J R Compton.comSearchMAP
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
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,
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.
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.
More Barn Swallow stretching and preening,
Now, finally, they look like just birds, instead
of Chinese acrobat contortionists.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In the meadow that's now, suddenly, bursting with color and verticality.
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.
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.
The flycatcher tosses it around to get the
best purchase on it, before it chews and swallows.
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
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
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.
Of course a Mockingbird. They're everywhere.
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.
I have lots more boring shots. I like this one. Good place to stop for today.
The Medical Center Rookery
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
White Rock Lake
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.
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.
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.
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.
Really, really handsome critter.
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.
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.
Gobbling what they find there, then pushing
heads back into the green. It must be spring.
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.
Rogers Wildlife Rehabilitation
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.
2008 Rogers Visits.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Critters from far and wide get delivered to
Rogers. Check out their website for
specific rescue tips, to donate via PayPal or other information.
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.
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.
It's got its leg up like that ready to go
back to scratching its chin soon as the photographer loses interest and wanders
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.
My gosh this bird is handsome.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
More images from Rogers Wildlife Rehabilitation near Hutchins, Texas, just south of Dallas
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.
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
Little Owls: Eastern Screech Owls? below." Jason
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
And these, by extension, just have to be baby Great Blue Heron feet. Glad we got that straightened out, at least.
Medical Center Rookery
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.
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.
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
Note the Ibis third from the top. It's flying
along preening a wing feather with its head upside down. Detail below:
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
And plenty of grackles all around, all around.
White Rock Lake
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.
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.
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.
Walking back toward Dixon Creek, I noticed
this solitary sitting on the far side.
Conserving beak warmth in the spring sun.
There may be thousands of Northern Shovelers
at the Drying Beds by now, but few venture as close as this guy did.
We don't get one of everything available in
the Dallas-Fort Worth area, but we do catch a little variety now and then.
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.
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.
Cozy pair. A little flighty, however.
She wants to go in, and he doesn't.
No flip remarks. Mrs. Martin on the front
Not at all sure why I started photographing
this particular gull. It doesn't seem to be doing anything interesting or
Or why I continued shooting when it was mostly
just floating out there.
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.
That, of course, has nothing to do with what's
going on here. Nope, this is just a gull, fixin' to take off.
Then lifting off, then ...
Going back into the drink.
Either taking a drink or sticking its beak
down there for something.
Deciding to go back into the air, except right then, I quit going click — again for no apparent reason.
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.
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.
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.
The Medical Center Rookery
Birds are back at the Medical Center Rookery.
Especially the big white ones. Lots now. Will be lots more later.
I've missed having this many photogenic subjects
in such a small area.
So very bird-like. Love all that finery of
Just love it. Nice to see big white egrets
with vivid spring green lores again. It's been awhile.
Why egrets do what they do has almost always
escaped me entirely.
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.
A lot of nest-stick carrying going on.
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.
He had been all puffed up and trying to impress
a female, but here, he's just resting.
JR's Front Yard
April 2 – earlier
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
text and photographs copyright 2010 by J
All Rights Reserved. No reproduction in any medium without
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the writer or photographer.
My favorite answer is, "I don't
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.