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October 2017

The Amateur Birder's Journal - Stories & Photographs by J R Compton
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83 photos so far in October   This month's best pix  Cameras Used  Ethics  Feedback  My Special Bird Pages — many include eggs, just-hatched, fledgling and/or juveniles: Herons  Egrets  Heron vs  Egrets  Links & Bird Books  Pelican Beak Weirdness  Pelicans Playing Catch  Bird Rouses  Courtship Behaviors  Banding  Birding Galveston 2015 & 2013  The 2nd Lower Rio Grande Valley Birds page  & the 1st  Bald Eagles at White Rock  Coyotes  JR's resumé Contact  Dallas Bird Resources:Dallas Audubon's Bird Chat  Bird Rescue Info  You want to use my photos?  How to Photograph Birds  Bird Places: Bird-annotated Map of White Rock Lake & The SWMC Rookery & Village Creek Drying Beds  Please do not share these fully copyrighted images on Pinterest, Tumblr or other image-sharing sites!

Just Happened to Catch 54 Pelicans & Innumerable Cormorants
Line Fishing in the Bay Today — photographed & posted October 16

Bunch of 'em Fishing - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved. 83

Bunch of 'em Fishing Back & Forth

American White Pelicans and Double-crested Cormorants fishing west of the pier at Sunset Bay but nearer to Winfrey Point.

Splashing, Flashing and Catching Fish - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Splashing, Flashing & Catching Fish

Packed in close, the line turns and heads toward me, as I'm still shooting from the Pier at Sunset Bay.

Cormorants Catching Up - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Cormorants Catching Up

As I came upon the land part of the pier, a woman going the other way told me that a big bunch of pelicans and Anhingas — she meant Cormorants — were chasing fish into Winfrey Point. I shot my first few shots without my tripod, then I went back for it and walked west of the pier and set up and hoped they'd get closer — and they did.

Rushing In - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Pelicans Rushing In

Notice just right of the bottom middle of this bird mass, where several pelicans and a couple of cormorants are taking special interest in fish apparently just under the surface.

Big Beak Pelk - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Big Beak Pelk

At some point in today's shoot I picked up my tripod and headed west along the shore toward Winfrey Point — well, either that, or I enlarged particularly well-focused images so we could see some noteworthy details in the mass of birds fishing in the bay today. If you can't see a pelican's head, it's probably underwater groping for a fish.

Pelks and Cormorants and Fishing - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Pelicans and Cormorants Fishing

Most of the time, the cormorants fished right in with the pelicans, but on the last few circles and straights, the cormorants who had had their fill, separated from the pack and headed back to Sunset Bay proper.

Hungry Birds - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Hungry Birds Hurrying

Most of the time, pelicans just swim along with the pack. When they see — or think they see — a fish that was made just for them, they take to flight to get there first.

Tail-dragging Cormorant Landing - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Tail-dragging Cormorant Landing

I just thought this shot was interesting because it shows a cormorant dragging its tail to reduce landing speed just before its feet touch the water to skid to a stop.

Corm Vs. Pelican Flasp-off - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Cormorant Vs. Pelican Flap-Off

I suspect it's nothing of the sort. Just two birds flapping their wings very similarly. I got three shots, of which this is the best exposure and composition, and in each shot, they seem to be mirroring each other.

Happy Pelk Splash Bath - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Happy Pelk Splash Bath

At the end of all that working to catch fish, many of the pelicans retired to the lagoon area east of the pier to flap water all over themselves.

Splash Bath - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Wide View of Splash Bath

Whole Lotta splashing going on.

 

 

The Morning Shoot Didn't Register, So I Went Back at Night
photographed & posted October 14, 2017

 Big Red Sun Going Down - cpry 72

Sun Going Down

I went to Sunset Bay early-ish this morning and thought I got some decent shots. I checked exposure on shot pix several times, but when I got home, there were not memory cards in the camera. So I did my business all afternoon and thought I was going to do more the evening, but that evaporated, so I drove to Sunset Bay again just as the big yellow sun was going down.

