INDEX

Last Year

Redraw page often.
SITE SEARCH
Bird-annotated Map
of White Rock Lake

The Amateur Birder's Journal - Stories & Photographs by J R Compton

This month's Best Shots:  Local Color on a Saturday Night  Green Heron Extravaganza  Stop-action shot of a Flying Barn Swallow  Portrait of a Great Blue Heron  Texican Mockingbird Standoff  Rousing House Sparrow  Upended Bottlenosed Turtle in the Spillway  New water feature along DeGoyler Drive  100s of Martins in the Sunset  Deus-ex-machina Nutria  Great-tailed Grackle on a Pointed Sign

The Current Bird Journal is always here. All Contents Copyright 2015 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. Cameras Used  Ethics  out-of-date Feedback page red diamond Bird Rescue Advice from Rogers Wildlife Rehabilitation  Herons   Egrets   Herons or Egrets?  Books & Links  Pelican Beak Weirdness  Pelicans Playing Catch  Bird Rouses  Courtship Displays  Duck Love  Birding Galveston  2nd Lower Rio Grande Valley Birds  & the 1st  Bald Eagles at White Rock Lake  Coyotes  800e Journal   G5 Journal   JRCompton.com  Links  My resumé  Contact Me  DallasArtsRevue  Bird Banding Info  So you want to use one of my photographs in your work?  How to Photograph Birds  Bird-annotated map of the SW Med School Rookery  Even I use Site Search to find anything, but that gets art-related finds, too, because it includes DallasArtsRevue, my other website.  Entry dates are when I posted, not necessarily when I shot them.

214 photographs so far this month, with just enough text
to keep the pictures from bumping into each other.

There's still water flowing down the middle of it,
but the Upper & Middle Spillway is Now much Dryer

July 29 2015

Two Crows on the Spillway - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.  

Two Crows On The Beach

I'd been watching the two crows for awhile. I guess they might be a pair, but don't know that. It's not really a beach, just looks like one. What it really is, is the floor of the Upper Spillway, where now only a stream somewhere in the middle flows from the dam, down and around Egret Island, pools and falls over the Lower Spillways Steps, then makes an abrupt left turn to join this particular White Rock Creek eastward out through the Municipal Golf Course and out, under I-30.

Two Crows Walking Down the Beach - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Two Crows Walking Down the Beach

They kept doing odd things, so after awhile of watching, I started photographing them, too.

Two Crows Walking This Way - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Two Crows Walking This Way

The one on the left is looking up. Until I figured that out, it just didn't look right.

Two Crows -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Two Crows

Sometimes I really wished I knew what they were doing or at least what they were saying to each other.
 

Great Blue Heron Landing - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Great Blue Heron Landing - A

I usually don't photograph Great Blue Herons without their heads showing.

Great Blue Heron Landing -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Great Blue Heron - B

But since it was descending on the far side of the Spillway, and I was already intrigued by its style, I just kept clicking.

Great Blue Heron Touchdown -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Great Blue Heron - C

Touch down in a bit of breeze.
 

Peeps in Flight -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Peeps in Flight

Peeps are generally Shore Birds or, as Richard Crossley (His all-photographic The Crossley ID Guide - Eastern Birds edition) calls them, "Walking Waterbirds," since most birds, given the chance, would rather hang out on the shore.

More Peeps Fling - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

More Peeps Flying

These are sharp enough I could probably identify them.

Peepts in Flight - closer - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Peeps Flying Closer

Of course, they're not really much closer. More like they are sharp enough I could enlarge them more.

 Wood Ducks in Reflective Pond - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Wood Ducks in Reflective Pond

Somewhere along The Spillway.

Snowy Egret Landing in a Pool - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Snowy Egret Landing in a Pool in the Middle Spillway

Snowy Egrets are such amazing little creatures.

Killdeer Over Middle Spillway - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Killdeer Over Middle Spillway

I think I prefer photographing Killdeer in flight. I have gobs more pix of them just standing around the Spillway spaces. It's nice when any birds holds still long enough to photograph it, but watching Killdeer walk, run, bob or stretch is the more fascinating observation. Them just standing there is deadly boring.

Fisher Person on the Slant, Scat Wall - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Fisher Person Fishing on the Slant, Scat Wall

I'm all for fisherpersons getting to catch their daily protein, but they tend to leave a lot of dangerous, sharp and pokey metal in the water where birds get ensnared with it. Their illegal presence there also keeps birds away from places birds have every right not to find humans. I know that wall looks almost vertical, but it's really not. It is possible to walk down there, though probably not safely. I keep wishing bird scat was slippery — not that I want fishers to fall — that water is nasty! Just I'd rather they do their fishing elsewhere, so birds can do it there. I've never called the cops on them, because I don't have a cell phone, but I strongly urge others to.

Surely, the cops — if they do anything at all — would stand around waiting for the errant fisher-persons to appear at the top of the slant. Not sure that makes for any kind of efficiency. There's signs in English and Spanish all around the Spillway saying it's illegal to be down there, but as long as those silly rules are not enforced, there'll be more and more people down there. There's a reason birds like fishing down there. I believe I've seen more people down there more often lately than during all the eleven years I've been padding this beat.

Pigeons on the Rail - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Pigeons on the Rail

The balustrade or rail or fence or whatever it should be called — that keeps bicyclists, humans and kids in strollers from plummeting into White Rock Creek below the Walking Bridge it protects, directly parallel to the car bridge on Garland Road at Winstead. I was startled to look up and see these guys just barely far enough to focus my telephoto lens on.

 

  

Starting off at the pier at sunset Bay

July 28 2015

 two fem malls in elegant colors - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Two Female Mallards in Exquisite Colors

Not sure where they got those colors, but I sure didn't put them there. Kinda wish I could do that, actually. My challenge with this image was getting the female on the right light enough.

Beyond the Losgs & Sunset Bay - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Beyond the Logs and Sunset Bay

And all the way to the other side. I guess 510mm will do that for me. Same lens as usual, just a 1.7 telextender for a change, 'cause I thought I'd need it later at The Spillway.

Female Mallard on the Other Side of the World - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Female Mallard on the Other Side of the World

I'm kinda liking this subdid array of colors and tones. Kinda wisht I could keep it going.

I Introduced her - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

I Introduced Her to My Friend on the Pier as that Female Red-winged Blackbird Who Always Comes to Visit When I'm on the Pier at Sunset Bay

But I'm not at all sure it's always that same bird. Maybe they take turns. Next time we'll start off at The Spillway, which is where I'd planned to go anyway until I drove by and it was all dark.

Somebody's FOS Coot Next Spring - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Somebody's F.O.S. American Coot Next autumn

It's hard to believe, in this heat, that there will be an autumn, a winter and a spring — all of which in Dallas as in most of Texas, is really just one big long, temperate season. We don't really have winter unless it snows and the snow stays on the ground a week or so, and autumn and spring are so similar that it's hard to give them much notice. The big difference between autumn and spring is that spring lasts longer. At the U of D back 55 years ago, we times autumn, and it lasted 17 seconds.

 

Back At the Upper Spillway Again

July 27 2015

 Least Sandpiper Maybe -- Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Least Sandpiper Maybe

If I knew who these guys were, I'd tell you.

