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South Texas Wildlife Photo Tour 2017

Trip Report

In early May we did our third Photo Tour to one of the richest areas in the US for biodiversity, South Texas. As usual, the shooting was great, although we were a wee bit challenged in having cloudy weather and wind for some of the afternoon shoots. This time, we visited just one ranch -- one of our all-time favorites,and the portfolio below represents our work for just three days of shooting -- and for Mary and I, much of our time here was spent in setting up perches and reseeding bait sites and scouting!

In 2019 we'll be returning to South Texas for our next tour. For that tour we'll spend two full days at Laguna Seca
and three full days at the Santa Clara ranch. This portfolio was almost completely from the Santa Clara ranch -- unless otherwise noted. Mary and I did our first scouting trip to Laguna Seca, and we loved the ranch and the owner, and will be including that ranch for our 2019 trip.

Since pictures tell more than words, I'll let the portfolio tell this Trip Report's story. We photographed more than 30 species of birds and 5 mammals, including a Bobcat -- a species we hoped to get while in Texas. And Mary did, as well as the participants that were in her blind that afternoon.

Texas Gopher Tortoise

You'll note that almost all of the images are at or near the subject's level. The blinds at the waterholes at the Santa Clara Ranch are sunken, and at water or ground level. This makes for a great, intimate perspective. Hence the neat angles!

Desert Cottontail Rabbit; Inca Dove

Javelina or Collared Peccary; Greater Roadrunner; Whitetail Deer

Desert Cottontail Rabbit; Crested Caracara (Laguna Seca)

Northern Mockingbird harassing a Crested Caracara (Cindy Marple photo)
At the raptor blind at Santa Clara Cindy Marple recorded something I've never seen before, or had ever heard of being recorded. A Black Vulture preened the feathers of a Crested Caracara! Normally Caracaras are aggressive bullys at carcasses when they compete with vultures as scavengers. I've only seen rather antagonistic interactions, so this moment of inter-species compatibility and care was just a complete and exciting surprise! Cindy Marple photo.

Mexican Ground Squirrel B
Long-billed Thrasher

Bobwhite Quail

Northern Cardinal

Pyrrhuloxia; Painted Bunting

Greater Roadrunner; Baltimore (Northern) Oriole

Curve-billed Thrasher; Harris Hawk (Laguna Seca)
Collared Peccary; Jumping Spider

Green Jay; Pyrrhuloxia

Lark Sparrow; Painted Bunting

Curve-billed Thrasher; Golden-fronted Woodpecker


Scissor-tailed Flycatcher; Great Kiskadee
Northern Mockingbird; Eastern Wood-Pewee; Yellow Warbler

Long-billed Thrasher; Turkey Vulture (Laguna Seca); Olive Sparrow

Black-crested (Tufted) Titmouse; Harris Hawk juvenile

Baltimore (Northern) Oriole; Northern Cardinal

Black-throated Sparrow

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