Year Ago

May/June 2018

The Amateur Birder's Journal - Stories & Photographs by J R Compton
Redraw Screen at each visit [^r or command-r]

After ten years of near daily bird-journaling, I'm taking
most of the summer off, but I'll post +/- weekly.


Just photos — mostly birds, but some of White Rock Lake in Dallas and other pretty places in America. If you see ads here , you probably let them happen. Do not share these fully copyrighted images on Pinterest, Tumblr, Facebook, or other image-stealing sites!  And if you just gotta share one of my pictures, send your friendsthe link, not the pic. Please.

Stories This Month:
Various Birds & Other White Rock Images
Selected Raptors from Blackland Prairie Raptor Center
Random - including Mockingbird Flashing, and Red-shouldered Hawk Feeding Young
Audubon Tour of The Lowlands
Sunset Bay after Sunset
Early Birds at The Southwestern Medical School Rookery
The Last Pelican & some Wedding Pix

More Birds & Other White Rock Lake Stuff

photographed the past several months; posted June 27

Gulls Fooling Around on a Boat - copyright - All Rights Reserved.

Gulls Foolin' Around on a Boat

Telephoto shot from shore of a bunch of gulls on one of the boats anchored off shore in the Big Thicket. Some are preening, some scatting, several are engaged in the various forms of flight. I like this image here, because it's birds at the lake, and it doesn't seem to make any sense, which is a condition with which I am intimately familiar. Good place to start today's entry.

Mandarin Drake - Copyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.

Mandarin Drake with Wood Duck Drake Out of Focus Behind

The Mandarin was here for awhile, and I really don't know whether he's here still, so there's nothing newsy or new about it, but when it was here, I took this picture. And this is the first chance I've had to show it.

Hillside - Copyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.


Sometimes I like a lot of abstraction. Sometimes that's internal as well as external. Not sure you need to know it, but this is up the hill from what I call DeGoyler Drive, which is actually Lawther Drive, which itself goes almost all the way around White Rock Lake, so that is already a good enough reason not to use that confusing name, but the DeGoyler Estate occupies a considerable portion of the area from the first Garland Road entrance going east.

That plot of land that was the DeGoyler Estate that the DeGoylers used to own but now is most commonly called The Arboretum, to which I have deep disgust with since they tried to attach perfectly wonderful large areas of adjacent rolling or sliding hills of White Rock Lake Park for yet another of their blankety-blank parking lots. But the public got upset and stopped whom I often call The Arborectum, so they had to buy space across Garland Road and around there.

Coot Coonin'

Coot Scooting

I don't know whether I've used this picture before, but I like it so much, who cares? Skittering Coot with great wing-ography and not a too-bright white beak — the only white beaked bird in Texas, I'm told.

 Stand of Trees - Copyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.

Stand of Trees

Although this picture sorta sucks, his is my favorite stand of trees at the lake. After it's rained for a few days it becomes a pond, where a variety of waterbirds gather. Beyond it is Buckner Boulevard (Loop 12) and a residential area, then (farther to the right) Casa Linda Shopping Center. On this side of it is some grass, then a crease, where water birds also gather in water, then more grass, and finally a yellow post in the middle of a walking path.

I'd never noticed it before, but it looks dangerous. I'm sure bicyclers eventually notice it, but so do pedestrians. Generally, I love those posts, especially when they are endowed with multiple light-reflecting strips, stripes or blobs, so they show up in headlights at night.

Sure would hate to run into thi minimally reflective post in the dark, despite the minimally divergent, thin yelllow lines that warn way too late.

I also appreciate the rectilinear pond growing across the sidewalk, below left.

There's no signs to Sunset Bay, but I believe this is a great  beyondpart of Greater Sunset Bay — The (mostly) Dry Part, just around the long walking curve along the long driving curve from and to Stone Tables and Dreyfuss.

  Northern Shoveler - Copyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.

Northern Shoveler Shoveling Around The Spit

Photographers manipulate color and color intensities in a variety of ways. I tried to underexpose this bird, so there's be texture and/or detail in its white portions and a serious vividity of those colors, and I got pretty close to that goal, but his head and face is thereby rendered in full shadow, black black black. There's no detail in there to suck out with one photo manipulation or another.