Chase of the Unsubs - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Chase of the Unsubs

I even have a book called The Shorebird Guide, and I've paged through it for several years, either at about this time of year, or when we drive down the South Texas Coast. Then, after identifying the same birds a couple dozen times in succession, I begin to learn who they all are.

Chase of the Unsubs -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Chase of the Unsubs

Then I get out of practice again, and am hopelessly lost again.

Another Shorebird That Looks a Lot Like -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Least Sandpiper

Then for awhile, I'm just confused.

Five of them in one spot -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Five of them in one Blue Spot

That blue must have something to do with the color of the sky.

Three Birds -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Three Birds including One That Looks Bigger

Or else I woulda thought they were all the same.

Another Chase of Sorts -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Another Chase of Sorts

I remember laughing quietly at a person who professed to be a semi-pro birder who didn't want to get into all the different kinds of ducks. Me, I like duck, and am interested enough to track them down. But Little Walking Shorebirds drive me crazy, because we only see them in the between seasons, and they're never around long enough for me to get used to them.

Preening Among the Unsubs -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Preening Among the Unsubs

I'm betting it's a sandpiper.

Those Same Unsubs - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Those Same Unsubs

Most of them with their heads showing this time.

 

 

The Saturday Night Special

July 26 2015

 50 and Gooses Arc - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Gooses Arc

One of those times when beautify was so much all around us that I didn't even notice till much later that nearly all of these photographs included some birds. I carefully lined us up to capture those two gooses about middle across this image.

At Least 16 Birds & a Bridge -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

At Least 16 Birds & A Bridge

We ate dinner at one of our favorite places, then drove around the lake, eventually stopping for ice cream.

Tall Fuzzy Flowers - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Tall Fuzzy Flowers

We both made photographs all along the way. Sometimes when The Slider was still moving. Usually after I stopped.

Clouds & Birds Swirl - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Orange Swirl — Clouds & Birds

I'm pretty sure this is where, until a couple weeks ago, I photographed Scissor-tailed Flycatchers middle-to-late spring and into the middle of summer. This is off into the sunset portion of our sky.

Cloud & Bird Swirl - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Cloud & Bird Swirl

And this isn't. As often here, there's no way I could identify all these birds.

Looking and Looking Back -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Looking and Looking Back

I'm shooting, as I often do, across the one-way circle drive past The Winfrey Building.

Baseball Fields -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Baseball Fields

And down through the trees at the sports fields, down …

One Bird Flapping -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

One Bird Flapping

… And up.

Aztec Skies -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Aztec Skies

This looks familiar, but I don't remember from where.

   

 

Bigger Birds in Sunset Bay &
Smaller ones on the Upper Spillway

July 25 2015

Consecutive Concentrics - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Consecutive Concentrics in Sunset Bay

I was doing alright in sunset Bay when someone told me about seeing a Green Heron on the Spillway, so after I shot some of these, I went there. This swan is eating green slime from the bottom of this very shallow water.

Juvenile Wood Duck in Low Flight - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Juvenile Wood Duck in Low Flight

The birds there were altogether too familiar, but Sunset Bay was lovely. A soft breeze seemed cool, and there were plenty of birds willing to come close — and one alluring Snowy Egret who would not.

Male Mallard Landing - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Male Mallard Landing

Plenty of action on the water and over the water, but there was no Green Heron when I got to the Lower Spillway, so I went back up to the Upper Spillway.

A RWBB Fem on the pier -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

A Female Red-winged Blackbird on the Pier at Sunset Bay 

Sure Looks like a Spotted Sandpiper - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Spotted Sandpiper

Complete with some spots, which only Breeding Adult Spotted Sandpipers have — making early-season identifications very difficult for me, but this one was easy.

Two Killdeer on the Upper Spillway - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Two Killdeer on the Upper Spillway

I dearly wish I'd brought my telextender today, to bring thee and all the other birds I found to photograph up there so much closer.

Big and Littler Peeps on the Upper Spillway - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Large and Littler Peeps on the Spillway

Killdeer upper right. No real idea middle left, and Kala King says the lower middle one is a Least Sandpiper. But so nice of three species to pose together. Maybe four. I have no idea what the light brown bump is left of the Killdeer.

Killdeer and Some Sorta Sandpiper - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Killdeer (left) and another Least Sandpiper (upper right)

x

The Sandpiper Unsub -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

The Unsub Sandpiper

Or perhaps I should state, the Sandpiper Unsub. With as distinctive a wing pattern as this, one might assume it'd be easy. I bet it is easy for some birders, but not this one. I can always tell whether someone who sends me pictures of an unsub has ever read this journal. They assume, because I write words under my bird pictures, that I'm a bird expert. I hope to live long enough to have that happen, but I am not an expert. Pretty good photographer, maybe. But I am not an expert, and I'm even less good at identifying birds.

Killdeer Over Sandipiper Unsub on the Upper Spillway - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Killdeer Over Unsub Sandpiper — Least?

Killdeer are often gorgeous flying. This one probably is most of the time, although in this photo, it looks a little ungainly, but in my other two photos, it looked even worse.

Peeps Galore - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

If I could I.D these guys, the next bunch would be easier to identify

A little less telephoto than the next shot down, this shows a bit more of the scene.

Peeps and a Turtle with Scat Wall -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Peeps and a Turtle with Scat Wall

I was on this side of the Upper Spillway, and these were all on the far side, so them sharp is some kind of photographic miracle. Shouldn't be difficult to name that species, with that many flight images this sharp. When I get around to it. Hmm. Might be Least Sandpipers.

Snowy & The Peeps - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Snowy & The Peeps

Snowy Egret on the left side. Most of the rest are peeps. Probably the same bunch I've been photographing.

One of Many of These - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

One of Many of These

I'm guessing a Least Sandpiper. Sure wish they wouldn't name them diminutively. Makes me feel like one of the few peeps I can identify aren't really worth the trouble. The other peep I can generally I.D is the Killdeer.

And This is Definitely One of These - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

And This is Definitely one of These

But whether this and the other one above it are the same is beyond my identifying skills. I love photographing peeps. Aiding them, however, is usually beyond my identifying skills.

A Killdeer - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

A Killdeer that seems fragile and tentative enough to be a Juvenile

?

And some of these - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

And Some of These

I always get a little excited when I adequately capture peeps flying, because most of the bird I.D books show them wings up and wings down, to make identification all that much easier. But I think these are two different species. So I'll just leave them and their identifications up in the air.

I'm going back to the Spillway Saturday, with a telextender to make of my 300mm lens a 500mm. Maybe that way, I can render these often tiny birds a little bigger.

 

 

Mallards and Wood Ducks in the late evening at Sunset Bay

July 24 2015

Mallard Dark - Wood Light - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Mallard Dark — Wood Light — Both Females

All these images were shot in the late evening up on Sunset Beach. I was using my Panasonic Lumix G5, so any attempt at stopping even the slowest action would have been useless, but if they held still and I held the camera still, some nice shots resulted.

