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The Amateur Birder's Journal - Stories & Photographs by J R Compton
All Contents © 2006 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. DO NOT USE photos without permission & payment.
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The Current Journal    Thanks to Jason Hogle for identifications. yellow type below:

Mystery Bird on Gyrrl Scientist's Living the Scientific Life site.

Anna sent a link to a Dallas Morning News story about drunk Cedar Waxwings being
killed on Hiway 66 over Lake Ray Hubbard. Here's my link to some other drunk
waxwings
in Sunset Forest at White Rock in February '07.

The Feather Atlas lets you search by multiple criteria.

White Rock Lake

April 27

 Barnswallow Pair - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Barn Swallow Pair
 

Found this pair of Barn Swallows taking a break from speeding roller-coaster style up, over, around and around faster over the lake on a high wire over the top of Dreyfuss Point, on the road up to where the building was till it burned down. I've often seen various bug-catchers there. Barn Swallows, Scissor-tailed and other Flycatchers, etc.
 

Barnswallow Pair - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Barn Swallow Pair
 

I'd classify what the male is doing in this shot as "scrunching." He's got various parts going in various directions like a big, old stretch everything.
 

Barnswallow Pair - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Barn Swallow Pair
 

Here, they're both preening. Takes a lot of preening to keep wings up good enough to fly that fast and aereo-technic. I've spent hours just trying to catch them sharp, in focus and vaguely intelligent looking flying around like they do chasing bugs. Except overcoming my recently bent rib, leaning into photographing his was a lot easier.
 

Barnswallow Pair - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Barn Swallow Pair
 

More Barn Swallow stretching and preening, I guess.
 

Barnswallow Pair - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Barnswallow Pair
 

Now, finally, they look like just birds, instead of Chinese acrobat contortionists.
 

Red-winged Blackbird - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Color-clashing Red-winged Blackbird
 

He's on the back, stone porch of the Winfrey Building. I'm back there wandering around looking for and at birds. Parking in the lot somewhere, walking (lately clunking) around the circle, down into the the "natural" meadow that The City just has to mow twice every year, despite claiming how natural and untouched by human hands it is, then around the building on the circle, down the hill, then back up the hill, is one of my regular walks at the lake.
 

First Winter Butter-Butte - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

First Winter Butter-butt
 

I don't remember if it was the last time I posted a bird and called it this, but it happened some time ago, and some reader complained that I didn't even know a Yellow-Rumped Warbler when I saw one, when they didn't realize that a common name for YRWs is "Butter Butt." I believe this to be a Myrtle variety female First Winter Butter Butt.
 

Franklin's Gull - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Franklin's Gull
 

Unusually, there were one or two short flocks of gulls flying around the eastern side of the lake today. May have got over to the west side, too, but I didn't see them there. I saw this one and the maybe four others flying with it, but this is the only one I managed to capture both face and feet of.
 

Mockingbird Wing Display - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Mockingbird Wing Display
 

I've heard and read all sorts of what seemed to me to be cockamamie explanations of why they do this, but I've seen and photographed them doing it several times over the years, and it's always worth zoning in on, even if I don't always catch them in strong focus.
 

Mockingbird Wing Display - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Mockingbird Wing Display
 

I've even seen a young Mocker practicing the wing display movies. This one would flash the stripes on its wings, then pull something out of the ground and eat it. Unfortunately, all those shots are even less focused than this one.
 

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher Pair - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher Pair

In the meadow that's now, suddenly, bursting with color and verticality.

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April 24

 Two Flycatchers - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Two Flycatchers: Scissortailed Flycatcher and Eastern Kingbird

Drove in close — totally ignorant of the No Parking sign till much later — and shot this pair with my little Canon s90 Point+Shoot. Pretty good for a P+S, when most of these are shot with a Nikon and Rocket Launcher that weigh in at about ten times the mass. Not that I'll be shooting the s90 at birds much.

April 23

Scissortailed Flycatcher on a Mission - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Scissortailed Flycatcher on a Mission
 

Today was the first time since I broke my foot that I've walked around Winfrey Point. Parked on top, walked down the path to the uh... point (Look at it on a map and tell me it's a point...) walk along there a long time looking and hoping for something, anything in focus, found a few, then walk back up another path. Took a long time. Plumb wore me out.
 

Scissortailed Flycatcher Eating a White Bug - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Scissortailed Flycatcher Eating A Small White Bug
 

The flycatcher tosses it around to get the best purchase on it, before it chews and swallows.
 

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.  