Evening Egret - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Evening Egret

There were a lot of Egrets scattered around the bay. I like the raggedy look of its feathers in this late evening shot.

Egret Landing - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Egret Landing

This could actually be the same bird in the same few moments.

Touchdown - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Touchdown

But this one looks later in the evening.

Egret Chase with Ducks Down - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Egret Chase with Duck Silhouettes

I photograph birds chasing each other whenever I get the chance. As usual, only one of them is in good focus.

Con Trail - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Contrail

I looked up that word: "a trail of condensed water from an aircraft or rocket at high altitude, seen as a white streak against the sky." Then it noted its origin. "1940s abbreviation of condensation trail."

Pelicans Becoming Alert - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Pelicans Waking Up and Becoming Alert

In general, pelicans are at rest. But these guys were slowly waking up for their evening flight.

Pelican In Flight with Building Back - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Pelican In Flight with Central Expressway Building Back

Remarkably lucid shot of an American White Pelican in Flight. It's at least somewhat overexposed, but I didn't want it to be any darker, although I may yet change my mind.

Pelicans Away - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Pelicans Away

Earlier when I thought I was getting all those pictures that weren't there, the half dozen photogs on the pier kept wishing we could see — and photograph — pelicans in flight. It's much easier in late evening. I got there at 6:48 PM, and I left just after 7:10 PM. I shot 195 frames. These, as usual, were the best of the bunch.

Pelicans Heading Off - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Pelicans Heading Off

Exposure, as almost always, was guesswork. I started at iso 800, then pretty quickly raised it to 3200, which seemed just about right for the rest of the shoot.

Blue Pelican in Flight - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Pelican in Flight

I'd seen three of them fly by the pier at Sunset Bay earlier this week, but I was just getting out of my car. So this was my first real chance at seeing and photographing them fly and fly and fly.

Can Gooses Landing - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Canada Gooses Landing

Ben told me the Canada Gooses were coming in. My elderly eyes don't see far that well, and far, in the evening (it was a little darker than it looks here.) is nigh onto improbable, but I kept looking where he was describing, and soon I saw very out of focus brown bumps in the distance, just motion when they were against the dark other side. Then they got closer, and the camera started focusing, and I got these.

Can Gooses Past the Pelks - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Can Gooses Past the Pelicans

They look so skinny in the air.

Can Gooses Splashing Down - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Canada Gooses Splashing Down

And they just look so elegant.

Canada Gooses Swimming with a Duck - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Canada Gooses Swimming

And here, they don't even look fat. But walking around on the ground, which I did not photograph them doing, they are ponderous.

Pelicans Leaving; Coots Staying - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Pelicans Leaving; Coots Staying

More and more pelicans kept leaving all the time I was there. I'd counted 54 early that day when I was shooting on empty, and there were still 54 of them when I counted as the sun disappeared behind the far horizon.

Jess Bout Tha Lass Pelk Leavin - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Just About the Last Pelk Leaving

Soon there was only one. Then it was gone, too..

 

 

Spending Some Time with The Pelicans
photographed & posted October 9, 2017

 Doing the American White Pelican Hop - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Doing The American White Pelican Hop — Hopping into Flight

I've been needing to for awhile, so this afternoon I parked myself on the pier at Sunset Bay and photographed me some pelicans. Didn't really count them today, but the day before, I counted 52. If it's like it usually is, soon soon it'll be several hundred pelicans all at once, then in a few hours or a few days, most of them will fly off somewhere else, and about 70 of them will stay till just before Tax Day.

Splash Down  or Maybe Up - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Splash Down

I kinda thought I was just killing time, but I managed to get pelicans in some rather usual pelican poses and forms.

American White Pelican Tongue Roll - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

American White Pelican Tongue Roll

And some others I've never seen before.

Not At All Sure, but That Might Be Its Foot - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Not At All Sure,

But That Might Be Its Foot on the upper right portion of its body…

Red-eared Slider - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Red-eared Slider

The larger area of red is considered to be approximately where its ear would be, if it had one.
 