Mal Dark Wood Light -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Mal Dark - Wood Light

Some of these were shot as I walked into the ducks queue with Anna's eight-year-old grand-daughter Alice, slowly and ever-so-carefully through the mobs of ducks waiting for Charles to come feed them, which he was not able to do this time. His job was keeping him busy into the night. At eight o'clock, I think I remember, they all left, hungry

Muscovy - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Muscovy

Ben sometimes wishes he hadn't saved this Muscovy Duck, who seems to have become something of a bully. Not enough he's bigger than almost anybody else off or on Sunset Beach, he seems to need to need to show everyone often.

Male Mallard Walking - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Male Mallard Walking

I love their beautiful summer eclipse

Mal up — Wood down -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Mallard Up - Wood Duck Below

I believe this is a female Wood Duck. The upper bird is a female Mallard. I wouldn't dare guess how old either is.

Wood -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Juvenile Male Wood Duck — maybe

I was hoping the Crossley ID Guide - Eastern Birds would show and tell me the exact age and sex of this, and some of the other Wood Ducks in today's journal entry. But though I know they are diverse and confusing, I don't know which this is. I'd at lest guess Javelle.

Wood Duck -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Juvenile Female Wood Duck

Note the distinctive differences in beak colors and where the various stripes are on the head. Otherwise, the body colors, configuration and stripes are remarkably similar from the image above and this one.

Male Mallard in Eclipse ____ - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Adult Male Mallard in summer Eclipse

Especially beautiful in the late, setting sun.

Two Fem Mals - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Two Fem Mallards

The one in back is certainly an adult. I suspect the one in front is younger, maybe even one of this spring/summer's batch.

 

 

I've Just Been Busy or Hurting But Mostly Busy

July 20 2015

 Pigeon Resting or Something - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Pigeon Resting or Something … at Sunset Bay

I strongly identify with this pigeon. It might be hurt, but mostly it's resting. I've been busy. I'm going to be busy. I'm tired and cleaning my house and some other house stuff I've procrastinated just about enough, but it needs doing, and I do what I can, but now I need some professionals, and that'll keep me busy for awhile. I do go out birding almost every day, but I haven't been finding much.

Great Blue Heron - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Great Blue Heron at the Lower Steps

I don't think it looks like that when I'm not photographing it, but when I am it looks like a constellation of moving stars splashing down the Lower Steps at the Spillway. You know, kinda like this.

Sunset at Sunset Bay - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Sunset at Sunset Bay

I want to go birding instead of all this cleaning and fixing stuff, and I will soon, but right now I've just been busy or hurting, but mostly busy.

 

 

The Southwestern Medical School Rookery on a Hot Sunday Morning

July 20 2015

Great Egret Wing-Over - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.  

Great Egret Wing-over

Soon after I shot these images at the Southwestern Medical School's Rookery, I crashed for eight more hours, then I got up, worked up these images, and only now am I remembering that after I got these shots, both of the cameras I brought quit focusing, which is a distinct drawback. It was already plenty hot.

See also my bird-annotated guide to the SW Med Center Rookery.

Great Egret - crp

Great Egret

I usually prefer to photograph birds on the ground or in trees. Unusually for me, I photographed birds flying today. I probably needed the practice.

Great Egret Treetop Landing - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Great Egret Treetop Landing

And oddly enough, they look a little different than most of my flying-bird photos. I like that, but I can't explain the differences, except these seem more informal …

Fluff Baby Something - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Downy Young Great Egret

But now we are back to birds in trees, and what looks like a Great Egret chick. After many years of not, my extraordinarily popular Egrets and Herons pages now have 'baby" pictures, too.

Downy Young Cattle Egrets - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Downy Young Cattle Egrets

These definitely (?) are downy young Cattle Egrets, and even on this slightly less-enlarged image, we can see, if we look more carefully, that the tips of their beaks are not black. I probably should add these shots to the Baby portion of my Egrets page, since this earlier stage is sorely missing.

Downy Young Cattle Egret with Ted Tip on its Beak - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Downy Young Juvenile Cattle Egret

They're orange-tipped. I'd never noticed that before. Neither, to my careful study, has Sibley. What's up? Did pre-flight Cattle Egrets only recently acquire orange beak tips?

Great Egret Line-up - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Great Egrets - The Usual suspects

As usual, there were lots of adult Great Egrets.

Female Anhinga with Downy Young on Hot Day - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

What I originally thought was a family, is just two juveniles on a nest

I first saw this scene through my 300mm lens, and I assumed incorrectly that it showed a female parental Anhinga at the top, with several downy young scattered about a nest. Because of my pre- misconception, I kept thinking of them as a family. And that is the basic mis-assumption that led to a trail of errors I won't repeat, because it's stupid, wrong and very confusing.

I now see that the upper, still-alive Anhinga and the lower one falling out of the nest with its head turned back up are or were downy young Anhingas. Because I didn't understand what I saw way up there and in my overexposed photograph of it, I mistakenly asked the participants in Dallas Audubon's free online forum, Bird Chat why the top bird that I thought was an adult female was almost all tan and why her jaw was so misshapen.

You can read Bird Chat any time, but you have to register to post, all free. Very nice bunch of people, and welcoming to amateurs. I am, but you don't have to be a Dallas Audubon member.

On Bird Chat, Kala King pointed out that the top bird was another "one of the babies, [and] their jaws do look like that, and it looks like the one hanging out of the nest may be dead or dying." That, finally, made visual sense, and was probably what Anna had tried to get through my original misconceptions when I asked her earlier.

I have since read [Andale, Andale …] that another, perhaps related, but healthy, young Anhinga was found on the ground there and taken to Rogers Wildlife Rehabilitation. Young birds often walk around on the grounds both inside and outside their Do-Not-Treaspass perimeter, and I wonder if that was really a "rescue" or a birdnapping. Some people tend to be overzealous about rescuing birds and animals who should be left alone, where their parents can find them. This site may be helpful in determining if a bird or animal really needs rescuing.

Wildife Rescue dot com gives us, "Important Reminders," like "It's always best to leave what you may think is an "orphaned" [bird or] animal alone, unless it is in obvious distress or in an unsafe location. Quite often, its parents are close by and reluctant to return, because you are there. Watch for their return from a safe distance … Generally, if no parent returns within one to two hours, you should call Wildlife Rescue or begin preparing your protective container."

Rogers Wildlife Rehabilitation in Hutchins, Texas just south of Dallas at (972) 225-4000 will explain some of your options. That's where most Dallas rescues go to rehabilitate, although if you take your bird to a vet to then expect to have it taken to Rogers, it may take valuable hours or days to get there. It's a nice drive. Do it yourself. They used to want $50 per rescued bird, and that seems eminently fair.

Down Young Great Egret pushed or fell out of the nest - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Great Egret Who Fell — or Was Pushed — Out of Its Nest

We almost always see, especially on hot summer days, birds who didn't make it. I usually don't get involved in saving 'baby birds' whose parents have pushed them out of the nest, or whose siblings do that, since it's all part of Nature's oft-confusing Plan.