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher Lifting Off
 

It's comparatively easy to capture a Scissortailed Flycatcher parked on the ground or a perch with its tail closed and wings down. The trick is to get the wings up and the tail apart. It would be really nice to have focus and/or sharpness, too. But beggars don't always get first choice.
 

Scissortailed Flycatcher - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Scissortailed Flycatcher Close-up
 

Each time it turned its head away, I'd sneak a little closer, till I finally got a little real detail. I'll try not to squander it.
 

Female Red-winged Blackbird - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Female Red-winged Blackbird
 

I watched this little bird bounce around in the background of the male scissortail as I tried and tried — succeeding occasionally — to capture it sharp. First she was in the weeds behind. Then she hopped over to the stalk the flycatcher parked on till it saw something worth eating. Then the redwing flitted up onto the stalk, then rose up.
 

Mockingbird - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Mockingbird

Of course a Mockingbird. They're everywhere.
 

Little Round Bird - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Too Far Away and in the Wrong Light
 

It looks vaguely familiar. I got a glint of memory in it / from it, when I was photographing it as a dark silhouette against a dark blue sky. But to see the bird, had to overexpose it. Now to discover who it is. Love the tiny mohawk hairdo.
 

Marting Abstract - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Purple Martin Abstract with Purple Martin House
 

I have lots more boring shots. I like this one. Good place to stop for today.

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The Medical Center Rookery

April 20

Tricolored Heron Pair on Nest - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.  

Breeding Tri-colored Heron Pair with Nest
 

We're assuming she is on the left, with smaller occipital plume and much more attendance to the nest. Their nest is smallish. I suspect they've just arrived. They hadn't been reported earlier, and the area they chose again this year has been closely watched. The nest will grow thicker and taller. Massive enough to hold several young. We'll all be watching.
 

Breeding Tri-colored Heron Pair - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Breeding Tricolored Heron Pair with Nest
 

She's standing with wings down and out, a classic heron pose. He's looking away in this shot, but he was usually very attentive. He flew away for awhile, came back quickly. A woman warning of Water Moccasins was standing near there pointing the way to the tricolors. She said she thought she should get paid for pointing, but she had no camera or binoculars. We wondered about that. Last year there was a woman who kept calling the police when Black people attended the park. She warned of snakes, too.
 

Dashing Male Tricolored Heron - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Dashing Male Tricolored Heron
 

Another woman drove up in a fancy car, parked in the Handicapped slot, even though the non-Handicapped slot on the other side of us was empty, shouted that she was going to do it anyway, came over to loudly tell us that it was a shame that "they took all the birds away last year." We told her that did not happen. She insisted, and repeated that same phrase.

So Anna told her the facts twice more, that some trees had been cut down, but nobody came to take all the birds away — we laughed about that later and still are. Can you imagine catching the thousands of birds at the rookery and hauling them off somewhere? People will believe anything, and that woman had been loudly spreading her strange misinformation.
 

Breeding Snowy Egret - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Breeding Snowy Egret
 

Lots of white birds at the rookery today. I was there to walk, had planned to do that on the flat paved paths at White Rock but couldn't pass up a chance to photo the Tricolors again. I believe I was the first to photograph a Tricolor there, but I thought that one was a Great Blue Heron, who visit there sometimes. Took staring at that picture awhile to figure the colors were all wrong, although the person who had assigned themself as my bird guru insisted they don't come up this far from the coast.

Today, I mostly walked, took only a few non-tricolor photos. This bird was too easily photographed to pass up, lovely fine feathers and just had to shoot when I saw those red lores. No breeding egrets or herons show in Sibley's Guide to Birds or Peterson's Field Guide to Birds of North America as having red lores. Anna tells me, yup, that's a Snowy. They have red lores.

I thought so, and I don't know who else it could possibly be. Cattle Egrets — saw a few of those today; didn't last time — have orange bills. So do Great Egrets. I shot one Cattle Egret nine times today without getting one in focus, and I didn't bother with all the Great Egrets delivering sticks for their nests. But this was one exquisite bird, and the sun was shining on it.
 

Adult White Ibis - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Adult White Ibis
 

Only saw this one today, but I watched in wonder while 72 adult White Ibis [below] swooped across the sky over the rookery last week, so I'm sure there's lots more in there somewhere. And I know that a whole section of the rookery will be filled to overflowing with more of them nesting. Soon.
 

Black-crowned Nigh-Heron - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Breeding Adult Black-crowned Night-Heron

The books don't differentiate between adult Black-cronwed Night-Herons and breeding ones. If it's at the rookery, it's there for a purpose. Probably not just to visit the in-laws, although that does happen. More likely to create some more.

