INDEX

Year Ago

March 2017

The Amateur Birder's Journal - Stories & Photographs by J R Compton
Redraw Screen Often [control or command r]; I change this page every day.

157 photos so far this month. I often forget to update this number. Best shots this month: Killdeers Rousing  The current Bird Journal is always here  Cameras Used  Ethics  Feedback red diamond My Other Bird Pages: Herons  Egrets  Heron v, Egrets  Links & Bird Books  Pelican Beak Weirdness  Pelicans Playing Catch  Rouses  Courtship Behaviors  Banding Birding Galveston 2015 & 2013  2nd Lower Rio Grande Valley Birds page  & the 1st  Bald Eagles at White Rock red diamond Coyotes red diamond JR's resumé Contact red diamond Dallas Bird Resources: red diamond Dallas Bird Chat red diamond Bird Rescue Info You want to use my photos?  How to Photograph Birds  Birding Places: Bird-annotated Map of White Rock Lake & Spillway & the Med School Rookery & Village Creek Drying Beds  MARCH BEST PIX: Red-tailed Hawk Up Close, Female Aplomado Falcon, Red-shouldered Hawk Slowing Turning Around in a Tree, Cedar Waxwings, Barred Owl Straight Up, Adult Breeding Neotropic Cormorant, Young Egyptian Goose Family with Two Kits, Black-bellied Whistling Ducks + Blue-winged Teal, Lesser Scaups in various Poses, Killdeer Rousing  ! Please do not share these images on Pinterest, Tumblr or other image sharing sites!

I love to post other photographers' bird pix here, too, and I will watermark them with your notice and web URL. Email at least
one, one-meg jpeg to jrcompton 23 @ att.net (no spaces) with your name & the bird's common name in the file name.

Took a long time to figure out where to go this morning, but we eventually
settled on the SW Med School Rookery — shot March 28, posted March 29

Breeding Adult Great Egret - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved. 157

Breeding Adult Great Egret 

We'd heard there was one — or a spare few — Cattle Egrets, and Anna found one, but I only saw Great Egrets and Anhingas. Great Egrets are and will continue through the summer to be plentiful. Anhingas are far fewer, but rather obvious, if you know where to look — or pay attention.

Later in the season, there will be White Ibis, Tricolored Herons, many more orange-blazing Cattle Egrets, Snowy Egrets and Little Blue Herons. But you'll have to look carefully for the Ibises, Tricoloreds and Little Blues. Everybody else will be pretty obvious.

Adult Breeding Great Egret -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Adult Breeding Great Egret

In addition to their usual white, yellow and black, Great Egrets show green in their lores to announce their mating mode. This is the normal look of a Great Egret in breeding mode.

Adult Breeding Great Egret -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Adult Breeding Great Egret

Now this is truly a stuh .. range .. photo of a Great Egret. This bird's lores are bigger, wider and taller. It could just be variable. Or it might be a whole 'nother Variety. I'm the amateur in this page's title. I'm still learning. It doesn't match Sibley's Courtship Colors display on page 113 of his guide to birds. …

See also The Courtship of Herons, and yeah, Egrets are Herons.

Adult Nonbreeding Anhinga and Great Egret -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Adult Breeding Male Anhinga with Out-of-focus Great Egret Blob

The most notable change in breeding Anhingas are that brilliant blue around both sexes' eyes, which can only barely be seen in this back view of a breeding male, so you'll just have to trust me this time. Not that I'm anywhere near perfect in parsing the ages and breeding conditions of Anhingas. I have been spending a lot of time with my second edition The Sibley Guide to Birds and The Crossley ID Guide to Eastern Birds (we're mostly Eastern here in Texas), but I wouldn't guarantee I've got the right sexes or ages here.

Juvenile Anhinga -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

First-year Anhinga

Later, their lower wing-feathers turn white on black, not just dusty.

Black-crowned Night-Heron Hiding -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Black-crowned Night-Heron Hiding

They don't usually hide. In fact, they are rather brash and have a taste for other birds' eggs and young.

Great Egret Looking Up -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Great Egret Looking Up

Not that this is any kind of ordinary pose for a GE, either.

Adult Breeding Great Egret -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Adult Breeding Great Egret

So sorry I missed the front of its beak here.

Great Egret with School Bus -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Great Egret near School Bus

I couldn't help myself. Those colors. I just had to click and click and click. This was the best of the bunch. It captured just what I thought I wanted.

View of Bridge Over the Trinity River - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

View of a Bridge Over The Trinity River

As seen from the Top Floor of the Free Parking Lot. Not sure which bridge, though.

 

 

I wanted to call some of these “Experiments,” but the first three
really are mistakes. Shot March 27 & posted March 28

 Chair with Birds - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Chair with Birds

I often photograph some object or people or something out just off the edge of the top of the hill that is Winfrey Point with the skyline behind it. I don't usually get birds out there. This time, it's a rather ordinary chair and a bunch of unidentified bird silhouettes.

Female Red-winged Blackbirds Flying - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Female Red-winged Blackbirds

And probably some other birds that I cannot identify.

Bird Fly-bys - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Bird Fly-byes

My favorite part is the brown blurs at the upper left edge in front of the trunk.

The Rest Are Really Rather Nice:

Northern Shoveler Landing Near Mallard - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Northern Shoveler About to Land Near Mallard

Unlike Mallards, Northern Shovelers are uncommon around White Rock Lake. We get them most springs, maybe a little into summer. Mallards are common year-round. Shovelers are uncommon.