Another Dead Egret at the Rookery - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Another Dead Egret at the Rookery

Birds lay too many eggs on purpose to try to beat the odds, and too many young emerge from those eggs, then most of them die before they're fledged. Injured birds anywhere else are deserving of human help, if they can get it. I've helped Anna catch and deliver several injured and/or near-death birds to Rogers Wildlife. Last time we visited the rookery — before the heat of summer set in — we were amazed to see no dead baby birds. But we knew it couldn't last.

Great Egrets & a Building - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Great Egrets and a Building

I was going to just crop it to the flying Great Egret heading for the building, then I noticed all those GEs on the tops of the trees at the rookery so close to SW Medical School in this view from the top of the parking garage across the street.

Cattle Egret with Building -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Great Egret with Building

Thanks to my mediocre far vision, I assumed I was photographing yet another Great Egret flying. Note, these two shots are different magnifications from the same image. Nice to have a lens that resolves that well, even if the upper version shows a little too much contrast at the bird's edges.

Breeding Adult Cattle Egret with Building -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

That Same Breeding Adult Cattle Egret with that same Building

And this isn't even the whole frame, but we can now see where this bird was flying — over Stemmons Expressway and off toward the Trinity River, we assume.

Great Egret Flover - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Great Egret Flyover

It used to be so magical at the rookery to have so very many big white — and black — birds flying nearly all the time. Lately, I usually concentrate on the birds doing rookery stuff, building nests, tending their young, etc.

Basketball Court - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Basket Ball Court without Bird Recordings from the Top of the Garage across the street

I love going to the top of the free-parking high-rise parking garage across the street from the basketball court, where I try to photograph birds flying from a level a little closer to their own. I didn't notice the silly raptor sounds coming from inside that building this time, just the pattern of darks and lights and colors of its open-to-the-elements architecture. I guess I liked the abstractness of this scene after photographing all those bird details.

Shadow Striped Great Egret -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Shadow-striped Great Egret

Like this.

 

 

Pretty Landscapes, a few birds, Early Sun &
A Treasured Yellow-crowned Night-Heron

July 19 2015

 

The Pier at Sunset Bay — with Male Great-tailed Grackle

Still my favorite place to be in the known world. Lately, in early mornings and later evenings, and sometimes in the head of the middle of day, there's a cool breeze that rifles across those flood-damaged slats.

Wood Duck with Trees' Knees - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Juvenile Wood Duck with Trees' Knees

Holding still long enough for me to photograph it.

Three Juvenile Wood Ducks on a Log -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Three Juvenile Wood Ducks on a Log

Nice color and texture on the lake but close in.

GBH with Drefuss - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Great Blue Heron with Dreyfuss Back

Photographed from that pier across the bay.

Nice of them to Let it Grow Wild Out There - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Nice of them to Let It Grow Wild Out There

Them being the Parks Department. We're astonished they're letting it go / be wild out in the middle behind Stone Tables, where now, often, we see wild birds.

Low-slant Sun on the way to Dreyfuss - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Low-slant Sun on Lawther Drive into Dreyfuss

Driving back, that sun blotted out my windshield, so I kept having to wash and wiper it, just to see.

Juvenile Yellow-crowned Night-Heron - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Juvenile Yellow-crowned Night Heron

I've been attending a place where I've seen Yellow-crowned Night-Herons raising one or two young in summers past in the early mornings for the sole reason to find one and photograph it. Now I hope I can find it and or its sibling hunting in those early mornings. Till the two shots that preceded this one — see bird, click shot; walk twenty paces closer, click another shot; walk another good distance, and click another shot.

Unfortunately, this time, I shot the three images, each better than the last, but at that last exposure, I looked down on my arm where a mosquito was about to sink into me, and I picked it off, flung it away, looked up and the YCNH was gone. I looked for fifteen more minutes..

 
 

I Finally Found my First Green Heron for the season

July 18 2015

Green Heron in Spice Garden -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.  

Green Heron in Spice Garden — It Must Have Just Eaten Something, and its Throat had Thickened for the Swallow

All the way down Garland Road toward the lake today, I kept asking the Universe, "Green Heron, Green Heron, Green Heron." It was their kind of weather, humanly unbearably hot and sweaty. "Then I caught myself driving to one of those places I've already gone to four or five, maybe more times this week, and wondered why I thought this time it would be different, castigating myself for keeping going to the same places, but I settled into the drive.

And when I arrived, looked around in a couple places, and saw this bird, where I'd never seen a Green Heron before. Near there, yes, and high in the trees around and over there comparatively often — three or four times in the last ten years, but never right there, so close to the ground, so close to the water, so very close to me.

Green Heron - Beak Open - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Green Heron - Beak Open

I started shooting at 3:19 PM, when, hurting from my third fall in three weeks (one bathtub slip and two unexplained outright, no idea why, falls), I was hobbling slow. I hadn't figured it out yet, but I was also sliding down the scale to a dizzying Low Blood Sugar sequence that rendered this diabetic stoned empty stupid and freaked out. But because I usually only see a Green Heron this up-close and personal maybe once a year or two or three — if that — I stayed photographing while the medical situation nose-dived.

My behavior seemed extreme — even to me — till I spoke with a birding friend who has experienced "both a touch of heat exhaustion and come close to frostbite on their fingers because they were excited about something they were photographing and did not want to stop." Like that — intense.

Usually, birders say the best time to find birds is early in the morning or later in the evening, but I have found, over the last decade-plus since I've been doing this journal (and all those pages of photos are still there), that my late-to-bed and late-to-rise cycle works fine, and the birds accommodate me and my hours. And those mosquitoes and other itchy bump-raising insects don't like it then.

Wide Long & Lean -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Wide, Long and Lean

When I finally got to the 'place' where I began worrying for my sanity and balance, I walked over to The Slider, hoped the bird would still be there when I got back, gobbled down five glucose disks that I keep handy, quickly chewed and swallowed them. Then walked me and my camera back, and the Green Heron was still there. Still photogenic and darned near posing.

Green Heron - Guru Pose -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Green Heron - Guru Pose

I've seen Great Blue Herons — Green Herons' much larger cousins — adopt this pose, where they seem to be drying their wings or cooling down in general, but this is my first for a Green Heron, and I kinda wished I could have photographed it from the front, from whence it tends to look like the guru's knees are splayed.

Green Heron - Tall and Thin Look Out -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Green Heron - Tall & Thin Lookout

Compared to other, more common herons (including all our local egrets) at the lake, this species is much smaller — about the size of a middle-sized Great-tailed Grackle, our most populous species. Which is to say, of all those grackles, some are larger than the Green Heron, and some are smaller, and unless we are paying strict attention, we might confuse a Green Heron with any number of other common, smallish dark birds. Especially someone as inept at field-identifying birds as I am. But it had that heron look about it, and once I got it in focus, it seemed much larger than 18 inches long with a wingspan of about 26 inches.

About halfway through this shoot, I saw a very similar-looking and sized heron fly in just up the coast from where I stood. It swooped up into one of those big trees. I was curious about it, but not curious enough to leave my post. A bird in direct view is better than another one that might still be in a tree not that far away.

Green Heron  - preening behind wing -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Green Heron - Preening Behind Wing

And, of course, Green Herons are not green, although they seem like they are sometimes, but usually not in sunlight. In sunlight, they seem brown-to-reddish, with mostly dark gray to black wings, with a little iridescent blue along the tops, with white with stripey brown fronts.