And I don't mind.

Big Bucket Pelk - Copyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.

Big-Bucket Pelican

This is kinda the polar opposite of the underexposed bird above. It's an another accident I decided I could live with, and again, there's no saving the non-object space. But, I like it. I think there might be a fish in there at the bottom of the bucket, but I'm not sure. If there's no fish, we have to wonder why this pelican is leaving its gular pouch wide-enough open to show those veins. Sometimes, they just need to stretch it out — so it will be plenty pliable when it needs it fill it with fish, and I'm happy this pelican (whom I long thought was the last pelican at White Rock Lake this year, though there have been other visitors since and before).

Three Egrets in the Woods - Copyright 2018 - All Rights Reserved.

Three Egrets Just This Side of the Woods Along the Shore

The shore, not of the lake, but of the creek, I think I remember. Two out of three birds in strong focus — that's always a surprise, but the closer two are much closer to each other than they seem. I really wanted all three to be sharp, but ya can't have everything. I believe the shore in question is along the creek near the bottom of the spillway, closer to the parking lot.

Two Sailboats Slanting - Copyright 2018 - All Rights Reserved.

Two Sailboats Aslant

There's something wrong with this image, and it took me a long while to figure out how to fix it. And when I darkened all the background l I've darkened the house, the sailboats suddenly surged bright.

American White Pelican with Ruddy Ducks - Copyright 2018 - All Rights Reserved 

American White Pelican with Three of Many Ruddy Ducks

I was surprised to see the Ruddies — two males with their heads up and one female, here. With lots more Ruddies left, right and front. All fairly well rendered, with both species almost in focus enough to show who they are. Both rendered with plenty of tonality. It always surprises me when I manage that.

The Dog Poopery - copyright 2018 - All Rights Reserved.

The Dog Poopery from Across the Lake

I'm a cat person and have never had much reason to walk through this cage full of people and loud, boisterous dogs, except to make my way from that parking lot to the walking bridge over to Big Thicket. They're not supposed to, but leashless dogs run wild throughout the area that was once a sidewalk-less, overgrown thicket with amazing wild flowers, fishermanly nooks right on the lake down slipperly mud trails and hugely tall weeds all around, all around.

And gobs of wild birds visible at nearly every step..

I liked it better then, but I didn't get to vote.


Selected Raptors from the Blackland Prairie Raptor Center
photographed May 17; posted June 22

Orion, the Red-tailed Hawk flapping, but in hand, not sky or tree

This and all other text about these birds quoted in today's journal entry were taken from Black Prairie Raptor Center's Our Raptors web page on their website:

"Orion was found by the side of the road unable to fly. He was taken to a raptor rehabilitation who discovered he had two broken wings. Unfortunately, they could not be repaired well enough for him to be released. He wa transferred to BPRC in late 2009 and has settled in well, meeting the public."

Red-tailed Hawk Staring at Us - copyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.

Red-shouldered Hawk

This monthly meeting of the Dallas Audubon with these birds and handlers was held May 17, in the meeting room at the back left of Half Price Books' Main Store on Northwest Highway near Central Expressway.

Many of the walls were covered with non-bird art that confused and confounded the photographer, so I deleted as many of them as I needed to. I used to do an art site (May again), but this isn't that.

Front Row Audience Fascination - copyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.

Front Row Audience Fascination

I brought my best camera and least telephoto telephoto lens (an 85mm f1.8), and I sat in the middle of this front row, which was the best place I could possibly have chosen.  

Guy with Barred Owl copyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.

Blackland Prairie Raptor Center's Erich Neupert with a Barred Owl named Beaker

"Beaker was found in 2009 with numerous primary (flight) feathers missing from his left wing. There did not seem to be any other injuries, and that puzzled veterinarians and rehabbers alike. Beaker was kept in rehabilitation to see if new feathers would grow, and they never did. He was transferred to BPRC in 2010 and is quite the crowd-pleaser."

Barred Owl Flappingcopyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.

