JRCompton.com images ideas resume links Contact
Me DallasArtsRevue SITE
The Current Journal is always Here All Contents Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. DO NOT USE photos without permission Photo Equipment Used Ethics Feedback Coyotes Bird Rescue Advice Name That Bird Herons Egrets Herons & Egrets Books and Links Pelican Beak Weirdness Pelicans Playing Catch Rouses Courtship Displays 800e Journal G5 Journal Duck Love Birding Galveston 2nd Birds of the Lower Rio Grande Valley & the 1st 14 seconds of Bald Eagle This Month:
The Lower Steps and the Dam
Saw a bunch of big white Great Egrets in the trees on the island facing the car and walking bridges over the lower steps down from the dam, made a 180, drove back down the hill and around the 7-11 corner, parked in and walked up the hill taking pix all along. Got my doubler back from Nikon a week or so ago, and they said nothing was wrong with it, but I'd put that off, and when I tried it today, it looked like nothing was wrong with it.
Love the way all its top feathers seem so well separated in this landing.
Well, maybe not exactly sitting. It's standing a little deeper than we usually see them standing in the water.
Then, after I got it big on my screen, well... maybe not. But it was doing grebe-like activities, diving, for long seconds and looking tiny in the landscape,
I always enjoy a little interspecies interaction, and those noses pointed at each other was just too cute.
Not much alike with the image two up from here. I know this is a grebe. I just don't know about that upper one, though.
Nice feather detail, even if there's some feathers, toes and nose flapping in the wind.
Kinda wish I'd got it just a little sharper, but nice nonetheless.
Their wings get too wet to fly when they're diving down to catch fish, but the can't fly that way, so we often see them with their wings out, drip-drying.
There were more cormorants flying by and in the frame, but spaced out too much. I wanted to concentrate on this one, whom I think is a Double-crested Cormorant. Sibley shows that their tails are as long as their necks, and Neotropics' tails are shorter, and so are their heads. Both of this one's parts seem long and lean and streamlined.
Have been wanting to get more cormorant detail, and the Lower Steps down from the dam, seemed the ideal place for that.
There were about a dozen when I first saw them, then maybe twice that while I walked up toward the dam, then coasted back and photographed more.
I've been hoping to find the pelicans out and about around the lake, but it's a treat to see them interacting with the other birds, even if it's just a flyby.
Gadwalls are dabbling — that's what the male on the left is down to — ducks. The other two, left to right, are female and male Gadwalls. Distinctive in their own subtle ways.
More interspecies interaction, this time a juvenile cormorant who never let up griping at a Great Egret, who looks like could easily trounce the corm. But it did not.
But it isn't. I think the egret just wanted a few feet between them. The eeg stopped about five feet away, on the top of the steps proper, and the corm kept complaining, just farther away.
Sunset Bay at White Rock Lake
New software's slowing me down, but it seems to make better pictures, so I'll endure it. Lotta differences from the last one, but I've already got some semi-automatics that my hands and fingers know how, but my brain is somewhere behind. Working well, so far.
I love photographing grackles flying. Gradually, maybe, I'll get closer and with more details.
At Sunset Bay, which used to be a restaurant. Still is, really, mostly for the birds now.
Overlooking the lake, but looking back at me, just in case he has to suddenly disappear. Then, suddenly, he disappeared.
No two grackles doing it the same or in any unison. Lotta splashing going on this day.
She was moving around pretty quickly, splashing a lot, and I never noticed she was on her back, so she must not have been for long. I think I've seen gooses in this same position.
Almost like wet sculpture, the striations of rapidly moving white water flying in so many different directions.
After a bath.
I keep wanting to guess its' a Mallard. Maybe it's the angle, but she just doesn't look all that much like a Mallard.
And luckily close, considering nobody on the pier was feeding them. Guess they gotta fly over, look carefully, just to make sure.
Anna says it's a Herring Gull, but it doesn't resemble any of the pix in The Sibley Guide to Birds gulls section. I like what that author says about identifying gulls, "Gull identification represents one of the most challenging and subjective puzzles in birding and should be approached only with patent and methodical study. A casual or impatient approach will not be rewarded." This one's whiter than first and second winter American Herrings, and the underwing pattern doesn't match this one's. Nor does it match the Eurasian varieties I see in Sibley's. But then, neither does it quite match any of the other gulls there. Hmmm. N
one of Crossley's photographs approach this configuration in either Ring-billed or Herring. Maybe Peterson's methodical up, down, head and around diagrams will rescue us. No white splash, spot or stripe at the tips like his Herrings or Ring-bills. Darn. I keep hoping someday to see a Kittiwake, if only because I don't know how to pronounce it.
Many gulls are identified by the color of their feet, and we can't see that in this photo. It doesn't look brownish like many juveniles. Nope, nope and nope. I'll stand on my original i.d, even though I know how often wrong I can be, and our usual gulls are usually Ring-bills, but of course I don't know or pretend to.
In desperation, I hefted my large and ungainly National Geographic Complete Birds of North America, which appears to show this very bird's underwing design (since we can't see its uppers, as a Second Winter juvenile, except the tail isn't right. I think I'll go back to my Hmmm.
I may still be identifying Neotropic Cormorants as Double-crested. I keep assuming most corms are double-cresteds, and that might just not be true.
Last Month Index of Pages A year ago MAP
text and photographs Copyright 2013 by J
All Rights Reserved. No reproduction in any medium without specific written permission from and payment to the writer or photographer. My favorite answer is, "I don't know." I am, after all, an amateur. I've only birded for seven years as of June 2013, although I've been photographing professionally and semi-professionally and almost always amateurishly since at least 1964. Thanks always to Anna.
counter stays with monthly content