Advances in technology have made it easier to get close shots of animals from a fair distance but getting very close shots of wildlife still requires a great deal of patience. It also helps if you can just stay hidden near a watering hole. Since the habitats of southern Texas are rather arid for much of the year, a wide variety of wildlife is attracted to springs, ponds, creeks, and other sources of water.
When the animal basically comes to the photographer, really close shots are possible.
This Black-crested Titmouse hopped so close that I almost had the put the camera down. One of our more common bird species, the titmouse is also confiding, cute as a button, and fairly easy to photograph. They will come to feeders but getting good shots of them still requires a fair amount of patience due to their hyperactive nature.
Watering holes also make excellent sites to get great shots of larger birds, including the Greater Roadrunner,
The Greater Roadrunner is fairly common in most of Texas, and especially so in the brushlands of the southern and western parts of the state. These large, terrestrial birds seem to eat just about any small creatures they can catch including snakes, scorpions, mice, and unlucky fledglings.
One of the predators that roadrunners have to watch out for is the Bobcat. This is our most common wild feline and are much easier to see than Mountain Lions, Ocelots, or other wild cats. Although I have managed to get some good shots of Bobcats in open, grassy areas, a watering hole is needed to get really close pictures.
Another top predator that can show up at a watering hole is the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake. This venemous species is one of the largest snakes in North America and is potentially very dangerous. Luckily, the snake usually rattles if people who walk too close to it and of the few bites that do occur, most happen to people trying to catch the rattlesnake.
The Western Diamondback is the main rattlesnake that occurs in southern Texas. Keep an eye out for it but don’t get too close! A long lens made it possible for me to get such a close shot of this snake.
Crested Caracaras are a fairly common sight when birding in southern Texas. I don’t usually get such close shots of them but the following bird stayed still long enough for me to take a very close picture of its colorful face.
Spring migration will be happening soon. Hopefully, I will get some close shots of beautiful migrants on their way north.