Beaker the Barred Owl, Flapping

I love to photograph birds' wings flapping.

Eastern Screech Owlcopyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.

Western Screech Owl Screeching

I liked the sound I thought of as "chittering," which may be a tad onomatopoeic for pro birders. In his The Sibley Guide to Birds Second Edition, David Allen Sibley calls this species' Primary song "a strongly descending whinny with husky falsetto quality reminiscent of a whinnying horse," but I think that must have been their other song. "Tremolo song a long, whistled trill in one pitch, up to three seconds long" sounds more like what this one was doing repetitively.

Red Adult Eastern Screech Owlcopyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.

Red Adult Eastern Screech Owl

I wonder whether I'll ever get this close to a Red adult Eastern Screech Owl out in nature again, so I was very careful to get its eye in sharp focus. And while we're up close, please notice the seemingly serrated leading edge of its wing feathers, beginning just above its feet, down to just past where its tail begins above the gloved hand. It's that long, lead feather, turned edge out, that lets it fly silent.

Back of Eastern Screech Owlcopyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.

Back View of Red Adult Eastern Screech Owl

I can easily imagine how this bird could blend into so many places I've looked for but not found them in.


I believe this is MIKI, a Mississippi Kite

MIKI "is an imprint and has malformed wings as well, so it has a hard time flying. We do not know whether it is male or female. MIKI is a very calm bird, about the size of a pigeon, and it has molted into its adult plumage, which is light and dark gray. At some time in the future its eyes will change to a pretty raspberry-red color."

to look up

MIKI, a Mississippi Kite, has to Twist around Upside-down to Look Up

Some birds just turn their heads around, but Mississippi Kites have to do this to see what's above it.

Adult Male American Kestrel - Copyright 2018 - All Rights Reserved. lor."

Adult Male American Kestrel

I'm not going to continue photographing and posting bird pix every day like I was running myself ragged doing when I stopped suddenly in May — when my software suddenly failed me, and I'll soon buy into Ah-doe-B's renta software scheme, but this one, after promising me a free 30 days, is now warning my free period will only last a few more hours.

But then, it started doing that yesterday.


The Last Pelican Again & a Coupla Wedding Pix

photographed May 12; posted May 13

Upper Wings; Lower Body - Copyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.

Upper Wings Lower Body and Some American Coots

It usually looks like all one unit, but sometimes American White Pelicans raise their wings to begin to fly or dry their wings after a bath. When they're really wet, like after a splash bath, they keep their wings up for long minutes and swim around like parade floats.

Pelican Neck & Beak Stretchp - copyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.

Pelican Neck and Beak Stretch

And everybody's gotta stretch now and then.

American White Pelican Preening - copyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.

American White Pelican Preening

I haven't timed them, but I suspect that pelicans spend more time preening than anything else but sleep.

Beak-dripping Pelican - copyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.

Beak-dripping Pelican

I'd been standing on The Pier at Sunset Bay all this time answering questions like, what's that big white duck over there? That was this American White Pelican. I explained to the questioner that this was the last pelican left, then I explained that they usually all fly north for the summer. To mate and nest and raise young, then a lot of them come back here the middle of next October.

Wings Wide and Forehead Bright - Copyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.

Wings Wide & Forehead Brighter

She wanted to know why they did that, and I told her, and then she wanted to know where, and I told her, but all that information only seemed to confuse her, so I returned to Photographer Mode at the far, right end of the pier.

Then a guy who had been hovering off to my left, closed in on me and told me that the light coming from the side "wasn't going to do [me] any good." I replied that any light would do good for me, and I wondered where he'd got his information, but I didn't ask. I didn't tell him I'd been doing this for 53 years, and that I pretty much knew what I was doing. Nor did I thank him for his information. And soon thereafter, I split.

I knew that, by then, I had enough pix.

Pelican in Watethe light coming from the side "wasn't going to do [me] any good." I replied that any light would do good for me, and I wondered where he'd got his information, but I didn't ask. I didn't tell him I'd been doing this for 53 years, and that I pretty much knew what I was doing.