Identification Updates on the next two pix:

The Middle One Sure Looks Like A Slider - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

The Middle One Sure Looks Like a Shoveler

Northern Shovelers have large spatula-like beaks. But who's that with a red head and smallish, dark bill? It does not resemble a Redhead or Ruddy Duck or a Canvasback or Green-winged Teal, all of whom have red heads. I suppose that one on the left could well be a Cinnamon Teal. That looks about right, but with them I am not familiar. Yet.

Kala King who often helps me identify unsub [Unsub is a word I purloined from The X-Files, meaning unidentified subject.] birds here, says, "and I agree, that last little one sure does look like a Cinnamon Teal just starting to change from its eclipse plumage to its red look. I saw that glint of red, too."

And I'm just not sure about the one on the right above, mostly behind the Shoveler.

Head Under Pelk Shovelers and - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Head-under Pelican, Male Shovelers in eclipse plumage and … Oh, Somebody

L to R: Adult autumn Northern Shoveler in eclipse plumage (as is the third one from the left) and the smaller one at the end of the line behind the pelican is a Blue-winged Teal, whom I am sure I have photographed before, but this may be the first time I've identified it correctly — thanks again to Kala King. Thank you, Kala, who adds, "The blue wing teal have the white at the base of the bill on the face."

But the American White Pelican is still an AWP with its head underwater.. And number two in the brown parade sure looks like a Teal without the white at the base of the bill.

Not Sure What It's Got In Its Beak, But it Looks Like Something to Eat - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Not Sure What It's Got In Its Beak, But It Sure Looks Like Something to Eat

Or something to play with.

Shallows Dipping for Food - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Pelican Shallow-Dippin' For Food

Remember, it's only inches deep way out there. So the end of its beak could well be scraping on the bottom.

Splash-bathing Pelican - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Splash-Bathing American White Pelican in full-splashing mode

Actually, this shot was taken 59 seconds after the next one down, but since it may not even be the same bird, I like the story these two shots slightly misrepresent.

Splash-bathing AWP - cpry

Splash-Bathing American White Pelican in non-splashing mode 

Preening its wet feathers with its pliable lower mandible. Kinda like smoothing our shoulder or some awry piece of clothing with our chin.

 

 

We Walked Just at Two Miles.
photographed October 7 & posted October 8 2017

 Phoebe on the Fence - copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved. 44

Eastern Phoebe on the Fence Overlooking The Upper Spillway

I'd been walking a mile pretty often in my neighborhood in the mornings when it's cool, so when she asked me to walk with her starting at The Spillway I was more dubious of finding a parking space than me walking. She got one after only once around the lot when a truck left. Turned out her plan was for two miles, the first of which was easy, but I had to stop and rest for the second mile. Finding a parking slot just took waiting maybe five minutes driving around the lot. Once on our way up the backside path to the top of the dam, she saw this bird, and we got up pretty close before it flew away.

Two Monk Parakeets Among the Wires - copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Two Monk Parakeets Among the Wires

It's been awhile since I photographed the Monk Parakeets, so I took the opportunity. I've always especially enjoyed catching them flying, because getting them moseying through the grass is usually easy, although less revealing.

Mallard Drake Slumped on the Dam - copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Mallard Drake Slumped on the Dam

This male Mallard doesn't seem to be in molt.

Mallard Pair Just Off the Dam - copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Mallard Pair Just Off the Dam

But this one is.

Mallard Drake Easing Down the Slant - copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Mallard Drake Easing Down the Slant in Morning Light

So's this one.

Mirage Back Over the Fitchery from the Dam - copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Mirage Back Over The Fitchery from the Top of the Dam

Walking along the top of the dam toward T&P Hill, I looked out approximately where I'd once seen and photographed a Red-shouldered Hawk nest, and saw, instead, what I perceived as some sort of an optical illusion shimmering on the far, over-tree horizon. I had to photograph it to convince myself it was really there. Here it doesn't shimmer much, so I guess it was. Although now, I think I see a bird with wings reaching for air under the tree on the left … but later, I decided that's just an optical delusion.

