2015 Pix
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© 2015 - All Rights Reserved

Here are some pictures from this year (2015), just to throw something new up....
Besides the second and third, and two next-to-last images, I took the rest.
The poor ones I took, the nice ones are credited to those photogrpahers.

Rufous-capped Warbler

A Rufous-capped Warbler at Lost Maples Sept. 27, 2015.
This was the only ID'able shot I obtained the day of discovery.
Doesn't take many pixels to prove a record though.

Rufous-capped Warbler

Here is a pic Bob Doe got of the Rufous-capped Warbler
at Lost Maples on Sept. 29, 2015. Thanks Bob for letting us
share your great photo!

Golden-cheeked Warbler

This great point and shoot photo was taken by Dianne Papet this past April a couple miles out of Utopia along the roadside. This is why you hire a guide: so you know where to stop and look along the road. I love how it shows the live-oak in bloom. Another message is: work the bloom for birds when that occurs. BTW, my what a beautiful fancy warbler that Golden-cheeked is! Thanks for sharing the great pic Dianne!

Canyon Towhee Canyon Towhee

Canyon Towhee - adult in molt, note two different ages of flight (wing and tail) feathers on left image, gray newer ones and dull browner old ones being replaced. Right image just a few moments later, same bird, over 90dF out, not fluffed up for cold, but likely to release heat. A bird can really change shape based on how the feathers are held.

Orchard Oriole

Orchard Oriole, probably an adult female, immatures look similar.

White-striped Longtail

White-striped Longtail (a skipper butterfly) on Snow-on-the-Mountain.

Five-striped Leaftail

Five-striped Leaftail (dragonfly)

Eastern Wood-Pewee

A juvenile Eastern Wood-Pewee, note buffy tones on wing bars.


Viceroy, usually along river around Sycamore or Willows, note the black median band across hindwing
which Monarch does not have. Monarchs are not here in summer either.

Claret Cup Cactus

Claret Cup Cactus is quite the beauty in bloom.

Selasphorus Hummingbird

This immature male Selasphorus Hummingbird is a
Rufous or Allen's, most likely a Rufous.


This Buprestid beetle was over an inch long and with proper
angle of light the whole thing shone iridescent gold.
It is likely Dicerca obscura, or something very similar,
and are nearly common (seen regularly) here.

moth sps.

An unknown (as of yet to me) moth species, perhaps one of the owl moths.

Walnut Sphinx Moth

Walnut Sphinx Moth is fairly regular locally.


This beast (Porcupine) roosted in one of the big ancient live-oaks
right behind the house one day in September.

Zone-tailed Hawk

This is one of the adult Zone-tailed Hawks that nested nearby.
I don't think the hole is big enough? Taken from my perch,
the office chair, and through windows and screen.

Green Lynx Spider and Eryngo

The odd purple flower is Eryngo, in the thistle family. Then
note the bumblebee, which is dead and in the clutches of a
big Green Lynx Spider.

Nashville Warbler Nashville Warbler

Nashville Warbler, on right doing what warblers do best.

Nashville Warbler

Nashville Warbler is the most common migrant warbler in Utopia or San Antonio for that matter. The nashville is the unit of measurement for warbler migration here. "Today warbler movement measured 14 nashvilles, etc."  This is an immature with pale throat, adults have yellow throats.

Yellow Warbler Yellow Warbler

Yellow Warbler is probably our second most common migrant warbler. The bill tip is hidden behind a leaf on left image.

Painted Bunting

Not an Orange-crowned Warbler, but an immature (or fem.) Painted Bunting. Which is what I think all the August and most pre- late-September Orange-crowned Warbler reports really are. Critically study the bill shape and structure to make sure you are in the right family. Note compared to Orange-crowned Warbler besides fine details of facial pattern, the overall general impression of plumage is very similar, both are olive green above and dull greenish-yellow below. See warblers photo page for more on the facial pattern with pics of the Orange-crowned's.

Arizona Sister

Arizona Sister imbibing on the sugary pecan leaves. You can see how shiny the leaves are from the sap they exude.

Broad-winged Hawk   Broad-winged Hawk

This is a begging juvenile Broadwinged Hawk at Lost Maples SNA
the first nesting in Bandera Co. and likely the furthest southwest
nesting ever for the species. Taken August 1, 2015 through binocs.

Louisiana Waterthrush

Apparently the first ever documented over-wintering Louisiana Waterthrush on the Edwards Plateau, present at Utopia Park from early December (at least) to March 11 at least, this pic taken Jan. 25, 2015. It returned Nov. 2015 for a second winter (!) and was present at least through Feb. 27, 2016.


This is likely the same Verdin that visited the yard last winter, and
was present nearly daily through Dec. 31, but not seen after that.
Update: we found it over by river a month later, and it did eventually
return to yard before it left. You can see a hint of the chestnut at shoulder.

Hudsonian Godwit

This is two of three Hudsonian Godwit I found at a stock tank near Sabinal on May 11, 2015, this photo by Ken Cave on May 12. A Stilt Sandpiper is in front. It is the second UvCo record for Hudsonian Godwit, the first with multiple individuals.

And one final rarity for the end of the year...

Harris's Sparrow

This is the adult Harris's Sparrow Sylvia Hilbig photographed at their place a couple miles N.W. of town in Bandera Co. A great picture of a great bird! Thanks for sharing it Sylvia! There are hardly any Bandera Co. records. This was Dec. 27, 2015.

There are a couple more of Sylvia's great pix, of an Avocet, Black-necked Stilt, and Roseate Spoonbill in Bandera Co.,
on the Rarities page, get there from bird photo index page.

Berteau House

Just to give an idea, here is a pic showing part of the yard, the house and cottage, so you can get an idea of where much of the stuff being written about is being seen. This pic is from May 2013, barely two months after we moved into this place. Now there are butterfly flowers around the porch. Yard lists are about 40 species of odes (dragons), 85 sps. of butterflies, 7 sps. of frogs & toads, and of lizards, 20 sps. of native mammals, about 100 sps. of plants (mostly wildflowers) and just over 200 species of birds, in 30 months so far.

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© M. and K. Heindel 2006-2015