Northern Shoveler Landing Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Northern Shoveler Landing

So we pay them more attention — even if they tend to stay away from us most of the time. Especially us with cameras. If we watch the far side of Sunset Lagoon, that's generally where they're hiding, although they may not consider it hiding at all.

Noarthern Shoveler Floating -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Northern Shoveler Floating

But I think they are handsome dogs — even with that long muzzle.

Adult Breeding Blue-winged Teal -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Adult Breeding Blue-winged Teal

Somewhere along this way — and I'm pegging for right here — I managed to accidentally turn off my Image Stabilization, something I'd never before managed to do, since it usually requires two separate actions, one clutching the other. My hands shake, and a photo by a photographer whose hands shake like mine do, sometimes tends to look a lot like this one.

Pelican Landing - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Pelican Landing with Dallas Skyline in Background

No telling where I was standing to take these.

Pelican Landing with Dam in Background - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Pelican Landing with Dam in the Background

Probably on the east side of the lake somewhere.

Speeding Pelican Photographed through near-shore Reeds -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Adult Breeding American White Pelican Photographed Through The Reeds

I'd wondered whether I could get away with shooting through the weeds, and I guess I could.

Pelican Photographed through a break in the Reeds -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Pelican Photographed Between the Reeds

I rather like shooting through them better than between them, actually.

Pelican with Two Beak Fins -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

American White Pelican with Two, maybe Three Beak Fins

They grow those fins in anticipation of breeding once they get back to where they spend our summers. Most of the pelicans that spend their autumns and winters here have already gone back. Only a spare few are left, and I'm missing them already.

Great Egret at White Rock Lake's Eastern Edge

 

 

Nests — Empty, Full & Future — Great Blue Herons, Hawks, & Great-horned
& Lovey-Dovey Barred Owls; Teal & a Grebe — posted March 26

 Red-shouldered_Hawk_Sitting_the_Nest- Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Red-shouldered Hawk Sitting The Nest

I've been watching this nest for awhile, and only Friday did I photograph it, thinking there was only nest materials up there. Only later did I finally figure out those short, reddish brown, round-top objects were parental unit feather tips. So that nest is being sat.

Barred Owls Petting -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Barred Owls Petting

Not terrible far away, two Barred Owls were seen and profusely documented by everyone with a camera and long lens. I'd say they were in love, but saner minds would only acknowledge affection — and owlets in their future.

Lovey-Dovey Owls - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Lovey-Dovey Owls

They are cute, and they are comparatively easy to photograph, though rather high up. But if you are going to make a lot of noise down there — talking loud, etc., back off!

Barred Owl Up in the Balcony — Together - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Barred Owls Up in the Balcony Together

Not touching here, but they're still courting, and they'll be together awhile. According to my treasured Lone Pine edition of Birds of Texas, they nest "in a natural tree-cavity, broken treetop or abandoned stick nest; very little material added; female incubates 2-3 white eggs for 28-33 days while male supplies food."

Beginnings of the Owl Crowd -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Barest Beginnings of the Owl Crowd

These few will grow and grow till there's way too many people talking loud and repeating bad information right under where the owls are courting or sitting a nest.

According to David Allen Sibley in His The Sibley Guide to Birds:

”Many birding information networks now have a policy of not broadcasting the location of roosting owls, as the popularity of these birds, and the resulting traffic of visiting birders can cause enough disturbance to force the owl to move.”

I say, Get in, take your pictures, then get out. Do your kibitzing out of range!

A Nest Back in the Corner - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

A Nest Back in the Corner

More nests I discovered walking around and about in Greater Sunset Bay. I have some suspicions — later verified, but I don't really know one nest from another. I've only been doing this journal for almost eleven years, and I know there's lots of differences among nests, but I don't know which ones look like what.

Nest with Paper Close to that Other One -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Nest with Paper Close to that Other One

Not far away was this.

Great Blue Heron Nest with Two Downy Young - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Great Blue Heron Nest with Two Young

This and the next four shots were taken at The Drying Beds, which are in Western Arlington but belong to Fort Worth. And some of the parts we walked over this day truly stank. I was carefully photographing the adult Great Blue Heron and trying to get its head out from behind one of those vertical branches, and I didn't even see the two young till I checked out my shots' exposures in the camera's LCD. I was surprised, but it fit right into this nest and nestlings theme.

Our Most Famous Great Horned Owl Nest with Young (kinda) - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Our Most Famous Great Horned Owl with Invisible Young

A guy with a spotting scope invited me to look at these guys through it, and they were clear, and I could plainly see the juvenile. 100X he said it was. My 300mm lens with 1.7X extender = 500mm or 10X is, by comparison, hardly even enlarged. And I think the dotted brown blob behind the adult owl, aligned with the adult owl's right ear, at the top edge of the nest is the owlet, but I can't see it any better than that, either.

Red-tailed Hawk Way Too Far - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Red-tailed Hawk Way Too Far

If I blew it up any more, we'd both see just how blurry it was.

Blue-winged Teal on the Far Side - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Blue-winged Teal on the Far Side

We got Blue-winged Teal at Sunset Bay, too. But these are in one of the ponds at The Drying Beds, where one either has to ride a bike or walk. I walked long and somewhat pleasantly, but I think I should rent a bike next time. We used to drive there, and because birds are not afraid of cars, but panic quickly at humans, I had to shoot far.

Adult Breeding Pied-billed Grebe -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Adult Breeding Pied-billed Grebe

This was taken in Sunset Bay proper. And it's probably one of the same Pied-billed Grebes I've been photographing for weeks and/or months, but now it's a fully fledged adult breeding Pied-billed Grebe.

