Set-up Heaven in South Texas

February 26th, 2010 by Alan Murphy

Chris and I are scouting new locations for future workshops on our way to Roma and boy, did we find a gem. 
I went to this property last month, and we wanted to check it out again.

Here is a post I did after my last visit.


The owners of this property have been putting out fruit every morning for years, and at about 7 am each morning like clockwork, the birds arrive.  There were over 30 Kiskadees flying in to pick up grapes, along with three Altimira Orioles fighting over oranges, and at least half a dozen Golden-fronted Woodpeckers.  About a dozen Orange-crowned Warblers would feed on the suet. Mockingbirds would land and grab berries, then fight for positions on my perches.  On one day, there were four rare Clay-colored Thrushes coming to feed on the grapes.

This is my third time to shoot at this location and every time I have witnessed the same insane action!  In the blind I used my wide angle lens to try to capture the scene, but it was hard to stop shooting the action with my 600mm.

Above is the image I took. You can see 7 Kiskadees (one behind the stump), 3 Altimira Orioles, 3 Golden-fronted Woodpeckers (one behind the log) and a Mockingbird.

For those who are in doubt, let me assure you that this is not photoshopped!

Almost as soon as I put the berry branches out, the Kiskadees and Mockingbirds were feeding on the fruit.





Here, the Kiskadees are fighting over perches.



The Golden-fronted Woodpeckers also took a liking to the berries.



This is a set-up with a vertical perch and some added berries.



Waving goodbye!



Northern Mockingbirds are very particular about the berries they want.



Once the berries were gone, I worked on some flight images as the Kiskadees would fly in for the grapes and banana pieces.





It wasn’t long before the birds would land on any stable perch that I put out there.



The stunning Altimira Oriole gave me some regal poses.



Setting up a perch very close to my blind and adding a small dab of suet in the leaves, enabled the Orange-crowned Warbler to stop and feed.



The highlight of the day, for me, was a visit by not one, but four Clay-colored Thrushes. My heart pounded when one jumped up on my perch and posed.



So many times I wanted to give someone a high five after getting a shot, but I was alone.



We had plenty of high fives yesterday!

If you want to join me in a workshop at this location and share in some high fives, just contact me.

You can read more about Alan, browse his images, and learn about workshops here.



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