Preening Under Left Wing -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Preening Behind Opened Left Wing

This one didn't move around as much as others I've seen hunting over the years in other places at the lake. There were a lot of ducks and grackles and sparrows around it, and a few of the grackles seemed interested in a fight. But like most Green Herons I've known, it did change shapes quickly and often. I tried to include photos of at least every pose and position and shape.

Green Heron in Royal Cloak - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Green Heron in Royal Cloak

Especially when they stretch up their necks and raise their heads to see what's over the near horizon.

Green Heron Stretch Neck - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Stretch Neck

Seems like almost every time I clicked the shutter, it had assumed another shape or pose. Luckily, in most of the places I've seen Green Herons, they tend to blend right into the landscape. Here, this one seemed to stand out. Probably because I was paying it such intense attention.

Catching Yet Another Little Fishy - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Catching Yet Another Little Fishy

On a piece of tree lying down, where it caught several bite-sized fish and went on about its business of preening and cleaning and shape-shifting …

Camoflaughed as Tree - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Camouflaged As Tree

… our little Green Heron camouflaged itself as pieces of a tree — and blended right in. There was a couple in the park bench just up the hill from where I was. I wonder if they had any idea what I was photographing. I wanted to tell them about this amazing little bird. But I was too busy photographing it.

Green Heron Pole Dancing -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Green Heron Pole Dancing

In my semi- to full hypoglycemic glaze, I shot 568 shots, including the many near-duplicates of which you will not see here. I just kept shooting and shooting and shooting. You also won't see the really out-of-focus fuzzy shots, which is why I keep shooting and shooting this comparatively rarer bird species when I get a chance to be this close. I don't think I've ever been this amazingly close to a Green Heron before.

Watching for a Fish -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Watching for a Fish

Whenever possible, I photographed minorly "significant moments" like these.

Blending In -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Blending In

The rest of the time, I just followed this little bird around wherever it went, and I learned on the shutter button.

The Green Parts of a Green Heron -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

The Green Parts of a Green Heron

I stayed in the deep shadow of a low-branched tree, never more than about 40 feet from it — and often close enough to fill my full frame Nikon with its tiny little body, and I don't think it ever figured out I was up there taking its pictures. I walked slowly and carefully, and I did not move when it had its eyes pointed at me, although one time I almost lost my balance, and walked quickly backwards up the uneven-surfaced hill trying to get my center of balance back above my feet, hoping, hoping, hoping I would not fall again, because I still hurt from the last two. Eventually, I got my gravity back where it belonged, and I just stood there thanking the gods and goddesses I didn't sprawl backwards — usually I fall forwards.

Green Heron Standup with Crop Up - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Green Heron Stand-up with Crop Up

I tried it the other way, but I just lost track of where I and it was, down this page. These shots were eventually re-arranged in my usual 'strict chronological order,' because that's the only way they made sense to me.

My One and Only Almost Flying Shot - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

My One-and-only Almost Flying Shot —

Well, Landing. All my other attempts at photographing it flying on its usually short hops from here to there and back again were nasty dark blurs that rendered the Green Heron as a ugly and uneven, dark silhouette.

Green Heron Framed - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Green Heron Framed

I figured it was going fishing from this mount.

Green Heron Bathing -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Green Heron Bathing

But instead, it kept shape-shifting and went bathing instead.

Green Heron Bathing -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Green Heron Bathing

Splashing lots of water as it did — because feathers are much more difficult to thoroughly wet, than skin is.

Green Heron Pausing with Crop Up -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Green Heron with Crop Up Pausing Bath

And get that wet stuff everywhere up into its feathers.

Bath-Splashing Green Heron -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Bath-Splashing Green Heron

We can barely tell who it is, it got so wet so fast.

Green Heron Splash Bath -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Green Heron Splash Bath

This almost looks scary. I love this photograph of this little monster of the shallows. I made my last shot at 4:39 PM, when I'd looked away from the heron, looked back, and it was gone. So, one hour and twenty minutes of steady shooting one of the more elusive birds on my lists. Wow! Thanks, Universe.

Here's a much earlier encounter with a Green Heron in the park I named after it, from September 7, 2007 and a much faster-moving Green Heron from August 8 of that same year.

Although I have heard and read that there are far fewer Green Herons now than ever before, when I looked up its current Conservation Status, The Cornell Lab of Ornithology link fixed Green Heron page reports it as of "Least Concern."

 

 

Chasing Fast-Flying Swallows on Boy Scout hill,
Odds and Ends & some Great Blue Heron Portraits

 July 16 2015

 Western Adult Female Purple Martin Flying - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Western Adult Female Purple Martin

Feeling a little less painful than I have been — without big honking painkillers today, I stopped halfway down Boy Scout Hill too look around, since I hadn't been there in awhile. I kept seeing various species of swallows swooping by and all around, close and far, no doubt chasing bugs, above and down in the tall weeds all around me. I got out, walked carefully into the nearest shade with the Nikon and 300 telephoto with a doubler, which I hadn't used in weeks.

Adult Northern Cliff Swallow -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Adult Northern Cliff Swallow

At least I thought it was, now, since the next shot was taken less than a second later, I am thinking they are both the same bird. Not a great shot, but it's in focus and stopped in action, even if it does have its right eye partially closed..

Adult Female Barn Swallow Less than a Second Later - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Adult Female Barn Swallow Less Than A Second Later

These three shots are the only ones of 85 that I shot today, me spinning around trying to keep swallows in my viewfinder long enough to click and have them be in focus. I'm surprised there are that many, but I'm most amazed at this one, which, mind you is a small piece of a much larger frame, but still with sparkle in her eye.

Escondas Sus Pre -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Esconda Sus Pertenencias

Hide Your Belongings.

Swallows in Trees -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Swallows in Trees

I'm thinking Barn Swallows, but they could be more than one species.

Scads of Purple Martins -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Scads of Purple Martins

All or very likely mostly Purple Martins. I guess.

I am fascinated by that island - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

I am fascinated by that Island

And this is my best shot yet of it. Love those three red leaves lower right among the trees/bushes/whatever.

The Bay Gray Scratching - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

The Bay Gray Scratching

I have seen as many as five Great Blue Herons in Sunset Bay at one time, but any Great Blue Heron in Sunset Bay is automatically "The Bay Gray," so is this one, itches or not.

The Bay Gray in Blues - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

The Bay Gay in Blues

I very carefully cropped out the over-bright turtle, just right-bottom of this scene. I love that errant gray feather above and behind its neck/shoulders, and I'm glad I waited for a nice profile with flyaway feathers.

Great Blue Heron Head And Shoulders Portrait - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Great Blue Heron Head-and-Shoulders Portrait with Flyaway Feathers

So I cropped in for a tight head-and-shoulders.

Male Brown-headed Cowbird

Lots of Brown-headed Cowbirds these hot days at the lake.

 

 

Thistles, E. Kingbird, Mallards, Wood Ducks, One Great
Egret, Some Swallows & The Point of Winfrey Round

 July 14 2015

Thistles, I Think - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.  