Pelican and Two American Coots

I like it so much better when the pier is occupied mostly with other photographers — then the conversation is much more intelligent, and informative, but then I had come out there on a Saturday afternoon, and I know better.

And A Bow to the Crowd- Copyright 20188 JRCompton. All Rights Reserved.

And a Bow to the Crowd — Bravo! or Brava!

And A Smile for the Other Photographer - Copyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.

And a Smile for the Other Photographer

A wedding in White … 

Another Wedding Couple - Copyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.

Another Wedding Couple in Somber Mode

Wedding photographers usually pose them somber and joyous, together and apart. I just happened to get this one.


Around the SW Medical School Rookery
photographed May 9; posted May 11

Mocker Mocking - Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

Mocker Mocking

About as ordinary a bird as a bird can get in Texas. Our — and about half the other Southern states' — State Bird, the Northern Mockingbird, whose Latin name, "Mimus polyglotto," that means "many-tongued mimic." 

"They have also been known to mimic other sounds such as dogs barking, pigs squealing, wheels squeaking and car alarms. When singing another bird's song, the northern mockingbird usually repeats each phrase at least three times. The mockingbird's own mating song is sweet and gurgling. The northern mockingbird is the state bird of Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas and is found from the maritime provinces of Canada west to British Columbia and south into Mexico."

Great Egret Bust Over Tree  - Copyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.

Great Egret Just Visible Over Edge of Tree

It was hot, and I'd forgot to load my tripod in Anna's car, so it was a quick trip all the way around the central-campus woods called "The Rookery." Seems like nonstop, but I stopped for each of these. If I'd brought my tripod, I would have stayed in each spot long enough to work- and figure-out what was wrong with all the other shots I made — and won't show you — and make some of them right.

I can hand-hold the behemouth sometimes when I forget that I cannot. But I rarely show you the pix where I could not hold the fool thing still enough.

Great Egret in a Tree Tree  - Copyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.

Great Egret in a Tree Tree

One of the few — of just a few — shots in the open canopy of a tree that didn't turn too yellow (green with light).

 Great Egret with Raised Claw  - Copyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.

Great Egret with Raised Claw

I have my doubts about this one.

Cattle Egrets  - Copyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.

Cattle Egrets

Nice to see Cattle Egrets. Missed them the last trip to the Rookery. Seems like at our current, slow, schedule, we get obvious new birds every time. I was gonna stand on top of the free parking garage and try for more flying birds, but my disappointment drowned out my enthusiasm for that. I've brought the too-yellow coloration of this shot somewhat back.

Cattle Egret in Flight  - Copyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.

Cattle Egret in Flight

I just need to go back oftener.

Black-crowned Night-Heron  - Copyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.

Adult Black-crowned Night-Heron

Sometimes they look magestically tall and svelt.

And sometimes not

And Sometimes Not

Sometimes they're just short and squat.



Sunset Bay Past Sunset from the Pier at Sunset Bay
photographed May 7; posted May 8

Dark Other Side After Sundown  x  x

Dark Other Side After Sundown

It was getting dark, but I had a good feeling about standing on the pier and photographing with my 500mm of telephoto on my tripod.

Mallards Distorted Incoming  x  x

Mallards Incoming

The odd bits of curly-que edges are about me lightening dark internal tones without darkening the gray-blues of fore- and back-grounds. Usedta could do that with slight solarization, but this isn't that. This is purely mechanical, and at first I wanted to hide it, then I grew to like it — took its own sweet time, then I really appreciated it, and decided I shouldn't tell, so you could discover it yourselves.

Then  x  x


Took awhile before I even saw birds, I was so fascinated by the distant sky.

The Last Pelican Past Snag  x  x

The Last Pelican - Past Snag

But bright white, nearly glowing pelican — the only one left now. I chose this shot, because it shows the folds and tonalities in that bright, glowing white. And the two orange bits, too.

Fem Redwinged Blackbird  x  x

Female Red-winged Blackbird

By this point, my friend Tom had, he told me when he got there, seen me from across the bay, and had come for a visit. We talked photography, of course, and birds, and we were standing close together — he, of course, way taller than I — when we shot these Red-winged Blackbirds off the west end of the pier.

