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The Amateur Birder's Journal - Stories & Photographs by J R Compton

The Current Journal is always Here  All Contents Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved.  DO NOT USE photos without permission blue dot Photo Equipment Used blue dot Ethics green square Feedback green square Coyotes red diamond Bird Rescue Advice red diamond Name That Bird green square Herons green square Egrets green square Herons & Egrets green square Books and Links green square Pelican Beak Weirdness green square Pelicans Playing Catch green square Rouses green square Courtship Displays blue dot 800e Journal blue dot G5 Journal green square Duck Love green square Birding Galveston green square 2nd Birds of the Lower Rio Grande Valley & the 1st green square 14 seconds of Bald Eagle  > This Month: First Egret Dancing  More Egrets Dancing  Odd Ducks  Hawk Close-up  My new How to Start Photographing Birds page explains in the simplest terms...

Annette Abbot has added considerably to the identifications of
the ducks in Sunset Bay. See her words below in this color.

Random Pelican Pix from the last week or so

November 29

 American White Pelicans - Style and Grace - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

American White Pelicans - Style and Grace

With Cormorants closer and under.

Big Wings Landing - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Big Wings Landing

They don't just stretch their wings outward for special maneuvers, sometimes they breadthen them up to catch more air to reduce landing speed.

Two Pelicans Holding Feathers - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Two Pelicans Holding Feathers

Feathers are vaguely like fingers, because they are an extension of birds' wings/arms, and they have some movement with them, but no opposing thumbs to pick things up. And of course, once the flap the other way, the contact is lost again.

And this only might be the same birds - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

And These Only May Be the Same Birds

But note how those feathers are actually front and back of the feathers on the lower bird here.

Touching Or Almost - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Touching Or Almost-Touching

Some feathers on this side of that wing; others on the other side. They are holding feathers during a glide.

Pelican Flying Low - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Pelican Flying Low

Looks like I'm at great height looking down, but I just got the camera crooked and the pelican is banking to the left.

And Just About Landing - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

And Just About Landing

Gear down and rigid into skidding position. Splashes will follow.

Photographing a Vertical Bird with Horizontal Format - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Photographing a Vertical Bird in Horizontal Format

Holding my Nikon sidewise is difficult enough with a stationary bird, but for one flying, it's sometimes nearly impossible. So I usually hold it horizontally.

Landing Near Cormorants - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Landing Near Cormorants

I probably wasn't paying much attention to whom was behind them, but I like getting other species in to finish out the composition.

Pelicans Low and Inside - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Pelicans Low and Inside

Low off the water and inside Sunset Bay. That's Dreyfuss Point behind them, all humaned up with a moving automobile, a trash bin and what looks like a postal box but is probably yet another trash bin. The non black & white birds are Double-crested Cormorants.

 

Thanksgiving birds at Sunset Bay

November 28

 Buncha Ducks - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Buncha Ducks Gathered for Thanksgiving Dinner

After dinner with old and new friends, I headed for Sunset Bay, where ducks had gathered for their own feed-fest. As usual, today's images are in chronological order, which mainly means, it got darker. Most of these ducks are going up the hill, with the lake on the right.

Pelican Landing 1 - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Pelican Landing I

I was surprised to also see a pelican landing, though it did not show up on the beach.

Pelican Landing II - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Pelican Landing II

I was just experimenting much of my stay there. Amazed so many of these even worked.

A Strewing, Drawn-out Splash - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

A Long, Strewing, Drawn-out Duck Splash

Loved all the splashing.

More Ducks - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

More Ducks Heading for the Lake

Ducks dawdled up the beach to where Charles poured grain corn for them, but at the least provocation they rushed back to the safety of the lake. Sometimes they walked.

Ducks Escaping - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Ducks Escaping

Occasionally, they flew.

Two Male Mallrads - Flying - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Two Male Mallards in Just-taken-off Quickie Flying Form

Including these guys on one of the few of these shots I got sharp, even though I could barely see, it was so dark. Yes, flash.

Drippy-belly Pintail Duck - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Drippy Belly Pintail Duck on Sunset Beach

And here's the lone Pintail, complete with droplets of water on his undersides. Like water on a duck's belly.

Surfing Coot - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Surfing Coot

And when coots get nervous of steal another coot's food, they rush across the water, running as fast as those strange, lobed feet will carry them, then to slow down they sploosh in the water like this. If I'd been quicker, I'd have got the running, not the coasting, but it was dark, but the on-camera flash equalizes.