Thistles, I Think

I saw one Grackle flying and no other birds on Winfrey Meadow this warm afternoon. I kinda didn't think there'd be any Scissor-tails in weather this hot, but I looked carefully, and all I found were these thistles.

Eastern Kingbird on the Wire - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Eastern Kingbird on the Wire

The wire takes electricity or phone or something up Winfrey Hill from Emerald Isle Drive to the Winfrey Building, and I must photograph hundreds of birds every year on it. When photographing birds, it pays to look up.

Fem Mals Snorking - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Female Mallards Snorking

According to the tragically (to me, at least) out-of-print Lone Pine edition of Birds of Texas, Mallards dabble "in shallows for plant seeds, also eats insects, aquatic invertebrates, larval amphibians and fish eggs." But I don't really know which of those, these ladies are snorking just under the water off my favorite boat ramp. I kept hoping some of the screeching Monk Parakeets in the nearby trees would come join the party, but I knew they would not, at least until the ducks left.

Male Mallard Swimming - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Male Mallard Swimming

In the same place. I like that his green head feathers seem to be coming back — or going away. Same with his white neck ring.

Adult Breeding Male and First-summer Wood Ducks - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Adult Breeding Male and Two First-summer Juvenile Wood Ducks

Maybe. I don't think there's any such classification among Wood Ducks as First-summer, but I'm pretty sure that's who those two ducks on the right are. The one on the left has red eyes, so it's probably an adult, but he looks entirely too small.

Great Egret on Undulating Island - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Great Egret on Undulating Island

Under the new wood bridge over the lagoon behind The Old Boathouse is this grassy, floating island that moves with wavelike motion as the water that mostly supports it, does too. I keep thinking it will float away, and it very well might.

Great Egret Escape - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Great Egret Escape

I was paying too much attention to my walking — so as not to fall again — and not nearly enough on how I might frighten the egret, and I must have got too close, even though I could still more than fit the whole of it in the frame with a telephoto lens, and I know many other people had more noisily transversed that bridge faster and more noisily …

I think these are barn swallows - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

I Think These Are Barn Swallows

A friend introduced me to a small crowd at the Bath House Cultural Center a few weeks ago as a "Birding Expert," which caused me to blush, since I know better, but it did sound sweet. Maybe in another ten or so years …

Female Wood Duck - Wings Up Swimming Along - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Juvenile Male Wood Duck Swimming Along with his Wings Partly Up …

He'd been taking a splash bath, so he probably wanted to get rid of some of that trapped water.

Then Suddenly Dove - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Then Suddenly Upended and Dove …

When it did this, I was pleased I'd had the foresight to photograph the pic just above.

Down to About There - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Down to About There

And I was startled and surprised to see my third shot in this series caught him at almost the bottom of his dive.

Juvenile Female Wood Duck Splash Bathing - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Juvenile Female Wood Duck Splash Bathing

Splashing lots of water around.

Juvenile Female Wood Duck Flap -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Juvenile Female Wood Duck Flapping

I used to call this a "Victory Flap," although now I know it's done to rid oneself of water among the feathers — or just because it feels good to flap.

Great Egret Flying Low over Undulating Island - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

That Same Great Egret Later Flying Low over Undulating Island

Nice, for a change, to be this close to a Great Egret. I didn't scare it this time. It was just heading out.

Winfrey Point - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Winfrey Point from Across the Lake

It threw me for awhile that this familiar building was turned around, but the baseball fields really are over there, and I don't know what building that is off to the right, probably across Garland Road, and I'm still odded out that 'they' call Winfrey Point a point, when it's bluntly and strictly rounded.

 

 

WRL's Both Too Wild and Not Nearly Wild Enough on weekends

 July 13 2015

Great Egrets in the tall weeds behind Stone Tables - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.  

Great Egret Hunting in the Tall Weeds behind Stone Tables

I usually try to skip weekends at the lake, because there's too many people. I appreciate that all those people visit and use our lake, I just don't want to have to interface with them. I love it when almost nobody goes there. Because, for one reason, there's lots more birds there then. But there were way plenty people there Sunday afternoon, and I still found some birds. So I guess I'm really thankful that The Parks Department sometimes let some of the places go wild.

GE on the Fisherpersons' Pier - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Great Egret on the Fisherpersons' Pier

No fisherpersons on the pier near the new WRL boat house. I guess they like it better — or can more easily get away — when there's fewer people at the lake.

Smoked Sausage - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Smoked Sausage

I really couldn't see what they were cooking, but I liked the smoke, am and long have been drawn by it.

Swording - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Fun to Watch these Adults Teaching Kids How to Sword

It looked organized, and every once in awhile, they all queued up to talk about it, but I liked it when the sworded, even if it was very stylized. Nobody was out there trying to kill anybody with their wooden swords.

Sword Attack - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Sword Attack

They'd practice every move then the students would execute what they'd learned.

Mockingbird Walking Bridge - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Mockingbird Walking Bridge

There were a lot more than four people going over it, and far more than two paddling under it. I guess I just got lucky here.

Awfully Busy Boating Area - crpy

Awfully Busy Boating Area

I was cringing most of the time I watched this boating melee. Glad they were doing it here, just north of the Mock Walk Bridge, instead of all over the lake. At least they weren't mucking up Sunset Bay, where amateur boating idiots sometimes get thrills from chasing all the birds away, even if it is against federal law. Bet renters never tell their clients about that.

Secret Creek - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Secret Creek

And all the more happy I knew where were secret creeks that hardly anybody ever visited.

 

 

A Mockingbird Texican Standoff & Other Birds

 July 11 2015

Texican Standoff - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds All Rights Reserved.  

Two Northern Mockingbirds in a Texican Standoff

I did get out a couple times, but since I hurt from yet another fall, and I don't want to do another one, I mostly stayed in the car today, but I brought my new Olympus Micro FourThirds camera, must be to get mad at and take my mind off, although sometimes it did good, even when I couldn't.

Texican Standoff - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds All Rights Reserved.

Two Northern Mockingbirds in a Texican Standoff

I've seen young Mockingbirds mock fighting with each other many years ago — I'll try to run those pix down and link that exciting event here — but this time it seemed like an action that might precede such a mock Mock fight. This odd dance that I noticed between two Northern Mockingbird seemed more like a challenge to a fight, although while I watched and slowly followed them down the hill in The Slider, they never even got particularly close.

Texican Standoff - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds All Rights Reserved.

Two Northern Mockingbirds in a Texican Standoff

They just looked menacingly at each other, like any moment they would break into a mutual attack. I'm calling it a "Texican Standoff," and this is the first time I've ever noticed one. And this is my favorite pic of this bunch. I think I managed to capture both of them ever so slightly up in the air.

Texican Standoff - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds All Rights Reserved.

Two Northern Mockingbirds in a Texican Standoff

I didn't like the sound of Mexican Standoff, and these guys weren't in Mexico, so I called it Texican. But it's still a standoff, which Wikipedia defines as "A Mexican standoff is a confrontation between two or more parties in which neither party can proceed nor retreat without being exposed to danger. As a result, all participants need to maintain the strategic tension, which remains unresolved until some outside event makes it possible to resolve it."