People Walking Behind The Filter Building - copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

People Walking Behind The Filter Building

I've walked over there often before I latched onto Sunset Bay so much I sometimes feel guilty for going there so often, but I hadn't seen anyone else back here till this opportuned itself. I keep remembering a renta-cop insisting I couldn't be there with a camera, because I could be a terrorist out to bust the dam. Like terrorists hadn't yet discovered Google Maps …

Bird on a Wire - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Mockingbird On A Wire Near the Leaky Boat House

This ever-so-difficult-to-identify bird is one of our own — and nearly everybody else's in The South — 's State Bird.

Slow Pan with a Fast Black-crowned Night-Heron - copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Slow Pan with a Fast Black-crowned Night Heron

I think I know where I was when I photographed this, but apparently I didn't take any other halfway decent shots there. I think it was photographed from the Old Boathouse's no-longer new bridge, but if I'd been paying more attention, I would have upped the shutter speed, but by then it would have disappeared into the trees on the other side of the lagoon.

White-tailed Dragonfly Resting on the Pier at Sunset Bay - copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

White-tailed Dragonfly Resting on the Pier at Sunset Bay

Which is just where we went next: I still sometimes am able to photograph these guys flying, but this one was obviously tired of flying.

Last I Counted There were 42 Pelicans - copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Last I Counted there were 42 American White Pelicans in Sunset Bay
By the next day — Sunday — there were more than fifty.

 

 

The Kingfisher Pair Flying Together & One Juvenile Anhinga
photographed & posted October 5 2017

Kingfisher Pair Female First and Faster -  - Image Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved. 31

Kingfisher Pair — Female First

The most difficult challenge concerning photographing a pair (or flock) of birds is to capture them close together. The closer together they are, the larger their images will be on these pages, where I almost always limit myself to images up to and including those that are 888 pixels wide (on my elderly iMac. On your DOS machines, they're smaller to the tune of the ratio of 88:72 dpi. Or something like that. Most of you are on Windows machines, even if Apple is way bigger a company, and I flat don't understand how to compute that disparity.

Two Kingfishers Flying Over Sunset Bay - Copyright 2017 JRCompton/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Kingfishers Together Briefly Flying

The only order these photographs of the Sunset Bay Kingfisher pair is how close together they were when I clicked the shutter while wagging my telephoto lens following them flying all over outer Sunset Bay trying to keep my smallish focus spot on top of them. I had no idea they were going to suddenly burst into the air chasing each other — or cavorting — all up, down, round and round. Or I would have set the focus for everywhere in the frame. After I posted this one, I went back and sharpened the two birds. That sometimes helps.

Pair of Kingfishers Flying Over Sunset Bay - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Kingfisher Pair in the Air

The distance between them that really matters is horizontal. The up-down distance has less sway the farther they are apart. And, of course, I know I could cut them each out and paste them on a plain blue sky and pretend I have a magic camera that always keeps everything in focus, but those never look real. These do, because these are real. No fakery.

And certainly less that perfect…

Kingfisher Pair Flying  - Image Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Kingfisher Pair Flying

I originally planned to just show a few of these shots — primarily the ones well above, in which the birds appear larger.

Kingfisher Pair Flying Together Over Sunset Bay - Image Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

They're Flying Fast & They're Together, but Not Close

Another distance that gets in my and your ways is that from the front-most portion of the front bird to all the important parts of the back bird. I usually manage to focus on just one, leaving the other one to either get caught up in the "depth of field" — or not. Unlike the camera I've been lusting after, I can't really see actual image depth on my current dSLR, but even if I could, I probably couldn't see much at that speed anyway. So that disparity or lack thereof is simply up to yours, mine and the camera's depths of field.

Kingfisher on Point - Image Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Kingfisher On Point

Okay, enough of that. They were flying all over the place. I have one other photo of one in a tree over by the shore across the bay on Dreyfuss somewhere, but all I could see when I shot it was one bright dot of blue and white, and all you could see of the bird if I worked that image up, is that one blob of light. So I won't.

