to all….sylvia ☺

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