Transition Ranch 2017

Some of you have been asking “why is the ranch called “Transition Ranch”.  Well, it sits in an ecological transition zone between the Texas hill country, west Texas desert area and the south Texas brush country.  Hence, the name.  It’s the ranch’s location that gives it so much diversity of bird life.

Five photographers joined me in late April for the spring photo tour and I have a couple of their photos to share plus a few I was lucky enough to capture.

Raccoon drinking

This very old raccoon actually had only one eye, so he looked pretty bad.  I added a new left eye to make him presentable…no extra charge for the cosmetic surgery.

Fox Squirrel looking for bird seed.

I photographed this fox squirrel in a perch tree added by the ranch owner at a photo blind (the same location as the raccoon and some of the bird images to follow).

Gulf Fritillary watering on hill country stream.

Butterflies were frequent visitors to the water drip site by one of the “morning” blinds.

Spiny Crevice Lizard sunning.

This sunning Spiny Crevice Lizard looked much better on this perch than a bird would.  Occasionally, sites are fitted with “perches” that are too large and sun-bleached to work well for bird photos.

Oklahoma photographer, Mark Cromwell, spotted this MacGillivray’s Warbler as it drank at the new morning blind.

Mark Cromwell sees things the rest of us miss.  After getting the MacGillivray’s Warbler, he got this shot (below) of a hummingbird bathing on the wing at a water drip.

Hummer bathing in flight at a water drip.
Black-headed Grosbeak juvenile drinking

We got our first Black-headed Grosbeak this year at Transition Ranch.

Lazuli Bunting male drinking

Lazuli Buntings made several appearances this year… a thrilling site for those of us who live east of their range.

Lazuli Bunting male in white brush bush.
Painted Bunting female drinking from limestone creek bottom pool.

Painted Buntings visited all the Transition Ranch blinds this spring.

Well marked Painted Bunting male drinking.
Young and adult Black-throated Sparrow on limb.

Transition Ranch has lots of sparrows in the spring.

Clay-colored Sparrows appeared at the photo blinds along with Black-throated, Olive, White-crowned, Lincoln’s and more.
Blurry Nashville Warbler in flight.

There is seldom enough light to allow the capture of sharp images of warblers in flight, but I liked this blurred shot.

Orange-crowned Warbler landing.
Audubon’s Warbler male on stump.

Yellow-rumped Warblers (Audubon’s in this case) are always beautiful in breeding plumage.

Nashville Warblers were especially abundant this spring at Transition Ranch.
This male Yellow Warbler made my day.
Lesser Goldfinch male eating white brush flowers.
Northern Cardinal flushing from creek bed drink site.
Hen Northern Bobwhite feeding by stump.
Hooded Oriole Male in Texas persimmon tree.
Orchard Oriole, male hopping along a branch.

Orioles are always jumpy and hard to photograph, but we got these plus Scott’s Oriole this year.

Woodhouse’s Scrub Jay on log.

I always enjoy capturing a bit of action (like this bird’s foot in the air) to add interest to a photo.

Yellow-breasted Chat perched in thorny habitat.
Immature summer tanager male.
Summer Tanager male in white brush, Transition Ranch.

I hope you get the idea; Transition Ranch has a lot of birds in the spring.