Wing-drying Juvenile Anhinga - Then I rearanged the pix of this Kingfisher pair flying together from larger bird images to smaller.

Wing-drying Juvenile Anhinga with Two Turtles

Anna and I were especially keen on photographing the juvenile Anhinga. I really wanted to catch it flying into Sunset Bay. But we didn't arrive early enough for that — if, indeed, that is what even happened. We both really do want to see the young Anhinga fly. I'm sure someone has seen it fly lately, but I don't know who. There's a lot of us wantin' to.

 

 

photographed the last days of last month & the first days of this.
Then posted the evening of October 2.

 Cormorant, Anhinga, Egret - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds - All Rights Reserved.

Cormorant, Anhinga Sidling Up its Favorite Snag, Great Egret

Yes, that is the same Anhinga, who was deemed not to need rescuing awhile back. We've been seeing a lot of it mid-mornings, although lately, the American White Pelicans have all but taken over that particular log — as we shall see again shortly.

Anhinga  x  x

That Anhinga in Sunset Bay on That Same Snag

Very familiar-looking bird, but I was surprised to see blue feathers.

Thread of a Head and Tail Far Out in SSB  x  x

Thread of a Head and the Barest of a Tail

I could barely see it out there in Sunset Bay, but Kelly could, and after some careful instructions, I saw it, too. To make finding it more difficult, it would disappear underwater for long periods, then when it came up, it looked more like a stick out there than a bird. Except, of course, that its pointed little tail followed it around until the bird got up on the water..

Anhinga with Just-caught FishAnhinga Unhinged - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Juvenile Anhinga with Just-caught Fish

When I was very careful and get the focus spot right on the target, and more of its tail feathers got above water, we could see details — like that little fish it's holding that it must have caught below. But it spent a long time underwater finding and/or catching it. Mine is not a zoom lens, but sometimes I have to enlarge the image in post.

Anhinga and Fish  x  x

Anhinga with Lunch

Took me awhile to figure out that this slender necked bird is the same Anhinga as the one in the second pic down, only this one is very wet, so its neck appears skinny until it dries out, at which time its neck appears fluffed out. I've seen adult and juvenile Anhingas at The Southwestern Medical School Rookery, but never for long enough to get used to seeing them. So this was my first opportunity to get used to seeing the same one, and track its progress.

Anhinga and Turtle Anhinga Unhinged - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Anhinga and Sidling Snag and Turtle

This seems to be another of our young Anhinga's favorite snags. It is the one of the ones I photographed it on the day of its planned rescue, back when I thought it absurd that it could have got to the top of it by sidling up to the top. I mistakenly assumed it would have to fly to get up there. But now, more than ever, I assume it must be flying.

Anhinga Sidling Up the SnagAnhinga Unhinged - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Juvenile Anhinga Sidling Up Its Other Snag — The Dry Look

This day, I saw it walk slowly up this turtle-balasted snag, usually one step sideways or the other, stopping to turn its center of balance all the way around several times. I believe that turtle is a Red-Eared Slider, after which I named my yellow-nosed Prius.

Egret's Back - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Great Egret Preening on a Dark Snag

I wanted to wait till its head reappeared from behind that abstraction of wings and body feathers, but though I waited and waited, all I ever saw of its head were those few slender threads of silver seen here between its shoulders.

Four Pelicans on One Short SnagAnhinga Unhinged - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Four Pelicans on One Short Snag

Closer birds show in much greater detail. Or maybe I sometimes just get the vibrations in control.

Blacks with WhiteAnhinga Unhinged - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Blacks With White

I probably should have waited for the Egret to assume a stronger pose. Sometimes I seem to have almost infinite patience. Sometimes I don't have any at all.

Whites With BlackAnhinga Unhinged - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Whites With Black

Obviously I didn't plan these last two shots. Let alone arrange for them to be together.

Blacks on Brown and BlacksAnhinga Unhinged - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Blacks on Brown with Fast Blacks Back

Those are Juvenile Double-crested Cormorants on a Snag with Great-winged Grackles flying behind.