Male Redwinged Blackbird on Snag  x  x

Male Red-winged Blackbird on Snaglet

And this one just a little farther down and away.

Edges of Night  x  x

Edges of Night

The sky kept changing — or I thought it was, and I kept needing to record it. Again.

Night-falling Mallards  x  x

Night-falling Mallards

Gradually, I calmed down even more and started catching up with the birds in the bay. Yup, more Mallards.

Can It Fly? Why's It till Here?

Can It Fly?  Why's It Still Here?

Especially whom I've been calling "The Last Pelican." All the others have gone back north to breed and nest. I've asked other photographers, but so far, none have reported seeing it fly. Maybe it cannot. Once, several years ago, a couple pelicans who had been released by Rogers Wildlife Rehabilitation stayed all summer long till the rest of the pelicans came back, then the next autumn, they flew off with the rest of the flock.

Rolling Along  x  x

Canada Gooses Rolling Along

These were swimming and "rowing" by leaning their necks and heads back into one stroke, then forward in the next. I kept messing up the back-strokes by cropping off one goose or the other, but I'd hoped to show them both in both strokes. Everything but the fore goose's beak is sharp enough.

Canada Goose on Pink  x  x

Canada Goose on Pink

I did with this one Canada goose, what I'd failed utterly to do with the Mallards near the top of this journal entry — lighten the bird while letting the background go medium dark red and gray.

The Last Pelican  x  x

The Last One Again

Yes, the only American White Pelican who did not flock off with all the other American White Pelicans around Tax Day Last.

So nice to be in Sunset Bay again for the sunset and the birds. I missed it.

American White Pelican Catching a Fish in Shallow Water - copyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.

Am White Pelican Catching Fish in Shallow Water



Audubon Hiking from Joppa Park
photographed May 5; posted May 7

 Into the Sun Early-copyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.
Into The Sun from South Central Park

Soon as Ben told us into which direction we'd be walking from South Central Park in Joppa, Texas (Google calls it Joppa Park, and there's a sign in the park that calls itself Joppa Park), I walked up Fellows Lane, past Soul's Harvest Church on the right above, and looked out onto a majestic, open space with trees and water and flowers and … well, you'll see below.

This was on the way, pointing into the sun, where the paved road stopped, looking out — left to the Dallas Skyline [below], straight out into the sun, and right — where we were headed. It was cool and bright, and the far side of the lake we'd walk along was suffused with sunshiny clouds.

This is the link to the (one-time) event: and the info participants got before they showed up here.

Checking The Check Off List   x  x

Checking The Bird List

Color pictures of each of the major birds we could expect to see on the trek. Color pictures on one side. Text on the other.

Tatherint The Troops   x  x

Gathering The Troops — Early

It took awhile for everybody to arrive and figure out what we were in for: a gentle walk down a paved path (with just one muddied place between pavements, past birds and nature, more or less along the edge of a long, stringy lake. We had been urged to bring binoculars and cameras. I brought the right camera and lenses for people, but not my heavy, high-powered camera for birds — or the tripod.

The tripod in the center of the crowd in the pic above is Ben's scope.

Gatherin Into The Sun - Copyright 3028  All Rights Reserved.

Gathering into the Sun

A great place from which to look down into the Valley, out into the sunny clouds, and connect to the rest of the concrete pathway via mudway. Our park where we initially gathered was just down the road and to the right from here. We all followed Ben down the far side of this hilltop toward the lake, just visible to our left of the pink jacket worn by the woman just left of Ben at the left edge of this photo.

Dallas Skyline from There - Copyright 3028  All Rights Reserved.

Dallas Skyline from There

The skyline's well of to the left of the concrete platform above. We went right, through the only muddy patch, then down to the paved road to continue our trek.

Pink, Green, the the lake - Copyright 3028  All Rights Reserved.

Pink, Green, then the Lake

The lake is a long, thin one, looking, but not flowing, like a river. That's it below.

Down the Laek to - Copyright 3028  All Rights Reserved.