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White Rock Lake

Lately

 Bending Over Backwards Grackle - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Great-tailed Grackle in Heads-up  Bending Over Backwards Behavior
 

Between photo opportunities with wide-ranging birds of many feathers at Rogers Rehab or other colorful places, I photograph whatever birds I can find. Recently — these were taken over the last couple weeks — I've been photographing 'common' bird species. It almost looks like this grackle has simply turned around, but notice where its eyes are in comparison to its beak (or visa versa). This bird has stretched its heads-up behavior to bending over backwards.
 

Normally Headed-up Grackles - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

More Normally Headed-up Grackles
 

Here, now, still in early spring, this mutual notice usually means an invitation to court. Except when two males do it at each other. In which case, it usually signifies a willingness to fight over the possibility of courting. The fight can be wild and nearly pyrotechnic with squabbles in the air and wild aerial chases.
 

Grackles with their Hackles Up - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Male Grackles with the Hackles Up
 

And nearly every feather on their bodies poofed up and stuck out. Barking insults at each other may be part of the regimen. I might be an attempt to look large and powerful. If I were a grackle I'd know deep in my being. But as a mere photographer, I simply watch and wonder.
 

Standard Wood Duck Aggression - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Standard Wood Duck Aggression Form
 

Wood Ducks are bigger, of course, but compare these last two photos of birds in spring. Can't see the duck's enemy. There might not even be one. I couldn't find one in the crowd on the short of Sunset Bay. But there probably was at least one that I did not notice. I have seen both male, like here, and female Wood Ducks go into this aggressive posture. Sometimes there is quacking, sometimes not.
 

Male Wood Duck Just Standing There -c pry

Male Wood Duck Just Standing There
 

Really, really handsome critter.
 

Red-winged Blackbird Proclaiming - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Red-winged Blackbird Proclaiming
 

That's what I call it, at least. Proclaiming. Proclaiming their territory, their supremacy, their willingness to mate with the remarkably independent female Red-winged Blackbirds. We can't see it here, because all the action is playing out in the dark shadows of an already dark bird, but this Red-winged Blackbird is putting its all into this particular scream / call. All its breath, probably almost all its concentration, very nearly all its musculature. It even sometimes throws its vivid red epaulets up when it does it. Surely some nearby female will want to join him.
 

Doing the Starling Strut - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Doing the Starling Strut

There's something in that grass that starlings absolutely love. I've been watching them burry their beaks in the grass for several weeks now.

Starling Supping - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Starling Getting a Beakful
 

Gobbling what they find there, then pushing heads back into the green. It must be spring.
 

Looking Up at an Eastern Kingbird - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Eastern Kingbird on a Wire

A flycatcher par excellence looks out for flies to catch. My first EKb of the season, though there's probably millions of them out there.

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Rogers Wildlife Rehabilitation

April 15

The Runt - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

The Runt
 

This is the smallest and weakest of the Great Blue Heron chicks [below] in the big pen Kathy Rogers let us into to photograph without the cage wire intervening. It's in a special box with pieces of its nest and newspapers hiding it from view by short-attention-span siblings who would be happy to peck him to death, so he doesn't waste any food they think they should be getting all of. That's how survival works places other than Rogers Wildlife Rehabilitation.

Our April 2008 Rogers Visits.
 

Hungry Baby GBHs - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

The Bigger Siblings Wait to Be Fed
 

The volunteer whose hand we see at the upper right of this shot of very hungry Great Blue Heron chicks will hand feed each one, although the box with cut-up fish has been there for awhile. Usually, they'd have parents feeding them, but the volunteer will do. One chunk of fish for each bird.
 

Red-tailed Mama Struggles with Eggs - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Red-tailed Hawk Mama Struggles with Her Eggs
 

Her wing bent or broken, this young mother struggles to get herself over all the eggs. By the time we left, she'd got all but one of her remaining three eggs under her.
 

Watchfull Red-tail Pappa - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Watchful Red-tail Papa Makes Sure We're Up to Good
 

He was attentive to Mama Red-tail and was very careful about who came around to check out their future brood. We were impressed by his attention and care.
 

Harris Hawk Looks Down - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Harris Hawk Looks Down
 

Today's Rogers photographs all needed special care before I could post them here. Exposure was off, or too much or too little was sharp, or the background had to be toned down like in this one.
 

Canada Goose  - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Canada Goose
 

Critters from far and wide get delivered to Rogers. Check out their website for specific rescue tips, to donate via PayPal or other information.
 

Cedar Waxwings Inside - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Cedar Waxwings Inside
 

Some birds' injuries were obvious, others, who may have had some time to heal just made me wonder. I didn't want to bother the staff with the back-story for each individual, or I'd still be there talking, instead of out taking photographs, but I was always curious.
 