The Ultimate Wildlife Photography Tutorial from Photography Life

 

Big Bird, Itty-bitty Bird and Giant Metal Bird Over White Rock Lake
Photographed March 23 & posted March 24

 Red-shouldered Hawk in a Tree -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Red-shouldered Hawk in a Tree

I knew its head and tail configurations, but wasn't absolutely certain who this was. Had never really noticed the back feathers. Handsome critter.

Woodpecker Pecking Wood -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Adult Female Red-bellied Woodpecker

I heard, but did not see it in another  three across the street. Then I saw a pink, white and black flutter to another tree, then I heard its sound again here, right on the edge of Sunset Beach. Looks fairly straight on, but I was shooting well up the tree and having a lot of trouble getting the bird exposed correctly without overexposing those leave below it.

B-17 Over White Rock Lake -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

B-17 Over White Rock Lake

Showing my sister Mary Ann Who, the lake and what was the biggest bird that flew us over? A B-17 — very similar to the one Daddy piloted into Pearl Harbor early on December 7, 1941. That plane was named "Mary Ann," from which MA got her name, according to family legends. I heard it before I saw it, and I knew exactly what it was soon as I laid eyes on it, although it was still difficult to believe. And all three of us were thrilled.

I Googled the tail numbers and found this: B-17 Flying Fortress Surving Airplane … Nine-O-Nine.

 

 

Catching Up with The Last Coupla Days
at White Rock Lake — posted March 22

Adult Male Ruddy Duck Hops into Flight - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.  

Adult Male Ruddy Duck Hops into Flight

Photographed from The Slider from the West Side of White Rock Lake. I'd just got turned around, so my driver's side view lined up with the Ruddies, when they started taking off en masse.

Still Hopping - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Still Hopping

I guess I was so amazed, I just kept watching instead of photographing. This was the last Ruddy Duck to leave, and I'm amazed how well I managed to capture detail in him. And his just-left steps across the water were still splashing right to left.

Just About the Last Hop -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Just About the Last Hop

It didn't suddenly get bigger, nor did I zoom in here. I don't have a long zoom (yet).. I just enlarged this shot more than the others, so we could see the details better.

Domestic Goose - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Domestic Goose

I'm pretty sure the reason we have domestic gooses loose in Sunset Bay is for comic relief. More of that next time I do one of these day entries…

Some Pelicans Out on the Near Logs -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Some Pelicans Out on the Near Logs

I'm guessing four or five Pelicans. It's been awhile since I've seen a lot of pelicans in any one place. They may already have begun going back to wherever they came from last September. I'll miss them. They're usually gone by Tax Day, and that's coming way too fast already.

Following the TVs -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Following the TVs

I first saw the growing mob of Turkey Vultures as I was about to turn onto North Buckner (Loop 12) from going toward the lake on Garland Road, which I had until a few weeks ago always assumed went east and west. I turned around at my first opportunity then went down Emerald Isle Drive past first Barbec's, then the baseball fields, where I caught this shot way too far away from the vultures.

Two Turkey Vultures Flying Over - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Two Turkey Vultures Flying Over

Not sure where exactly I was when I shot this, but I was closer to the vultures till they veered off the path of the road I was on and headed where I could not follow. I still have the dream to take digital photographs of a bunch of TVs (Turkey Vultures) tearing apart a fresh carcass. Somewhere in West Texas many decades ago, I got the chance to photograph such a bunch shredding a large dead animal but on film, and now, of course, I can't find the original.

Digital keeps much better and longer and smaller.

 

 

I've had these since our San Antonio Trip, and I just haven't found a place for them,
but now, I know they belong right here — posted March 21

 Parts of a Cardinal Just About in Flight - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved. 112

Parts of a Male Cardinal Just About in Flight

I remember having just previously seen a red-headed woodpecker, which I never quite caught up with across the fence line from the road where we were in The Slider watching. Then I saw this motley pile of red, and I got excited. And within fractions of a second, it flew away.

Male Cardinal in Tree - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Male Cardinal

Not the same one, but a more representative Male Cardinal photographed within seconds of the previous one.

White Chicken -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

White Chicken

I don't know my farm chickens, so this shall remain "White Chicken" till someone who knows these things tells me better.

Kestrel on a Pole - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Kestrel on the Far Side of a Pole

One might call today's selections "grabbing at straws." I like that. My — and most other people's birding outings can often be like that. I kept hoping it would move closer or more obvious. Then it flew off.

Birds on top of a Pole - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

More Birds near the Top of Another Pole

I thought I could probably name the bird at the right, but obvious as it was, I muffed it. Turns out all three are House Sparrows (which makes a lot of sense anyhow), with the male on the right and two females center and left, according to long-time bird journal Contributor Kala King.

Hawk with Red Tail - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Hawk with Reddish Tail

Can't really see much of its tail, but what little color I see back there matches the rust of this pole very well. I'd started watching this hawk when it was farther away, then it got closer, in strict contravention of the rules of birds and birders, except I was in the driver's seat of The Slider, so it wasn't afraid of me or the car.

Red-tailed Hawk on Pole - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Same Hawk Showing A Little More Red

And a little farther away.

White Ones in Somebody's Yard - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

White Ones in Somebody's Yard

I should know these guy's species name, but like so much else I don't remember it. I keep wanting to call them Pea Hens, but what they really are — thanks to Kala King, are Guinea Fowl.

And a Dark One with Spots - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

And A Dark Guinea Fowl with Spots

I do, however, remember seeing some things that looked very much like this one in a large aviary cage at The Dallas Zoo. There it represented wild birds from some far-flung country. Here (in rural San Antonio) we assumed it was a farm animal. Me, I like birds wherever I can find them — even ugly ones.