Down the Lake to the Loop 12 Bridge

I didn't walk all the way to the bridge. By then I was dis-spirited by how far away and small the many sighted birds were. I kept thinking, you guys could go to White Rock Lake and see most of the birds we were seeing, up close and much more personal. But I did keep thinking how beautiful this place was. How could you not. I want to go back with tripod and long lens on a drier day.

Dark Bird Top of a Tree - Copyright 3028  All Rights Reserved.

Dark Bird on Top of Tree

I had thought before — and after, about binoculars. My longer telephotos would have done the trick. But they would have been heavy and clunky, and they would have required me to carry a tripod, too.

Red Bird Tween Trees - Copyright 3028  All Rights Reserved.

Red Bird Tween Trees

So the resulting scale of most of the birds we discovered, for me, were tiny. But with a telephoto, scope or decent tripod, it would have been fine. But for this event, I decided I needed to travel light, and I'm glad I did.

Binocking - Copyright 3028  All Rights Reserved.


If I were to go back after a rain, I'd bring higher-topped mudders.

Gold Flowers - Copyright 3028  All Rights Reserved.

Gold Flowers

Lots about that trek was utterly beautiful.

Led from Behind by the Tall Guy  - Copyright 3028  All Rights Reserved.

Led from Behind by The Tall Guy

Master Birder Ben Sandifer led the tour carrying a tripoded scope for bringing faraway birds (most of them) up closer — if they'd stay still long enough.

The Dark Blots are Birds - Copyright 3028  All Rights Reserved.

The Dark Blots

The ones in the trees are Great Blue Herons with one Great Blue Heron nest under each. I don't know who the smaller specks might be.

One Heron or Another - Copyright 3028  All Rights Reserved.

One Heron or Another

I think I remember that this was one of several Little Blue Herons briefly strung out across our sky.

Or Half Dozen of Another - Copyright 3028  All Rights Reserved.

Or Half Dozen of Another

These were smaller, but closer.

Black and Gray in the Tree - Copyright 3028  All Rights Reserved.

Black & Gray Bird in the Tree

Perfect distance for binoculars. This lens, however, was no match.

Mud Scraping with Shadows - Copyright 3028  All Rights Reserved.

Mud Scraping

At first I thought this was a lovely flower, but upon closer perusal, I realized it was a mud scraping with great presence.

Great Egret toward zara Bridge - Copyright 3028  All Rights Reserved.

Great Egret Toward 'Zata Bridge?

At White Rock Lake, getting close to a Great Egret is nearly no sweat. But it's not this pretty everywhere there.

Lots to Look At - Copyright 3028  All Rights Reserved.

Lots to Look At

In every direction.

Pretty Flower Among Shadows

Growing close over the sidewalk, branched out where it could catch the most sun.

A Pretty Place to Pause - Copyright 3028  All Rights Reserved.

A Pretty Place to Pause

Ben providing a patter of travelogue along the way, pointing out so many birds, most of which I could neither see nor focus. But everybody else seemed to get an eyeful.

 Pretty Pink Flowers - Copyright 3028  All Rights Reserved.

Pretty Pink Flowers

The farther we got from civilization, the more flowers and green there were.

 Brown Bird in the Brambles  - Copyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.

Brown Bird on a Bramble

My legs, un-used to walking, got to hurting, and I lagged back and returned early, where I found opportunities right around the gathering place in Joppa Park, to see lots more, smaller birds, somewhat closer.

Eastern Bluebird in the Grass  - Copyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.  - Copyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.

Eastern Bluebird in the Grass

Male Cardinal in Flight  - Copyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.

Male Cardinal in Flight

Common birds but brilliant colors in the still rising sun. My focus, however, was not.

Little Brown Bird in the Shad  - Copyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.

Little Brown Bird in a Tree

Here, I've rested my camera and lens on a concrete picnic table under the shade of a picnic roof.

Brown-headed Gray Bird  - Copyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.

Brown-headed Gray Bird

This one's shot between two large trees, down toward where we drove into the area, on a big trash bin.

Oh, Some Bird  - Copyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.

