Like last spring, the Texas hill country caught a lot of rain in April and the bird photography instructional photo tours endured a few overcast, cool and even drizzly days. Nevertheless, we saw a lot of nice birds at Block Creek Natural Area (Turkey Hollow B&B) and at Transition Ranch near Uvalde. I was at Transition all of last week with two groups of photographers where we worked from photo blinds and by walking some of the roads bordered by wildflowers.
A dry spring will bring more birds to the waterholes and food at the blinds, but I think you will see some indications of the ranch’s potential in the following photos.
Remember to click on an image to enlarge and sharpen it for viewing.
Except for the image above, I used my 500 mm lens for virtually every shot. This image was made with Canon 5D Mark II and 24-105 mm lens at f22 and tripod mounted.
The gray vireo above is pretty rare in the hill country but they can thrive in the diverse habitats of the Transition Ranch.
Various orioles have already begun to nest.
Blue grosbeaks were popping up everywhere during the last half of the week (around May 1).
Vermilion flycatchers are among the early nesters at Transition Ranch and one pair fledged their young while we were there in late April.
This pose of western scrub jay was one of my favorite shots of the week. Slight head-turn makes the photo.
In a chattering contest between cactus wrens and yellow-breasted chats, it was a close call to name the winner. They never let up.
Black-capped vireos are found throughout the ranch in abundant mixed thickets of scrubby oak, Texas persimmon and sumac.
These little guys love the juniper thickets of Transition Ranch.
As the days grow warmer and dryer, even more birds will find their way to the fresh water and food at the ranch’s photo blinds. Like most south Texas ranches, the bird diversity is wonderful and the photo ops are abundant.