Great Blue Heron Up Close - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Young Great Blue Heron Wandering Around Among the Cages
 

So close I could almost reach out and touch, although whenever I got that close, the GBH would pull away, staying a respectful three or four feet away at all times. It wasn't worried, just careful.
 

GBH on the Roof - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Great Blue Heron on the Roof
 

It's got its leg up like that ready to go back to scratching its chin soon as the photographer loses interest and wanders away.
 

Roof GBH Strut - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Roof GBH Strut
 

Usually don't get to watch them walk from below. Interesting view. I don't remember that white patch down there. At Rogers, there are active GBH nests in the taller trees and many of them wandering around the grounds as if they owned the place, which of course, they do.
 

Hawk Profile - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.  

Red-tailed Hawk Profile

My gosh this bird is handsome.
 

Striking Terror - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Attack Heron
 

When it wasn't busying itself attacking anyone who dared enter its territory, this Yellow-crowned Night-Heron was docile as a kitten, wandering around the Rogers office.
 

Attack YCNH in office - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Our Friend the Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
 

Remember this little guy's big attack, well this is the same bird in a more docile mode, still on top of the stacks of cages in the Rogers office.
 

White Herons - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Hegrets and Egrons
 

A mix of immature herons and egrets, which can often be challenging to differentiate. Compared with all those white birds, the Green Heron off on the far right is easy to I.D. Note the heat lamp keeping the critters warm, even in the blistering sun outside. Gray-legged white herons are Little Blue Herons, who start off life as white birds, then start spotting over black, then turn black/blue as adults.

Jason Hogle says: this shot "shows at least two snowy egrets (the one in the center and the one whose head is just visible on the far left of the frame); the one in the center has the typical yellow feet and both have the dark bills with yellow lores. The bird on the wire between them (that can be seen clearly) looks like a cattle egret; note the much shorter yellow bill. I can't say what the bird is in the background since there's not enough detail to know." More Hogle identifications are below.
 

Adult Little Blue Heron inside - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Adult Little Blue Heron
 

Yes, this is the same species as some of those white herons (All egrets are of the Heron family.) in the heated cage with the Green Heron. When they're older, they begin to acquire dark, blue-black spots and splotches, which quickly turn them all dark blue — although in direct sunlight, they appear black, their true blue colors are best seen in open shade.
 

The Other End of a Spreading Peacock - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

The Other End of a Spreading Peacock
 

Since we're all used to seeing Pea Cocks spreading their top feathers in resplendent colors from the front, I thought I'd end this second edition of our Tax Day Celebration at Rogers Wildlife with this tail shot. There may still be more Rogers shots, but I think I've got them all done now.

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More images from Rogers Wildlife Rehabilitation near Hutchins, Texas, just south of Dallas

 Owl Patterns - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Barred Owl Patterns
 

Anna suggested we go here today. Sounded good to me. I brought three cameras and shot from all. I expected to prove that some were better than others at this sort of shooting, but I think it's more like my luck changed. The first of these were shot with my elderly Canon S5 with its 10:1 zoom and often slow reaction time, but nice focus and true colors.
 

Wide-eyed Owl - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Wide-eyed Owl
 

Today's shots aren't all owls, but there was a bunch of them early on, starting inside the office, which we usually explore before going out back to the really big one- and two-story cages. Generally speaking, the birds in the office need more tending, although some of those have the run of the place. I don't know my owls — especially young, sick owls, but I think this one's patterns match an Eastern Screech Owl.

This shot and those following are from my new Canon s90. I didn't manage to get to the photos taken with my Nikon tonight, and I'm too beat to continue. Need sleep. I'll add those later. Be interesting to see how well the Nikon compares with the s90. To see mostly not bird-related shots from my s90, check out my s90 Journal.

Jason Hogle says: "The "Wide-eyed Owl" photo is an eastern screech-owl. There's quite a bit of variation in this species. That's evident in the photo called Two Little Owls: Eastern Screech Owls? below." Jason continues below.
 

Bright-eyed Owl - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Bright-eyed Barred Owl
 

Pouring through the owl pages, I think this must be another Barred Owl. Newspaper on the floor for the obvious reasons. I complained a lot today when one or the other camera refused to focus or mis-focused or would not snap with flash or some other baffling refusal or mechanical malfeasance, but looking back, I can see I was clearly on a roll with these shots, which are among my best-ever of Rogers, just as earlier this week I was really rolling at the rookery.
 