Sideways Brown Bird

Bird Text

Posts  - Copyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.


I've long liked photographing the Franz Klein-like abstractions of posts. I love the DayGlo ones at White Rock Lake, and too often photograph them there.

 Birds Flying Left    s  x

Birds Flying Left

Lots of birds around the picnic area on the top of the hell this side of the hiking lake. Too far for me to identify.

Binocking Off the Top    s  x

Binocking Off the Top, After the Tour


Random, Recent Pix at White Rock Lake
photographed & posted May 2

Juvie Mock teaching itself to flashCopyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.

Juvenile Mockingbird Teaching Itself to Flash for Food

If their grandparents teach them dozens of dozens of birds songs, who begins their teaching about how to flap wings where grub, worms and bugs hide in the dirt and grass until they see the little Mockingbird above them making themselves appear bigger than they'd ever been before? One of the zillion or so things I don't know, either.

 Juvenile Mockingbird teaching itself to Flash for FoodCopyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.

Juvenile Mockingbird Teaching itself to Flash for Food

Intriguing concept. I've seen the little or adult Mock do the wing-flashing, and seen grub and other strange things crawl up out of the mud and get eaten by the bird. But I don't understand why.

Bunny Wabbit on Rabit HillCopyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.

Bunny Wabbit on Rabbit Hill

Soon — I assume — There'll be cute, little Cottontails bouncing around the lake's edges. I love watching Cottontail juvies bounce. I'm thinking, however, that this one is more like an elder states Wabbit than any kinda Bunny.

Adult Male European Starling   - copyright 2018

European Starling

I don't remember the purple, mid-front part of this Starling. I was thinking that portion was blue, like a Grackle's.

Another Grackle on A StickCopyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.

I Assumed This Were a Grackle, but it Sure doesn't
look like a Grackle, even if it is on Another Stick

It's definitely a stick, but I'm no longer convinced that's a Grackle on top. Uh-Oh! But if it's blue, it must be a grackle, right? May be, maybe not … Help!

Slightly Overexposed Grackle on a Stick Copyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.

Slightly Overexposed Grackle on a Stick

Today, for the first time in several weeks, I used a 1.7X telextender on my Nikon 300mm lens. = 500mm in Nikon logic.

Purpel Flawerr - Copyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.  x  xCopyright 2018 JR

Purpell Flawerr

Growing out of the ground at The Lake.


The Last Pelican Copyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.  x  xCopyright 2018 JR

The Last Pelican

Much discussion around from whence I shot this image a couple nights later about this Last Pelican. Can it fly? We've 'kept' isolated pelicans previously, who could not fly, or who could only gradually learn to. Maybe it's waiting for a friend.

White Paper BlowingCopyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.

White Paper Blowing

A little angel, lost in the grass, pointing upward.

Fisher Person in Green Shirt - Copyright 2018  All Rights Reserved

Fisher Person in Green Shirt

Then an opposite.

I had a photograph of the back wall of this very lower-middle Spillway that The City of Dallas had painted bold yellow bars over thicker blue smears, that the curator at what was the last-ever Art In the Metroplex show — and my Tenth —, which had been my all-time favorite local art show, before it moved from TCU, whose less-than-stellar juror accused me of painting on my own photograph. But I've never been any kind a painter but porches and postcards.

Under the blue and yellow, City-painted abstractions had been a mess of graffiti. I already didn't think highly of her selections, so I didn't say anything, but this photo reminds me of that, because those columns behind this guy illegally fishing on the concrete slant down very nearly at water level, looks like they could have been penciled in, and isn't that composition really too perfect with green plants, trees, T-shirt, cap and maybe even matching shoe tops?

And black and gray horizontal lines everywhere else but behind him, kinda ties it all together. His shirt even almost matches the brighter leaves. Not sure about his hat, that matches his shoetops. And there's even a duck back there, since this is a bird journal.

(I don't have a cell phone, so I didn't call the cops, whose schedules of existential threats put illegal fisherpersons so far down their lists, they might come next week.)
Fem Wood, Kit & Coot  - Copyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.