Still Life on Park Bench - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Still Life on Park Bench

I found this, whatever bit of plant life it may be, just after I saw the Mockingbird Standoff.

Mockingbird with Smallish Bug - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Mockingbird with Smallish Bug

Every little bit helps. According to my out-of-print Lone Pine Birds of Texas, a Northern Mockingbird "gleans vegetation and forages on the ground for beetles, ants, wasps and grasshoppers; also eats berries and wild fruit; visits feeders for suet and raisins."

Brown-headed Cowbird foraging for seeds -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Female Brown-headed Cowbird Foraging for Seeds

What I like about this pic is the cowbird's odd, dark, little tongue.

Female Great-tailed Grackle -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Female Great-tailed Grackle on the Southeastern Corner of the Pier at Sunset Bay

Looks like she's giving somebody what for, but I don't remember any fracas. I just liked her shadow self standing over their with her beak open. I spent maybe eight minutes on the pier, mostly because I missed it, although there was a woman on a cell phone talking all the time, and then I left, feeling just a little off, but not off-balance.

Human Stretch - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Human Stretch

Wish I could do this, but then again, maybe not quite yet.

Birds on a Wire -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Birds on a Wire

Except I'm just not sure which birds these are. Then it was Kala King to the rescue again. She says she has these guys all over her yard, so she's very familiar with Juvenile European Starlings. Visit KapturedbyKala.com.

 

 

Pretty little and Bigger Birds at my favorite boat ramp

July 10 2015

 I want it to be a House Sparrow Rousing - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

I want it to be a House Sparrow Rousing

It is rousing, but except for that black bib barely showing through all those 'ruffled' feathers — and that pink-orange beak — it didn't seem likely till Kala King told me she's got a yard full of baby House Sparrows that look just like this one and its many siblings. Thanks, Kala.

But Unfortunately these are the colors of a house sparrow - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

But Unfortunately These are the Colors of a Male House Sparrow

And who else would have that black bib?

This one looks like the rousing one but without the bib - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

This one looks kinda like the Rousing One but without the purple thing

Note the little bit of purple it seems to think might be food. It should know.

One of those Same Birds that Was Rousing - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Might Be One of those Same Birds that Was Rousing

Pretty, pretty, pretty little thing I first thought was dust bathing, but no dust clouds, so I guess it was just lying down, like I've only seen a few bird species lie down before — Great Egrets and something I don't remember.

Handsome Little Critters Front of a Killdeer - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Handsome Little Critters Front of a Killdeer — Yes! Kala says they are House Sparrow juveniles.

With that same pink nose and black on the bib. And the one on the left has a little floweret of food.

One Rakish Killdeer Who's Been Bathing -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

One Rakish Killdeer Who's Been Bathing

I took a lot of shots of this one bathing and thinking about bathing and just standing out there, but this was by far the best. rakish - adjective; "having or displaying a dashing, jaunty, or slightly disreputable quality or appearance."

Female Mallard with a Spotted Beak - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Female Mallard with a Spotted Beak …

Or something entirely else. Note that looooong tail/wing feather.

Three Turtles - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Three Turtles

The third one is near the left edge down toward the bottom, on that branch.

I still think this might be a juvenile mockingbird -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Juvenile Northern Mockingbird

Although when I first saw it, before I figured its size, I thought it might be a cuckoo. I guess maybe I am sometimes.

One White Duck -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

One White Duck

Not so much that I was interested in yet another white duck, just I was testing my new E-M1 and dialing the exposure as I stared through the EVF that gives me every idea just how the final version will look like, texture, color, tones, exposure, etc. Unlike my Nikon that only shows me an optical view of what I'd see without it, and I'm supposed to trust that it will render it perfectly, which it hardly ever does, so I gotta experiment with mirrorless cameras that I can adjust all the time I'm looking through it, if I could just figure out where to put my fingers and do what with them.

One Guy Walkin' By Shakin' His Head - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

One Guy Walking By was Shakin'gHis Head when He Saw Me Trying
to Catch these Speedy Little Swallows that were Whizzing around.

And I thought about his head shaking, and I quit right about then. But this didn't turn out terrible at all. Mayhaps I should have kept at it.

 

 

Mallards, Mallards and a Snowy Egret

July 8 2015

 Female Mallard Splendor - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Female Mallard Splendor

She was rolling her eye, but that mostly looked crazed, so I waited till she stopped. I know she looks like a male, but I believe whomever told me that ducks with curly tails are always males, so I'm sticking to that. But yeah, I agree, she looks like a male, kinda.

Snowy Jump - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Snowy Egret in Langoustes Jump

Not jumping very far or very elegantly. Just jumping. I would much rather photograph it fishing, even if I've photographed them fishing many times. One more wouldn't hurt.

Snowy Egret Flying Low - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Snowy Egret Flying Low

I hadn't caught the Sunset Bay Snowy Egret close in awhile. As it flew by me on the pier, I clicked and clicked. One of those clicks netted this. Worth the time.

Male Mallard Landing - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Male Mallard Landing

I know he looks like he's taking off, but trust me, he's landing.

Summer Molt Male Mallard Preening -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Summer Molt Mallard Male Preening

I did not at first, but now I'm really appreciating the look of their summer molt. Look at all those delicate designs, colors and filigree feathers.

Pair of Mallard Hybrids - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Pair of Mallard Hybrids

I've read that most ducks are Mallard Hybrids, but this pair looks especially mallardish, especially the male in the back.

 

 

A new Place I've been Watching & some
Odds & Ends As I recover from a fall

July 7 2015

Brown-headed Cowbird Bathing - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.  

Adult Male Brown-headed Cowbird Bathing

I watch for new places at the lake, and I've been monitoring this one and two, what might be, temporary streams that didn't used to but now run through parts of the land mass at the lake. This looks like he's bathing in a mountain stream strewn with rocks, doesn't it? The rocks are real, but it's not in any mountains.

Brown-headed Cowbird Bathing - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Cowbird Splash Bathing

A week or so after I started noticing this new water feature along DeGoyler Drive (See my bird-annotated map of White Rock Lake.), I started seeing birds enjoying it.

And a dove down there -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

And a Dove Down There on the Rocks

Now, I pause The Slider each time I drive towards Winfrey Point, where this rocky stream is close to the hill that goes up Winfrey. I've only been walking the last few days after my last fall. I thought I'd broken or seriously bent some ribs, but Doctor Croll tells me it's only a contusion, which I haven't yet googled. So lately I'm walking some and doing without pain meds most of the time. But what is this place that has captured my imagination lately.

Not Quite A Mountain Stream -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Not Exactly A Mountain Stream

It's the bottom-of-the-hill, side of water (and God knows what else?) runoff from the Rides Carnival called The Children's Garden at The Arboretum's fun park. It took birds awhile to warm to the new place, but it seems to have been designed for them. But then we used to go to the so-called Drying Beds in Arlington, where Fort Worth's "solid wastes" were piped, and the birds loved that place, too. I'd love to hear the results of an independent test taken from the concrete-bottomed shallow end of this very short creek that goes under the path, where the recumbent biker's flying down, through the reed garden you shall see shortly, and, one presumes, out into the lake.