Two Owls - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Two Little Owls: Eastern Screech Owls — two variations
 

Differing eye colors, differing body colors. The beaks look similar, but the bodies don't. The ears are distinctly different as are the facial configurations. Okay, two different owls. Both fairly small. Peterson's guide has bigger pictures. Maybe that'll help. Nyaaah. Not much. My guesses: A gray morph Eastern Screech Owl and a ... another one. They sure look different, but now I think they're both Eastern Screech Owls.

Jason Hogle agrees. More identification from him next.
 

Hairy Owl - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Hairy Owl
 

I want to call this one a hairy owl. I did call it that in the caption. Think I might have to stick with that appellation, not knowing any better. It looks a lot like the also unidentified owl on the right above, except one whose lost a lot of its whiskers. Jason Hogle says: "Your "Hairy Owl" photo shows a juvenile, though the species is hard to say from that photo. I'd guess it's another eastern screech-owl, but only size and noise could tell." Jason offers one last I.D of the flicker just below.
 

flicker on the wire - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Flicker on the Wire
 

Now here's a truly uneducated guess, a Golden Fronted Woodpecker. I thought it might have been a Northern Flicker, but there's so little evidence of any woodpecker, because they are usually rendered from the side or back in books, probably on the assumption that few of us will ever see one spread-eagled on the front bars of a cage. They are much more likely seen from the fleeting side or back view on a tree.

Jason Hogle corrects: "Flicker on the Wire" shows a red-bellied woodpecker. Note the slight wash of rose on the belly." Read Jason Hogles superb nature website Xenogere.com
 

Sickly Heron - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Sickly Baby Great Blue Heron
 

It really doesn't help matching bird to book image that many of these birds have been seriously messed with, very sick or mauled. All of those conditions lead to discolorations, and many are younger than the the immature and juvenile birds shown in books. I am again flummoxed. Looks a lot like a heron to me. Oh, context does it. Once I posted the pic of very young Great Blue Herons below, I know this is one of those.
 

Pelican Diagonal - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

American White Pelican Diagonal
 

What's really sad about the pelicans at Rogers is that they might have to stay in cages for the rest of their lives. The local White Rock Lake contingent, at least, has gone back to Idaho and parts north and west from here. Any of these that might finally be well enough to travel, would have to hitch a ride to Idaho to get back with their the places of origin. Not sure how that would happen, but as much as I treasure American White Pelicans, I sure hope they get to leave these cages and live free again.
 

Pelican Beaks in Color - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Pelican Beaks in Color
 

The white parts are mostly the same, but the colored parts seemed unnaturally intense. They're probably getting all their vitamins and then some, but not nearly enough of their exercise.
 

Pelican Biting My Finger - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Pelican Biting My Finger
 

Worse, they've grown used to the attentions and interactions with humans, all of whom do not have their best interests in mind. A pelican willing to fool around with human fingers is not likely to run when they see us coming. And perhaps they should. The biting was weak and ineffectual. More like the game I've seen pelicans at White Rock play with each other, although there it can sometimes get heated.
 

Tom Turkeys - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Tom Turkeys
 

Before I read about wild turkeys in Peterson's just now, I assumed the ones displaying like this were strictly barnyard turkeys, and the svelte, mostly brown ones like we saw in Colorado and the northern rim of the Grand Canyon were wild, but apparently wild ones display like these are. So, by reading up, I now know less than before about whether these are domestic or wild.
 

Juvenile Great Blue Heron - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Juvenile Great Blue Heron
 

I know who this is, because Kathy Rogers told us they were Great Blue Herons when she let us go into their walk-in cage to get photographs without bright white wire, and this one looks a lot like that heron I could not identify above, who's probably a Great Blue Heron, also. Note the herringbone pattern down the front of its neck.
 

Great Blue Heron Feet - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Juvenile Great Blue Heron Feet

And these, by extension, just have to be baby Great Blue Heron feet. Glad we got that straightened out, at least.

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Medical Center Rookery

April 12

Adult White Ibis - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.  

Several Adult White Ibis
 

Would like to have seen the Audubon Society presentation on Bob Whites and see Anna presented as their new VP of Communications, but by then I was tired and hungry and supping on curried tofu dipped in humus with a local root beer watching kids play — oh, something, in a park near the rookery I'd never seen before.
 

Ibis Past a Building - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Ibis Past a Building
 

Standing up on the tallest parking garage there earlier after badly attempting to enter the wrong one next door and having to back up past several cars with entry tickets, I wandered from end to end of the top wondering what I was waiting for. Photographed the occasional picturesque Great Egret, hoping for something, almost anything else, when I saw these guys making great circles over the medical center.
 