Fem Wood, Am Coot & Kit

I liked this classic composition of the female Wood Duck and the American Coot, but I didn't notice her sole remaining duckling down there in the bottom corner till much later. Or I might have attempted to stretch the focus — unlikely without Schleimpfluggin'. I'd hoped they'd have a better picture, but Wikipedia lets those things come and go. 

A Little Local ColorCopyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.

A Little Local Color on Yacht Club Row

And trees up the hill to Loop 12 Buckner.

Gold Bag Copyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.

Gold Bag

Attached to a sign post and all aglimmerin’. Probably had more air in it once upon a time.


Red-shouldered Hawk Parent and Nearly Hidden Downy YoungCopyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.

Nearly Hidden Downy Young Chicks and Red-shouldered Hawk Parental Unit

On the far left, near the green-ish blurry part of the tree, is(/are) a (possibly two … Maybe even three…) downy young, mostly white (I suspect) very juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk(s) with dark eye peeking out between twigs.

Adult Red-shoulddred Hawk Feeds YoungCopyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.

Adult Red-shouldered Hawk Feeds Young

Same two birds their usual colors about this time in their youthly development.

Red-shouldered Hawk and ProgenyCopyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.

Adult Red-shouldered Hawk feeding Progeny

I know I see two (maybe more) Downy Young Red-shouldered Hawks. These shots were made with my Nikon and 300mm — and no tripod, although my hands shake … But it didn't and did help that I'd left the iso @ 3200 from the night before.

Too Close on the Tyke  - Copyright 2018  All Rights Reserved.

The Tyke with Parental Unit

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MY SPECIAL BIRD Pages (Herons, Egrets & more…) include photos of eggs, just-hatched nestlings, fledgling, downy young and/or other juvenile birds as well as some of the adult stages from each species: Links & Bird Books  Courtship Behaviors  Pelican Beak Weirdness  Pelicans Playing Catch  Birds Rousing Banding  Birding Galveston 2015 & 2013, the remarkably popular 2nd Lower Rio Grande Valley Birds page  & the 1st  Bald Eagles at White Rock Lake  Coyotes Dallas Bird Resources: Dallas Audubon Bird Chat online  Bird Rescue Info  So you want to use my photos to make your work professional? My own How to Photograph Birds. Bird-annotated Maps of White Rock Lake & The SW Med School Rookery & Village Creek Drying Beds  Please do not share these fully copyrighted images on Pinterest, Tumblr or other image-sharing sites, although you can use the link to this main page, which is always my most recent page of bird photos. Cameras Used  Ethics  Feedback  Courtship Behaviors, Bald Eagles at White Rock  Coyotes  JR's resumé & Contact pages. Email Me

Please help me identify birds that aren't identified here yet. I'm terrible at I.D.-ing most birds, and it doesn't look like I'm going to get better at it after 12-plus years. I'm really happy to get them in focus, although I have learned a few compositional tricks — like click even when I don't think I have a prayer of a chance, because sometimes it works …

The best thing about the Year Ago link (at the top of every Bird Journal page) is seeing what birds this month last year brought us.

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Except as noted, all text and photographs Copyright 2018 & before by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No reproduction in any medium without specific written permission from and payment to J R Compton.

Please don't post my photos on Facebook or other photo-stealing sites.

This Journal has been going since June 2006. It began as a way for me to start writing again. Then it became a tool for me to learn how to photograph birds. Still is. Maybe in a few more years, I'll start entering bird photography competitions, but I've got too much more to learn.

I quit using hit-counters, because I paid them too much attention and most — especially the free ones — don't work anyway.

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. There is an index, but I quit updating it years ago.

I've been photographing professionally, yet always amateurishly since 1964, which adds up to 54 years now. My photos have been in more than 100 art exhibitions (and I think I'm finally over that ego boo idiocy) and 50 publications including Life Magazine and some others you might have heard of.

Online is by far the best way to show color photographs. Used to be slides, but light coming through images offers the best possible way to see them, ad it's here, for free. Prints — especially those big enough to wonder at — are way too expensive. Usually about a hundred and a half, for the smaller ones.