A Morning with Deepa in Tower Grove Park

April 15, 2016

I had a nice bird walk at Tower Grove Park with my friend Deepa this morning, probably our last for a long time as she is uncertain when she will be returning to the St. Louis area from Bangalore. Before checking out the latest action at the Gaddy Bird Garden, we stopped by the Fountain Pond near the headquarters to look for wood ducks. Tower Grove Park is the best place in St. Louis to see “urban wood ducks,” which are simply wild wood ducks in an urban setting where they have grown quite used to people, including annoying wildlife photographers.

We weren’t disappointed, as you can see from the featured image. I felt sorry for this drake, as it rested only a few feet away from a mated pair of woodies (see next image).


A pair of wood ducks relaxing on a stone wall near the Fountain Pond at Tower Grove Park. The drake kept its eye on the lone wood duck (featured image) that rested nearby. Note to photographers:  When shooting multiple ducks, their eyes are rarely within the same narrow plane of focus available from a supertelephoto lens. If the light will allow it, I use an aperture setting of f/9 or even higher to provide enough depth of field to obtain reasonable focus on the eyes of both critters. By the way, I always focus on the eye of the critter nearest to my lens.



Tower Grove Park’s version of a “Walmart Greeter.” This little fella was waiting for us right when we got out of the 4Runner. Even though I have a million images of squirrels, I’ve yet to grow tired of photographing them.

When we finally made it over to the Gaddy Bird Garden, it was nice to see a few acquaintances that I’ve made from previous visits to Tower Grove Park over the years. One gentleman did not know us, but he said he was familiar with Deepa’s postings on MoBirds. It’s a small world!

We were all looking for warblers and other migrants but the activity was a little slow. Deepa was excited to see and photograph her first winter wren and I enjoyed watching a white-throated sparrow take a bath in the bubbler (see below). I also made a cute video of the same little sparrow for my Facebook page, Natureframes.



A white-throated sparrow takes a bath at the bubbler in Tower Grove Park. The constant supply of water attracts a great variety of birds during all seasons. Other feathered critters included brown creepers, hermit thrushes, yellow-rumped warblers, goldfinches, kinglets, flickers, and a variety of other gems, including all of the usual avian customers for this time of year.



Deepa in her standard position—looking up in the trees with her camera. I’ve never met a person more dedicated to observing the wonders of nature. We will all miss you, Deepa, until we see you again. I hope it’s not too long!

I can’t wait to return to Tower Grove Park in the near future, when the migrating warblers begin to fall out of the sky in serious numbers, all looking for a short rest and a drink at the water bubbler. I’ve been there when every tree is sprinkled with busy little birds in yellow, blue, green, red, and a variety of other colors. You’ll know who the birders are; they’ll be looking skyward!

Thanks for looking,


Email:  Natureframes@Rocketmail.Com

Gallery of Images:  Danny’s Website




2 comments on “A Morning with Deepa in Tower Grove Park”

  1. Oooh…the images! (er, not the one of the AWP…Annoying Wildlife Photographer). I too have *similar* images from this morning, but….the difference! I mean, not only in the technical aspects, but in the composition and the framing.I will be making my own blogpost…but this one of yours is as memorable as the morning you gave me! Thank you!

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