Ibis Past Me - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Ibis Past Me
 

The Rocket Launcher helped me feel closer to them, but they never really flew right over, although they kept coming back nearer and nearer. Then flew away. Altogether much more uniform in flight than their kids were yesterday.
 

Flight of Ibis - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Flight of Ibis
 

Note the Ibis third from the top. It's flying along preening a wing feather with its head upside down. Detail below:
 

Upside-down Preener - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Upside-down Preener
 

I wonder if I were an Ibis, if I could turn my head upside down while flying along and carefully preen one errant feather in my left wing.
 

Count-em - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Count 'em
 

I get about 55 in this shot. Hard to tell what they are at this distance. I think this is when they came back from off toward the river. They were gone about fifteen minutes, then came mobbing back, circled around some more, then flew off toward downtown. I took more photographs, although today's shots are not in any semblance of chronological order.
 

As Close As They Got - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

As Close As They Got
 

One time is usually all I get. I had everything set for bright white birds by then — did egrets when the Ibis disappeared, although I saw two or three Anhinga and managed to expose them adequately but never close enough that it made any difference.
 

White Lines on Blue - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Black-tipped White Birds on Blue Sky
 

I guess I brought these guys into my life by haphazardly guessing how many there could be at the rookery with the flimsiest of evidence the other day. I like guessing how many of some bird species are around locally, because it makes me feel like I know something, for a change.
 

70-something - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

At Least 66, I Think
 

When I guessed, I guessed nowhere near 72 or so. I undercut their actual numbers by at least half. Glorious, however, to see this many Ibis in one place. I have several more shots of them, but after awhile, they just all run together.

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April 10

Female Adult Anhinga - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.  

Female Adult Anhinga
 

Not all that happy with yesterday's attempts to photograph Anhingas, I came back today armed with a little direction. Big white birds — like the Great and other egrets that abound at the rookery — require closing down apertures to render their bright white feathers as something besides bright and white. So I closed down for them, then shot the couple of Anhingas with the same setting.
 

Male Adult Anhinga - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Male Adult Anhinga Flyby
 

Problem with that is that Anhinga are black, and seriously underexposing black birds leads to even darker birds with nearly no details showing, especially on their undersides where the shadows that follow them are. In these shots, however, there's still darned little detail in those deep black shadows of deep black birds. But there is some off-black detail visible on their wings, necks and beaks, so I'm okay with it.
 

Adult Male Anghinga - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Adult Male Anhinga with Upper Wing Details
 

It's very difficult to get an Anhinga to hold its wings down long enough to take a photo of the little detail that a male Anhinga possesses. Instead, I have to wait for such an Anhinga to fly by, then just hold the shutter down, going clickity-click-click as fast as or faster than its wing beats. That's how this happened, and I'm glad it did. Gives me that sensation of some control in my life, as unlikely as that really is.
 

Little Blue Heron - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Little Blue Heron Far Away
 

By setting my camera for showing some — any — details in any dark birds that showed themselves, I managed to capture some little detail in this momentary showing by a Little Blue Heron at the far edge of my aerial arena from standing on top of the Basketball Court High-rise Garage at the Medical Center. Way far away, indeed.
 

Overviewing The Medical Center Rookery - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

The Medical Center Rookery — An Overview
 

This was shot from our usual perch atop the high-rise garage across the street from the basketball court (at the extreme right of the above image). Match the extreme telephoto image one up from this wide shot with the building textures (I believe that makes it the fourth building on the horizon [counting the sliver of one at the far left], in about the middle of this pic), and you'll see just how far away that Little Blue Heron was.

Like the convex rear-view mirror on on the right sides of many of our automobiles, objects reflected in this wide angle shot may seem farther than they really are. The rookery is all those trees gathered in the middle of this photograph.
 

Male House Ficnh - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Male House Finch
 

I found this bright little guy up on the top floor of the parking garage, because the song it was belting out seemed close enough to follow it to him. A really worthwhile endeavor. Nice, every once in a while, to capture a bird that's really close and really sharp — and really loud, albeit with a beautiful song.
 

Ah Dunno - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Small Birds Fly Toward Buildings
 

From my perch on top of the parking garage, I'll attempt to photograph any bird that crosses my path. Big ones are easier. Little ones provide more challenge. Big ones are fairly easily identified. I have no idea who this is, but I do like the shot, even if I've only just now realized there's two little birds in this photograph.
 

Juvenile Ibis Mob - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Juvenile Ibis Mobbing Across the Horizon
 

I didn't recognize these guys at first. Took a mention by a friend who was on the other garage and a serious look at two of my books before I recognized these guys as juvenile White Ibis. Since they're so clearly not Ibis right now.
 