Brown-striped Bird on a Wire - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Kala says this is possibly a Savannah Sparrow

I've begun to be able to readily identify most of the bigger birds I can see with my glasses, but the littler ones are mostly still strange and unknowable, although it seems likely that this one is known by a great many birders who are not me.

Iron Bird Gate Decoration - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Iron Bird Gate Decoration

I know this one's first name is Art.

Overhead Wires with Tumbled Weeds -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Overhead Wires with Tumbled Weeds

For awhile out there in lost, far-out San Antonio, we kept seeing these tumbled weeds seemingly firmly attached to overhead wires. We liked them, and we copiously photographed them. They had also attached themselves to fences, trees and tree-limbs.

 

 

I didn't want to just re-rephotograph the Great Egrets
again, so I paid my attentions to the Anhingas —
photographed & posted March 19

One Anhinga with Red Knot - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Anhinga with Red Loop

Looks like this juvenile Anhinga has got its beak ensnared in a bit of red cloth or something as it flies over the Southwest Medical School Rookery with another Anhinga — sister, brother, mother, cousin or aunt. The red cloth must be a nuisance, but it neither seemed life-threatening nor to be anything I could do about it.

Great Egret Over -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Great Egret Over

Still couldn't just ignore all the egrets flying thither and yon over the rookery, but neither Anna P nor I saw any other large bird species in, over or around the campus or rookery.

Great Egret in Flight Past Buildings -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Great Egret Past Buildings

And I only wanted to show these two egret pix.

Anhinga in Flight -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Adult Breeding Male Anhinga in Flight

When there were Anhingae in the air, I needed must pay attention to them.

Canada Goose on Candada Drive -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Canada Geese on Canada Drive

There's often wild birds along Canada Drive, so we went there, too. And Canada Gooses along Canada Drive just seemed perfect. I assumed that white thing in the back was the ubiquitous plastic bag.

Texas Flag on Our First Big White Bridge -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Texas State Flag on Dallas' First Big White Bridge …

Then we drove home over Dallas' own [different link/more pix]: Santiago Calatrava bridge.

 

 

Weekend Birding & Other Pursuits Involving one Barred Owl,
Several Cedar Waxwings & a Variety of People
All photographed This Week & Last + Posted March 18

Barred Owl Almost Straight Up -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Barred Owl Almost Straight Up

Driving toward Sunset Bay proper, I saw a small crowd gathered over in Owl Country, most of whom were pointing various configurations of telephoto lenses nearly straight up into the trees. I joined them briefly, then left the area, so the owls wouldn't have to suffer my presence, also. I should probably have mentioned to the other photographers that gathering below these guys often makes them very nervous.

Adult Barred Owl High in the Tree -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Adult Barred Owl High in the Tree

Both these are of the same owl though from slightly differing angles. I've seen one fly recently, but I was too busy watching it fly to take pix of it.

Painter -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

The Painter

I'm always drawn to painters and other artists at the lake.

A Cedar Waxwing high in a tree - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Cedar Waxwing High In Some Other Trees

And, of course, birds.

Cedar Waxwing Chewing Yellow Flowers - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Cedar Waxwing Chewing Yellow Flowers

Please not that all three of these shots were aimed nearly straight up into these small birds.

Cedar Waxwing Among Rumple Berries

I know my berries significantly less well than I know my birds, but this guy is almost in focus, and if you knew what berries they were, you'd know a great deal more than I do, which as far as berries are concerned is hardly surprising. Thanks to Anna G for the tip on the Cedar Waxwings.

Guys at a Wedding or Something - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Guys at a Wedding at The Winfrey Building

Their special, souvenir beer — or other — cans seem to say "Daniel & Gabby 3/18/17."

Maybe a Yellow-rumped Warbler - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Definitely not a Yellow-Rumped Warbler Somewhere Near San Antonio

I'm just amazed it's in focus.

Bride in the Woods - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Bride in the Woods

I shot other pix of birds, but few of them were anywhere near as good as today's owl or even Waxwing shots, so I've left them out of this.

 

 

Troy, The Aplomado Falcon at the Dallas Audubon Meeting
with Falconer Patrick Johnston
Thursday March 16 at Half Price Books — & posted that night

Troy, the Female Aplomado Falcon - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Troy, the Female Aplomado Falcon, held by Falconer Patrick Johnston

I try to attend any meeting anywhere in the Metroplex when there are live birds to be photographed, so when I heard Dallas Aububon was going to have live bird, I went, only later finding out there would be only one bird, because Johnston's other falcon was male, and the two don't get along all that well. One was more than plenty, and Patrick was quiet-spoken but very knowledgable about falconry.

Falconer Patrick Johnston and Troy - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Patrick Johnston and Troy

Patrick spoke awhile about falcons and falconry, and the crowd of a few more than sixty people paid apt attention. Then he took off the bird's hood and talked even more.

Troy Before Patrick took her Hood Off - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Troy, Before Patrick Took Her Hood Off

Instead of my big Nikon, this time I used my little Panasonic Lumix GX-8 with my short, 12-35mm (25-70mm equivalent zoom), and most of the time that people and art lens was just perfect for the occasion.

Troy - a female Aplomado Falcon - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Troy After Patrick took her Hood Off

We all breathed a sigh of relief when Patrick Johnston took Tory's hood off. She continued to be a perfectly-behaved falcon.