The Reed Bog on the Lake Side - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

The Reed Bog on the Other (Lake) Side

This part looks lush, and is probably even mor attractive to birds, but I can park at the top of the Lawther Drive end of it (behind us in this image) and bead down on even the tiniest birds in the rocky creek, without scaring the birds away, which I did repeatedly when I shot these pix on two different occasions. I promised them I wouldn't do that again, and have since got the Brown-headed Cowbird and the Dove.

Back towards the Arborectum - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Back Toward Lawther Drive and that Place Beyond — with the shadow of a Biker Driving By

I've also seen and photographed (but not quite so successfully) Red-winged Blackbirds and their cousins the Great-tailed Grackles down there.

Scissortailed Launched Upward - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher Launching Upward

Probably after sighting a bug.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher Over the Meadow - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Another Scissor-tailed Flycatcher Flying Over the Meadow

I'm still amazed we still have Scissortails this late into summer.

Flags Left Over - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Flags Left Over from the Fourth of July

At least none of the flags have toppled over into the dirt like often happens here.

Great Egret Turning Over the Spillway - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Great Egret Executing a Turn Over the Upper Spillway

Looks kinda ungainly, but trust me, it were elegant, purely.

Upended Bottlenose Turtle on The Spillway - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Up-ended Bottlenose Turtle on the Middle Spillway

I imagine it got turned over in the blast of water that's been tearing down the spillways off and on for weeks and weeks. It's interesting to see his under designs and way too late to even want to turn it over.

Female Mallard and Two Young - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Adult Female Mallard and Two Young

Not at all sure where this is.

Intermediate Red-winged Blackbird - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

I'm Fairly Confident it's a Red-winged Blackbird but Not at All Sure of What Age or Sex

Or this.

Purple Martins in the Lights in the Afternoon - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Purple Martins in the Baseball Field Lights in the Afternoon

This is on the far side (if you drive up Lawther from Garland Road, as I did) of the Winfrey Building, then down that still two-way street to the bottom of the hill toward Sunset Bay, where the Baseball Fields are along the street up to Barbec's and back onto Garland Road.

Purple Martins on the Lines -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Purple Martins on the Lines

Over the Winfrey Building Parking Lot overlooking Sunset Bay.

 

 

Early, then later into the sunset: of scissortails,
Mockingbirds & so many Purple Martins

July 4 2015

 Scissortail waiting for J R to drive the rest of the way up the hill - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher Waiting for J R to Drive the Rest of the Way up the Hill

I keep putting these guys up, because a year from now, when I click the Last Year button at the top of the page that will be the main page then, I'll want to know if Scissor-tailed Flycatchers were still around last year, which might mean they still could be then.

A Mockingbird Preening - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

A Mockingbird Preening in a Tree

But Trees aren't really their natural habitat.

Mockingbird in its Natural Habitat - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Northern Mockingbird in its Natural Habitat — on top of a Sign

Nice enough for a mid afternoon drive, but that's not all, folks.

 Preen-fluffed Mockingbird - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Preen-fluffed Mockingbird

To get at all the betweens among all those feathers, sometimes a bird has to fluff them out into a full or partial rouse [a whole page of birds rousing], so it can get to everything that needs fixing, cleaning or put back into place.

A Long Line of Purple Martins -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

A Long Line of Purple Martins

The dark ones are males. The gray ones are females. They're all called Purple, and in bright sunlight, you can sometimes see that and some other iridescent colors in the males.

Martins All Around - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Martins All Over the Pole

As long as they're close to a hundred or so other purple martins, they don't care.

 

 

 

Independence Evening Sunset Starting - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.
Independence Evening Sunset Starting

This is Anna and I driving down DeGoyler Drive with the camera pointed west later that evening before fireworks.

Sunset Beyond Winfrey Hill - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

The Sun Setting Beyond Winfrey Hill

Lovely, even if most of the color action is going on on the far side of the hill.

Hundreds of Birds Over and Beyond Winfrey Hill - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Hundreds of Birds Over and Beyond Winfrey Hill

When we got near the top of Winfrey, Anna pointed me at hundreds of tiny specks flying from east (right) to west. I hoped my little Panasonic Micro Four-Thirds camera would resolve them, so we could see them, and it did. I held it very still and focused carefully on the top of the hill, because I knew the G-5 could never recognize all those moving specks as something worth focusing on. I have to assume they are Purple Martins, because that's who does this at this time of every year.

 

 

Outtakes from Late last and Early this Month

July 2 2015

Eeus Ex Machina - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Deus Ex Machina Moving the Landscape

In the theatre, there are many ways to move the scenery in and out. When some contrivance moves it instead of closing the curtains (if any), then opening them again sometime later onto a new scene, it's sometimes called "Deus Ex Machina," meaning machine of god. Nature here provides such a machina in the form of a Nutria, basically, a big rat.

Ungainly Duck Turn - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Ungainly Duck Turn

Female Mallards, I think, but am not sure and haven't the time to find it right now.

Female Redwinged Blackbird - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Female Red-winged Blackbird

The are all shots I'd consider odd lots. Never quite sure what to do with them, but I like them and want to show them here.

Unison - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Unison: Two Female Wood Ducks

This shot is not really good enough to show here.

Dark Swimmers and White Snorkers - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Dark Swimmers and White Snorkers

But this one is plenty good to show here.

xSingle Snorker - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Single Snorker

White duck more interested in food underwater than above.

Female Mallard Taking Off -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Female Mallard Taking Off

And I am, as often, leaning left.

Great-tailed Grackle Fling - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Great-tailed Grackle Flying

Someday I am going to fill a whole page of photos of Great-tailed Grackles flying.

Female Mallards Racing - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Female Mallards Racing

Away from something, but I don't remember what.

 Great-tailed Grackle on a Pointed Sign - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Great-tailed Grackle on a Pointed Sign

Such pretty birds.

A Sense of Depth - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

A Sense of Depth

I shot this for an ongoing project, but it doesn't pertain to that project except by proximity, so it's here instead.

scissortail not being elegant -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Female Scissor-tailed Flycatcher Not Being Elegant

And, of course, they always should be.

Female Brown-headed Cowbird - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Female Brown-headed Cowbird

Their survival technique is not always appreciated by birders, but this one is gorgeous.

Western Kingbird Flashing through the Trees - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Western Kingbird Flashing through the Trees

I'm always amazed when my Nikon catches birds that aren't that far away in good focus.

Drop-seat Bench - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Drop-seat Bench

With police ribbon cautioning people from attempting to sit there.

GBH on a Lagoon -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Great Blue Heron Looking for Food

I still, when I see a Great Blue Heron, look in as many directions as I can, then turn around in the middle of the road and park there with my cam out the window hoping to get a shot of it just a few seconds before when all of it was visible before he got into the tall weeds at the edge.

Paddling - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Paddling

I pulled up just as he was paddling out. I never saw his face. I wonder if he knows that raw sewage feeds our lovely lake.

 

Last Month    Index of Pages    A year ago   White Rock Lake Map   

Except as noted, all text and photographs Copyright 2015 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 most of that is documented in this Journal. I've been photographing professionally and semi-professionally yet always amateurishly since 1964.

hits counter stays with monthly content.