Juvenile White Ibis - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Juvenile White Ibis Romping Across the Sky
 

Surprised me to see juvenile White Ibis mobbing around the near skies of the rookery. This building is well right of the rookery itself off toward downtown Dallas. But such a nice shot. Not only is it sharply in focus, but it also shows us at least three very distinct flying attitudes by the juvenile Ibis. A little goofy, a little awkward, a lot fun.
 

Juvenile Ibis Flyover - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Juvenile Ibis FLyover
 

I kept following the mob of juvie Ibis, till at last they flew me over almost directly over the garage I was standing on top of.
 

THE Great Egret - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

The Great Egret
 

And, oh, why not? since I got such a nice, sharp shot of it, one great Great Egret flying over. There were literally thousands of them at the rookery today. Maybe a dozen anhinga that I saw, one Little Blue (but I'm sure there was at least one other, probably more) maybe a dozen and a half juvenile Ibis, so probably some adults running around loose, too.

One Great Blue Heron — they don't like being all that close, but a couple of us there this morning saw one GBH, and like I say, a quarter of a jillion egrets. Fluffy white spots as far as the eye could wander.

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April 9

 Anhinga Flyby - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Anhinga Flyby
 

We went at 10 ayem, which is when the Anhinga come out to fly around in small and big circles then calm back down into the dell of the meadow on top of the tall trees in the rookery. A few flew close by our perch in the tallest parking garage around.
 

Anhingo - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Anhinga

I hate it when photographers run off excuse after excuse why this shot was this way instead of the way we wanted them, so I won't, but if you needed excuses, I have plenty. I want to go back and try it again. I think I learned several things today and will do better. Maybe I should finish my taxes first.

Ibis Flyby - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Ibis Flyby
 

Only saw maybe three of these guys today. It was heartening to see them at all, they were such a treat last spring and into the summer. There'll be lots more to see and photograph at the rookery. Not like Great Egrets are so special we have to go to the rookery to capture them flying, but there were a lot of them flying around today, some carrying sticks bigger than they were for nests. Some carrying sticks so big they couldn't carry them far.

 

Fem Grack with big bug - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Female Grackle with Bug
 

And plenty of grackles all around, all around.
 

White Rock Lake

April 6

Coot Run - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Coot Scoot
 

Catching a good coot scoot is the challenge every year. This is not the one I wanted of course, but it does have certain artistic merit. There will be more an better ones.

 

xCoot Airborne - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Coot Airborne
 

Coots are common, and they are skittish, so seeing them skitter across the water is always possibly and a joy to see and hear. Capturing a good one in a photograph is much less likely or easy. But I keep trying.
 

Coot Flying - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Coot Flying
 

Once they're up in the air, it almost seems like they're using those big, lobed feet of their to help steer up there.
 

BCNH in tree - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Black-crowned Night-Heron in Tree
 

Walking back toward Dixon Creek, I noticed this solitary sitting on the far side.
 

Snuggle Beaked BCNH - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Snuggle-beaked Black-crowned Night-Heron enlarged
 

Conserving beak warmth in the spring sun.
 

Male Northern Shoveler - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Male Northern Shoveler
 

There may be thousands of Northern Shovelers at the Drying Beds by now, but few venture as close as this guy did.
 

Blue-winged Teal - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Blue-winged Teal Pair
 

We don't get one of everything available in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, but we do catch a little variety now and then.
 

April 5

STFC - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.  

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
 

In focus this time, except when I attempted to coax Blue forward when it came back back, so I could see the whole bird among the wires, it flew away.
 

Martins in Martindale - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Martins in Martindale
 

Several Martin Houses along whatever street that is that lines all those rich houses looking down on the Bath House (and there's a lake down there, too). Best detail I've ever got with Martins.
 

The Martins - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Mrs. & Mr. Martin on the Front Porch
 

Cozy pair. A little flighty, however.
 

In & Out Mrtins - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

In & Out Martins
 

She wants to go in, and he doesn't.
 

Mrs. Martin - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Mrs. Martin
 

No flip remarks. Mrs. Martin on the front porch.
 

Gull A - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Gull I
 

Not at all sure why I started photographing this particular gull. It doesn't seem to be doing anything interesting or inspiring.
 

Gull 2 - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Gull 2
 

Or why I continued shooting when it was mostly just floating out there.
 

Gull 3 - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Gull III
 

Now, it begins to get a little interesting. Good thing I've been shooting all this time. There's a camera — luckily, I can't remember which one — that purports to already have been shooting awhile before the photographer decides to begin shooting, so nothing is ever missed. Like those recorders that only record accidents and UFOs. They just keep rolling film or silicone, thereby catching everything the photog thinks is interesting.
 