Troy Looking Left - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Troy Looking Left

 

 

I Tried to get all my San Antonio Pix here, but I'd rather show
you my more recent White Rock Lake pix.
Photographed March 14 — and posted March 15

Red-shouldered Hawk Having Flown Next to Winfrey Parking Lot - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Red-shouldered Hawk Having Flown Next to Winfrey Parking Lot

I saw it flying up the hill toward the parking lot I was parked on the lake-side edge of, but I couldn't tear myself away from watching it fly low up to there to take pix of it, although those pix would (might) have been far more interesting than these, but sometimes I just gotta watch instead of photograph.

Red-shouldered Hawk Facing Right - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Red-shouldered Hawk Facing Right

It was close enough to nearly fill my 35mm frame (24 x 36mm) on my full-frame camera, so there's lots of detail and pretty decent focus.

Red-shouldered Hawk Gnawing on Branch -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Red-shouldered Hawk Gnawing on Branch

As I watched, it kept turning to face various directions, which was really great, so I could get all sides of it.

Red-shouldered Hawk Showing Off its Red Shoulders -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Red-shouldered Hawk Showing Off Its Red Shoulders & Tail

I don't think I've ever watched a Red-shouldered Hawk long enough to turn all the way around and show off all its details.

Back of Red-shouldered Hawk Facing Left -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Back of Red-shouldered Hawk Facing Left

I've been photographing up a storm at White Rock — and will continue, so there'll be more tomorrow.

 

 

More Birds from Our Visit to The Rookery Adjacent to
Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas
Photographed March 11 — posted March 15

A Snoagie - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

A Snoagie

When you say Snow Geese fast enough, enough times, the words blur together to become "snoagie" for one and "snogies" for more. I have tried spelling it snowgie, but it just looks wrong, so I've settled on it as above under this photo of a Snoagie at the lake (that looks and winds like a river that flows under the SW 24th street bridge and past Our Lady of the Lake University [formerly here called Our Lady of the Lake College, because that's what the nearest sign calls it, but now I see it on Google Maps as University.)] in Southwest Central inner city San Antonio, Texas, USA.

I see also that the previously largely unnamed lake is called Elmendorf Lake, which is fed by Apache Creek and which, in turn, feeds Zarzamora Creek (or maybe vice versa, I don't know.) The creek stops being a mapped creek but continues as a concrete-lined viaduct-like body of water wrapping itself around the area called Memorial Heights.

Wet Cormorant Flying with Nest Stick - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Wet Cormorant with Nest Stick

Really weren't any of the usual, later summer crowd at The Lake of Their Lady — which will include Snowy Egrets, Little Blue Herons, maybe a Tri-color or two, Great Blue Herons flying by and other exotic species, but it was very nice to see the college had not destroyed the rookery island that must really stink up the place later in summer.

Nests in Trees -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Nests in Trees

We didn't see anybody in these nests, but there's sure been a bunch of busy birds here before we arrived. Then again, maybe the nests are serially inhabited. I know Great Egrets reuse nests, so probably so do cormorants. Notice in the nests in the photo below that they are somewhat smaller than the egret's, which we really can see here:

Cormorant & Egret Nests with College Buildings Behind - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Cormorant and Great Egret Nests with College Back

This was shot from the other side, where the newish (They were still working on it the last time we visited this rookery.) and much smaller but more accessible parking lot is.

Adult Breeding Great Egret About to Land in Trees -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Adult Breeding Great Egret About to Land in Trees

Soon, soon, there will be various other egrets and herons, but for now, all we saw were Great Egrets, and they probably wouldn't have been there unless they were Adult Breeding Great Egrets.

Adult Breeding GE among cormorants -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Adult Breeding Great Egret among Among Adult Breeding Cormorants

This is early in the season, and by mid-summer, every branch will be covered with nests for various species of cormorants and herons/egrets.

Double-crested Cormorant Flying Up the Tree - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Neotropic Cormorant in Flight

At first I called this a Double-crested Cormorant, but the more I looked at it, the more unusual / strange it looked. Neotropic Cormorants' lores () don't surround their eyes, like this one's don't. Double-crested Cormorant's lores do, if only slightly. Their heads opened beaks are shaped differently also.

Neotropic Cormorant Flying Away - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Neotropic Cormorant Flying Away

Then there's that white around their orange parts that Double-crested only sometimes have — just to keep easy identification or differentiation, difficult.

Adult Breeding Great Egret -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Adult Breeding Great Egret Flying
 

Four Muscovies - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Four Muscovies

I've yet to see the rather tame looking — almost all black except a white spot on the wings and the red bit over its eyes — Muscovy Duck as painted by David Sibley in both editions of his The Sibley Guide to Birds.

Muscovy Drake at Rest - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Muscovy Drake at Rest

I like Muscovies, because besides being immense, they are friendly to humans.

Our Lady of the Lake University Church Steeple - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Our Lady of the Lake Steeple

Or as much of the important bits as I could manage to include through my non-zooming telephoto lens as shot from the far side of the creek / lake / bridge / whatever. I would have got more of it in the picture if I'd turned the camera sideways, but that's really only practical when it's on the tripod, and even then it's a hassle.

 

 

Egyptian Goslings & Gooses at Our Lady of the Lake
Rookery in San Antonio, Texas
Photographed March 11 — posted March 13

Egyptian Goose with Egyptian Goslings - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Egyptian Goose with Egyptian Goslings

When Anna and I are in San Antonio to visit my mother, we almost always also visit the lake that looks like a river snaking past the big parking lot at Our Lady of the Lake College, where we usually illegally park. The church parking lot was packed full, but we'd already planned to park in the new but smallish City Park parking lot, then walk back to the college side on the City bridge.