Mallards SwimmingAnhinga Unhinged - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Mallard Pairs Swimming

Most of the males are getting their green back.

Mallard Pair FlyoverAnhinga Unhinged - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Mallard Pair Flyover

Surely the most populous species in Sunset Bay.

Wings Folded and Up; Neck Down and Out  x  x

American White Pelican with Wing Folded Up and Neck Down and Out

On the way to this common AWP pose.

Pelk Wings Up and Beak Stretched Forward All The Way  x  x

American White Pelican with Wings Folded & Up, Neck Stretched Down & Beak Angled Up & Out

Note the wrapped look of its malleable lower mandible. See a bunch of other pix of what pelicans do with their beaks. Don't you just love its pointy little head? I do.

AWP with Lower Mandible Stretched Up  x  x

Inverted Lower Mandible

I got this one in focus, but the subsequent shots with it stretching its beak high up and flat out were all out of focus. Pelicans invert their very flexible lower mandible down over their chest often, and sooner or later, I'll catch one at it again — and again.  

Hovering Female Kingfisher - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Female Kingfisher Hovering

We'd been hearing it rattling around in the area on the other side of the lagoon, but I didn't see it till it flew out over the middle of the bay, where it hovered, then it hovered again maybe 40 feet west of there. Reading my Lone Pine edition of Birds of Texas just now, I learned that "Belted Kingfishers breed locally in northern Texas." Although I was rather aware that they nest and raise young in the Med School Rookery at Inwood between Harry Hines Boulevard & Stemmons Freeway, I was surprised authors Keith A. Arnold and Gregory Kennedy chose to mention only to mention North Texas.

Growing "Baby" Anhinga with AWP Back  x  x

Growing "Baby" Anhinga Drying Its Wings while an American White Pelican Swims Behind

Look at all those feathers, where once hung scraggly, barely-there spaces between.

Juv Anhinga with American White Pelican  x  x

Juvenile Anhinga with About-to-Rise American White Pelican

But when the pelican rose to assume its territory …

Anhinga Unhinged & Pelk Rising  x  x

Anhinga Unhinged & American White Pelican Rising

The comparatively tiny Anhinga gave the pelican as much 'what for' as it had …

Both Birds Flapping  x  x

Both Birds Flapping

Then it seemed to be thrust off its log and out over the water by the force of the pelican's flapping.

JUv Anhinga Leaning Left with the Trees  x  x

Juvenile Anhinga Leaning Left with the Trees

It quickly found another snag, although it still steamed. I've been photographing Anhingas for about a decade — and I was the official first to photograph an Anhinga at White Rock Lake, but I don't think I've ever seen one with its beak open before. Today, it happened at least twice, if you don't count it holding that fish in its beak [above]

Coot SwimmingAnhinga Unhinged - Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds  All Rights Reserved.

Coot Swimming

I guess my main point in today's journal entry is that there's still a wide — and sometimes wild — variety of birds in Sunset Bay almost every day.



Last Month    unkept-up Index of Pages     year ago     Bird-annotated Map of White Rock Lake      Next Month

The best thing about the Year Ago link  is clicking it early in the month to see what birds last September's change of season brought us and where to look for them this year.

Except as noted, all text and photographs Copyright 2017 & before by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No reproduction in any medium without specific written permission from and payment to Writer and Photographer J R Compton. I am an amateur. I've only been birding since June 2006, and the best of that is documented in this Journal, all the pages of which continue online see the links at top and bottom of every Bird Journal page. I've been photographing professionally and semi-professionally yet always amateurishly since 1964. 53 years.


389 by end March; 1242 end April; 2327 end May; 3431 early July; 4217 end July; 4965 end August; 5720 end Sept; 6464 end Oct-16; 7200 end Nov.; 8012 end Dec; 8566 end Jan 17; 9145 end Feb; 9755 end March 17; 10390 End of April 17; 11077 end May 17. Then I lost the hit counter or it didn't count hits anymore. So I gave up on knowing numbers of hits, and I'm happier for it.