Gull IV - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Gull IV
 

That, of course, has nothing to do with what's going on here. Nope, this is just a gull, fixin' to take off.
 

Gull V - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Gull V
 

Then lifting off, then ...
 

Gull VI - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Gull VI
 

Going back into the drink.
 

Gull VII - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Gull VII
 

Either taking a drink or sticking its beak down there for something.
 

Gull VIII - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Gull VIII
 

Deciding to go back into the air, except right then, I quit going click — again for no apparent reason.

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April 4

 Scissor-tailed Flycatcher Jump - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher Jump
 

It was going after bugs after watching and waiting for them on the high wire down from Winfrey toward Sunset Bay. There were so many people, I could hardly aim my big lens anywhere near them. Something about Easter. Set me to thinking maybe if everybody stayed away from White Rock on Easter, the pelicans would stay longer.
 

Spreading Lanolin - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Spreading Lanolin
 

I didn't see any pelicans today, although I was so busy avoiding people, they might have been right there. I like the lake so much better with fewer people, I should probably stop talking about it.
 

Scissortailed Flycatcher Watching - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher Watching for Food
 

Only caught it that one time jumping off the wire to fly down and pick up something. I did not see what it caught, because it landed down the line, over a bunch of people who seemed to think me snooping with my big lens out the window, even if I was obviously photographing something far above their heads, was an intrusion. Soon thereafter, I out-truded.
 

April 3

Barnswallow Past Coot - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Barnswallow Passing a Coot

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The Medical Center Rookery

April 2

Eeg in the Sun - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.  

Great Egret in the Sun
 

Birds are back at the Medical Center Rookery. Especially the big white ones. Lots now. Will be lots more later.
 

Eeg through the Trees - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Egret Through the Treetops
 

I've missed having this many photogenic subjects in such a small area.
 

Eeg Ruffle - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Ruffle-Feathered Egret
 

So very bird-like. Love all that finery of feathers.
 

Unruffled Eeg - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Unruffle Feathered Egret
 

Just love it. Nice to see big white egrets with vivid spring green lores again. It's been awhile.
 

Calm Eeg Looking Down - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Looking Down
 

Why egrets do what they do has almost always escaped me entirely.
 

Egret Enigma - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Egret Enigma
 

Like this. It may be a head-up display. It must be a heads-up display. A notice that this Great Egret is more than willing to be noticed.
 

Take-off with Nest Stick - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Take-off with a Nest Stick
 

A lot of nest-stick carrying going on.
 

BCNH - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Black-crowned Night-Heron
 

Gobs of Great Egrets but only a few Black-crowned Night Herons in the further reaches. There will be many more soon. And other species, too. Ibis are already present at certain hours. Little Blue Herons soon, soon. Tri-colored Herons later on. I can't wait.
 

Grack in the Grass - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Grackle in the Grass
 

He had been all puffed up and trying to impress a female, but here, he's just resting.

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JR's Front Yard

April 2 – earlier

Mockingbird Flap - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Northern Mockingbird Flap
 

Stayed up all night working on a web page, it was 8-ish when I wandered out to the front porch to bring in the garbage bin, took two cameras, the little new one and the Rocket Launcher on the D300. Gray out there, blending towards storming. Not much light, and no sunshine. Most of the brown comes from there, although the high iso holds the colorlessness.
 

Mock Sqwawk - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Mock Squawk
 

I set iso first to 800, shot a couple Mockingbird Flapping in the top of my tree, then twisted the dial to a lot more, and didn't even look to see how many zeros. 2500. I hadn't any high expectations for the resulting images, but thought I'd try. What the heck.
 

A Remarkable Display - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

A Remarkable Display
 

All the same mockingbird. First, it would squawk as loud as almost any small bird I've ever heard, then without notice, it'd jump into the air, up or slightly down, and flap wildly. I'd seen Mocks do that before, photographed it a few times, usually from much farther away, with many fewer trees in my way.
 

Mock Sqwauwk - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Mock Squawk
 

Alternately flapping around at the top of the tree and squawking from that high perch. Very loud. I've been hearing its multiple sounds for weeks, every early morning.
 

Mock Flap - Photograph Copyright 2010 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Mock Flap
 

One of my long-term plans and hopes has been to capture a Northern Mockingbird flapping and showing off its dramatic white stripes. Next time, I'd love to have it in sunlight, but this will do nicely for the interim.

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All text and photographs copyright 2010 by J R Compton.
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'm not kidding. I've only been birding for three years,
although I've been photographing professionally since 1964.

Thanks always to Anna.

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