Adult Egyptian Goose - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Adult Egyptian Goose

We've seen many bird species there over the last decade-plus, but this time we got to see these handsome gooses with their young …

Big-foot Egyptian Gosling - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Big-foot Egyptian Gosling Walking with Parent

… in great detail. Note the lines of quills awaiting feathers to become wings in this shot— and others down today's journal entry.

Adult Egyptian Goose Eating Grass - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Adult Egyptian Goose Eating Grass while watching out for the kid.

I'd hoped to include the usual — although it's been awhile since I quoted them — pithy wisdom from the Lone Pine edition of Birds of Texas, but I couldn't find Egyptian Gooses in it — although they are very clearly raising young here. In his The Sibley Guide to Birds, Sibley gives them a briefly informative mention under "domestic geese."

So I had to resort to the Internet, where I found Gary Clark's story in what I think must be The Houston Chronicle that did not include any photographs of their young or any of them flying (me, neither — but apparently they don't fly much unless frightened — and we were very polite).

Gosling with Goose - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Egyptian Gosling Eating Grass

Another, more informative article states that Egyptian Geese are mainly found south of the Sahara in Africa, and "some feral birds can be found in the United States." Birders don't much care for escaped tame birds, but we seem to much more appreciate feral varieties.

Me, I like all birds, and I don't make all those picky distinctions. I'd only rarely seen Egyptian Gooses, and I've never seen their young before. So this was quite a treat, and is probably why I went on and on photographing all the members of the family until well past when I was duplicating shots.

Adult Egyptian Goose Walking in the Rain - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Juvenile Egyptian Goose being followed by Adult Egyptian Goose

That online account under the generic headline "birding information" continues:

"Egyptian Geese are notoriously bad-tempered especially during breeding season.  They are quarrelsome and aggressive, very intolerant of other birds, including their own kind.  They can even be vicious.  The males hiss and the females make a cackling noise.

Egyptian Geese stay in small flocks of family units for the majority of the year, and pair up only during breeding.  They usually walk away from danger, seldom flying unless they are surprised.  Their flight looks heavy and goose-like, with slow wing-beats. They may fly together in an irregular V-shape formation or in a long line."

We were fairly close — although these are all telephoto shots (about 500mm on full-frame), but we never saw an unkind moment with them.

Adult Egyptian Goose with parts of two Juveniles - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Hind Parts of Gosling and Full Adult Egyptian Goose (except its feet)

Apparently, in order to get my spot focus on the bird I wanted sharpest in each pic this rainy-cool sorta darkish day, I kept cropping off bird feet, but this gives you a pretty good idea what the rest of it looks like.

Young Egyptian Family Walking in the Rain toward the Lake - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Young Egyptian Family Goose-stepping on the Sidewalk toward the Lake

Eventually after Anna and I photographed them for quite awhile — since we'd never see the babies before — they goose-stepped down the sidewalk, then down the grass to the lake. We were careful not to hurry them, but they never once seemed in any way aggressive.

 

Audubon's page of bird calls — give the page time to load. It includes a lot of birds.

 

 

Euro Starlings, Brown-headed Cowbirds, Battling Budgies 
& A Few Obtuse Objects, including Minnie — posted March 8

Adult Breeding Eruopean Starling -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.  

Adult Breeding European Starling Searching for Food in the Grass

I've been seeing them for about a week now, but this is the first one I've managed to get in sharp focus. A tawdry history in the United States, but a pretty bird, especially now.

Three Birds -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Three Birds — one out of focus, one almost in focus and one fairly sharp

I have no idea what the out of focus bird is. The middle bird is a European Starling, and the blue bird with a brown head is a Brown-headed Cowbird. It must be their season, because I see them all around the lake.

Budgie-bashing in the Upper Branches -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Budgie-Bashing in the Upper Branches …

… Of a smallish tree. I'm not at all sure how the farthest and uppermost Monk Parakeet managed to obtain a bucket-head.

Cowbird Pair -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Cowbird Pair in the Grass

Sorry, I only got this close to the family portrait here.

Adult Male Brown-headed Cowbird -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Adult Male Brown-headed Cowbird

Handsome little critter with a mean-spirited history I've told here way too often already. I like them, and I don't really care whose nests they deposit their own eggs into when nobody's looking. Nature has it many way.

Posted Speed -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Posted Speed

I love the obvious and consistently inconsistent signage at and around the lake. This one is along Garland Road going the other way I usually approach the lake, and other than using my telephoto lens, it is an ordinary photograph. My guess is that if I were swerving "S"-ly, I should go thirty, otherwise 40 mph, although most of the time I go considerably more slowly, because I'm watching out for birds to photograph.

Sun Power - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Sun Power
 

Minnie is Down But Not Out -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Minnie Is Down But Not Out

I photographed this colorful bundle on the floor of The Middle Spillway as I stood against the black, iron fence along that sloshing body of sometimes (after rains) moving water. I suppose she went body surfing, but still managed to end up on dry — or at least not splashing — concrete. I was, of course, looking for birds, not overgrown plastic mice.

 

   

Black-bellied Whistling Duck(s) &
Blue-winged Teal — posted March 8

Black-bellied Whistling Duck - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Black-bellied Whistling Duck at this End of the Spit

Beautiful visiting bird. I've seen the out to the right coast and well up into the Hills Country, but it's awfully nice of it to visit here.

Black-bellied Whistling Duck in Odd Pose -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Black-bellied Whistling Duck in Enigmatic Pose

I kept missing this bird's visits to SSB (sunset bay for those of us who say it too often already). It looks like it's breathing deep and in the throes of meditation.

Adult Breeding Male Blue-winged Teal -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Adult Breeding Blue-winged Teal on the Far Side of the Lagoon

Nearly glowing in the bright orange sunset light cas up into Sunset Lagoon.

Blue-winged Teal Pair Taking Off - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Blue-winged Teal Taking Off …

… while my lens was still focused on where they were when they started creasing and bubbling the water surface when they started taking off.

Blue-winged Teal in Flight - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Blue-winged Teal Pair in Flight

As well as being a lot closer to being in focus.

Blue-winged Teal in Farther Flight -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Blue-winged Teal in Farther Flight

Several photographers were complaining that these birds and the Northern Shovelers and some others were staying way out of reach of their lenses. Like the birds were doing it on purpose, and they had no other reason to be back over there doing what they wanted to be doing. Can't blame 'em; I, too, grouse when my equipment holds me back from getting perfect photographs. As if these were they.

 

 

A Short Trip to the Dark, Wettish and Ill-illuminated
SW Medical Center Rookery Last Saturday — Posted March 7

 Adult Breeding Snowy Egrets = Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Two Adult Breeding Snowy Egrets in a Tree at the SWMC Rookery

I visit the lake almost every day. Often two or three times. It's a place that calms me and/or excites me. We really didn't expect much, and we really didn't get much, but Anna P and I tried. I think we were there on Saturday. The skies were not blue, but the lighting — some of the lighting, anyway — was lovely for some of the few birds we found and got in focus.

Adult Breeding Great Egret - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Adult Breeding Great Egret

Everything under control for this early arrival at the Southwest Medical School Rookery in the big middle of the campus / Parkland Hospital hoo-ha.

Fan-tailed Great Egret -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Fan-tailed Great Egret

It was too deep in the woods — beyond all those branches — to get the whole bird in the picture, but I got its longer feathers.

 

 

Odds & Ends Birds Photographed
Later Last Week & Posted March 6th

 Coots in the Mist - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Coots in the Mist

It's very difficult to determine if a camera has captured such a nebulous form as mist, so I kept shooting at it, and this is the best composition of the bunch. I wasn't really "composing" as such, I was mostly trying just to capture the mist, and the coots were just there. And now I see that coot in the back is a rock.

Great Blue Heron in Browns - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Great Blue Heron in Browns

Standing on the more or less flat middle spillway, where I'm used to finding herons — Greats pretty regularly; Snowy or Cattle Egrets sometimes; Great Blue Herons fairly often; Black-or Yellow-crowned Night-Herons; and Little Blue, maybe even a Tricolored Heron or a White Ibis sometimes but not as often as before — all of whom have been seen and photographed there.

But today, we got one Great Blue.

Gulls Rising - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Gulls Rising over the Upper Spillway

Mostly Ring-billed Gulls, but may some others mixed in, too. I don't have the patience to inspect each one.

Gulls Looking Like They'd Be Going Out Over the Lake - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Gulls Looking Like They'd be Going Out Over the Lake

Ditto, just gaining altitude.

Early Morning Grackle on a Sconce - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Early Morning Crow on a Sconce

This is along the Garland Road side of Egret Island, where today were no egrets.

Wing-drying Cormorant - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Wing-drying Cormorant

Now we're back to the pond at The Lower Steps as the water turns and goes under first The Walking Bridge, then the Driving Bridge, then over a short waterfall off toward I30.

Bonaparte's Gull - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Bonaparte's Gull Flying One Way with Wings Raised

Of course I really wanted this to be a Little Gull, but it's way too big, and it wasn't nearly cold enough this morning. A Little Gull is about 11 inches long with a wingspan of 24 inches.

Bonaparte's Gull -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Bonaparte's Gull Flying with Wings Lowered

The Bonaparte's Gull averages about 13.5 inches long with a wingspan of 33 inches.

 

 

My Photos of a Pair of Red-shouldered & one Red-tailed Hawk,
Plus Kelley Murphy's photos of another Red-tailed Hawk.
Mine were shot March 3 & both were posted March 4

Red-shouldered Hawk in Tree -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Red-shouldered Hawk in Tree

I'd already photographed a Red-tailed Hawk near the end of DeGolyer Drive, but when I saw Shirley Boyd in Greater Sunset Bay (the parts that don't have a lake), she was watching this beautiful, home-grown bird in a tree across the street from where we stood. I thanked her for the vision, and we stood there and watched it pretty much not move for awhile.

Red-shouldered Hawk in Flight - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Red-shouldered Hawk in Flight

Eventually, this other bird flew us over with me clicking away …

Soon-to-be parental Red-shouldered Hawk - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Soon to be Parental Red-shouldered Hawk

I just added this shot March 7, but I took it at the same time as these others.

Red-shouldered Hawk Flying - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Red-shouldered Hawk Flying Closer

… while trying to keep it in focus before it got among the trees.

Kelley Murphy - Red-tailed Hawk on Branch

Kelley Murphy's photo of a Red-tailed Hawk

Kelley sent me these two Red-tail Hawk photographs the night before. I hadn't seen any hawks close enough to get excited about, and then suddenly, today was a hawk bonanza.

Kelley Murphy's photo of a Red-tailed Hawk in Flight

Kelley Murphy's photo of a Red-tailed Hawk in Flight

And I didn't get any side-view, flying photographs, so Kelley's fits right in here. Such a beautiful bird. And a great shot.

 Red-tailed Hawk in a Tree -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

My Photo of a Red-tailed Hawk in a Tree

Earlier, I had seen and photographed this Red-tailed Hawk along my usual roll along DeGolyer Drive toward Sunset Bay. This shot — as are many of mine — was photographed from the driver's side window in The Slider, my 2010 Prius. I would have had to get out and walk around — an overt act hawks don't usually cotton to, and they generally fly away when it happens — to photograph it from the other side to also get a front view. But I didn't see any way to do that, so this is what I got today. At least it's in focus.

I like Kelley's better, anyway. But when I am presented with a still Red-tailed Hawk, I have to at least try.

Muscovy in a Tree - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Muscovy in a Tree

I was expecting just about anything but a Muscovy in this tree as I slowly shifted this one into focus. But I am very fond of Muscovies.

 

 

Lesser Scaups in More Detail, Nests in Progress & a Suspicious Gull
Photographed March 1 & Posted Early March 3

Adult Female Lesser Scaup - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Adult Female Lesser Scaup

Handsome hen. So nice of the scaups to gather close to the pier at Sunset Bay, so I could photograph them up close and personal, for a change.

Adult Male Lesser Scaup -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Adult Male Lesser Scaup

Note the head shape, and the blue bill. These ducks have actually been called "Blue Bills."

Adult Female Lesser Scaup -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Adult Female Lesser Scaup

I've been wanting to do this multiple views treatment with various birds. Helps me — and maybe you, too — get acquainted a little more with birds who do not maintain a constant presence at WRL.

Lovely Irridescence and Odd Shape of Male Scaup's Head - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Lovely Iridescence and Odd Shape of Male Lesser Scaup's Head

I think I may actually have made this photograph just to show both you and me this peculiar head shape, although it might have helped that that purplish iridescence showed so well, too. And, for a change, most of his brighter parts actually still have texture or colorations in them.

Adult Female Lesser Scaup - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Adult Female Lesser Scaup Dribbling

They drink water or filter stuff out of it, and they can't always fully close their beaks, and they probably don't want to, which give us photographers many opportunities to catch water dribbling.

Male Lesser Scaup Flap - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Adult Male Lesser Scaup Flap

Not how high in the water he's risen here. I don't know any other ducks with this head shape — but then I really don't know many ducks, at all.

Adult Male Lesser Scaup Flap -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Adult Male Lesser Scaup Flap

And how much lower he's got here.

Adult Male Lesser Scaup Flap -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Adult Male Lesser Scaup Flap

Till he's back about to swimming level here.

The Beginnings of a Nest Involving String and Stuff - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

The Beginnings of a Nest Involving String and Stuff

This is not a new iteration of this nest. We've been watching it for years now. It grows and fails, then grows again.

Male Red-winged Blackbird Proclaims from atop something that Looks Like A Nest

Neither Anna nor I could tell for sure whether this was a bunch of leaves Nature gathered for our looking at, or a nest.

None Dare Call It Progress - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Another Kind of Nest a-Building

Seems likely it'll be a residence. That big a chunk of land on that side of White Rock Lake, and I'm guessing a rich person's estate. Should be interesting.

Ring-billed Gull on Water - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Ring-billed Gull Keeps An Eye Out

He seems to be giving me the evil eye. Suspicious birds …

 

 

Beautiful Killdeers Rousing After Bathing
Photographed February 29 & Posted Late March 1

 Killdeer Rousing After Bathing - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved. 10

Killdeer Rouse After Bathing at My Favorite Boat Ramp

I haven't been nearly this lucky at my premeditated stops at my favorite boat ramp lately, but this time proved a real treat!

Killdeer Rouse - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Killdeer Rouse Continued

I've selected these shots out of all the shots I made in those fast few seconds there, because they the most beautiful, and all together the show an amazing array of shaking feathers.

Killdeer Rouse -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Killdeer Rouse Continues

I usually think of Killdeer as brown with white accents and red-rimmed eyes. Today we got electric orange and all those dark accents, but ya hadda look quick.

Killdeer Rouse -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Killdeer Rouse Continues

I would rather it hadn't buried its face in its wing feathers here, but it's such a lovely display, who cares?

Killdeer Flap -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Killdeer Wing Flap

And this is usually what follows shaking nearly every feather on its body.

Killdeer Engaged in Full-body Rouse - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Killdeer Engaged in Full-body Rouse

But it looks like it's taking a bow. As it should.

 Shallow-diving Grackle - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

It Looks Like a Shallow-diving Grackle

But the fact is, I was so busy follow his focus, I never even conceived the question of what its head was doing under the water — if it even was down there.

Grackle Splatter Bath - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Grackle Splatter Bath

Now, with this further (and deeper) evidence, I'm guessing the water really is deeper than I thought. But I managed to get the splash and its eye both in sharp focus.

Reeds Fulla RWBBs -Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Reeds Along the Lake Bursting with Red-winged Blackbirds

Various ages and sexes and willing- and ready-nesses to breed.

Adult Breeding American Pelican Flying Over a Crooked Earth - Photograph Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Adult Breeding American Pelican Flying Over a Crooked Lake

Or J R just forgot what level was as he chased the pelican across Sunset Bay with his telephoto lens.

 


Last Month    un-kept-up Index of Pages     year ago     Bird-annotated Map of White Rock Lake      Next Month — April 2017

Except as noted, all text and photographs Copyright 2017 & before by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No reproduction in any medium without specific written permission from and payment to Writer and Photographer J R Compton. I am an amateur. I've only been birding since June 2006, and the best of that is documented in this Journal, all the pages of which continue online — see links at top and bottom of every Bird Journal page. I've been photographing professionally and semi-professionally yet always amateurishly since 1964. A total of 52 years.


389 by end March; 1242 end April; 2327 end May; 3431 early July; 4217 end July; 4965 end August; 5720 end Sept; 6464 end Oct-16; 7200 end Nov.; 8012 end Dec; 8566 end Jan 17; 9145 end Feb;