Coots Looking A Lot Like Coots - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Coots Looking a Lot Like Coots

So was this. When you can see everybody's eyes shining bright white like this, you know the intrepid photographer has used his on-camera flash to add illumination to the crowd of black American Coots.

Splash-hop, Splash-fly - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Splash - Hop - Splash - Fly

And this was just pure simple luck. A pelican hopping two-footed into flight. Gradually, all the inner-bay pelicans left the area, but this was the only one I caught on silicon.

Two Mallards Flying from Sunset Beach - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Two Mallards Flying From Sunset Beach

And most of my attempts to capture images of the fleeing flying ducks were rendered as deep, dark muck, but this one was sharp, colorful and stopped the action of speedily flapping away. For this and the couple others above, pre-focusing was the answer. Focus on something over there at about the same distance without quite knowing where they'd be when I finally clicked, then wait for the loud flutter of many ducks' wings exploding in fear, wait a few seconds, then click-flash.

 

Hawk Parked on a No-Parking Sign

November 27

 RSH on a No Parking Sign - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

No Parking or Standing

I'd seen a Red-tailed Hawk fly over Garland Road toward the lake over the Arboretum, and I wondered if I could see it as it cruised toward the lake, if it did that, so I turned on East Lawther Drive and kept stopping The Slider, getting out — not nearly so cold as it's been — and looking up and up and up. But nothing.

So I was tooling along, looking up and out over the lake and even at the signs flowing by me, left and right — like this one, thus sighting this beautiful creature, who was probably hatched within a mile of where I found it.

RSH on a Sign - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

I kept getting closer

And it didn't seem to mind at all. I crept the Slider closer, and got out, because I didn't want to shoot through its multi-bending windshield. Didn't want any distortion getting in my way. Closer and closer.

Hawk Looking Up - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Red-shouldered Hawk Looking Up

Till I passed the sign, hoping it would stay right there, where I loved the light from this side.

Close-up - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Red-shouldered Hawk Close-up

This is an enlargement of the upper portion of yet another shot from the far side of the sign. Luscious colors and details. These photographs are a great deal more detailed and higher resolution than most of them I post here. I couldn't help myself, but there's far fewer than I often post here, so it averages out.

Extreme Close-up Red-shouldered Hawk - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Extreme Close-up / Red-shouldered Hawk

It's not really an extreme close-up, it's an enlargement. A really good lens lets me do that. My old Nikon 70-300 wouldn't, and my Stigmata 150-500 would never. Looky how sharp that beak is. Oof!

When I first saw it on the sign and not fleeing at the first sight of something human getting out of the bright white car, I worried it might be ill. Not many birds let me get this close, although my lens was only 300mm. I kept worrying after I'd felt like I'd bothered this Red-Shouldered Hawk way plenty already and driven off, so I looped around again, past Barbec's, down Garland Road, and up the lake-side one-lane road again, and it was gone.

Usually photographing a hawk, any hawk, means a few seconds-only, and it's gone. Only other time I'd ever got this close to a real live hawk was at one of those traveling circuses a wildlife reserve or Audubon or somebody birdly puts on, and those birds are fidgety and almost never this calm, and besides, they're not really wild birds. I'm still not over how cool it was. Wow!

Later, I figured it was busy digesting its latest meal, and did not find it worth the effort to fly away, just because some guy wa pointing a long, black lens-looking thing at it.

 

Mostly Sunset Bay

November 26

Pelicans Through The Trees - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.  

Pelicans and a Mallard Through the Trees

Sometimes I get so tired of photographing the same thing over and over again — and sometimes I don't. It's almost as if anything a pelican does or attempts is something I want to photograph it doing. But when I do that for too long, I feel the need to attempt other things, other views, other photographing notions, other birds, to balance it. Oh, just about anything to spice it up.

Pelicans Through the Trees - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Pelicans Through the Trees

I walk past these trees almost every day of my life. Except for the three or so branches that almost blocked the way onto the pier, it was perfect when it was almost blocked off from the rest of Sunset Bay Proper, so I was upset with The City for clearing out most of these trees, who are my friends, but I was enjoying the view of this little swamp and kinda glad it was possible to photograph through it. Which is probably why I didn't complain too much.

Ring-billed Gull Pretending It's an Eagle - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Ring-billed Eagle

I guess everybody gets fierce from time to time. This shot of a Ring-billed Gull looks like it's pretending to be an eagle or hawk, but I suspect it would be more accurate to say it's just a gull being loud and aggressive. Not that surprising, really.

Grackle Tree - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

A Tree Full of Great-tailed Grackles

Yes, these are shots I didn't manage to fit in earlier this month. I guess I've been saving them up.

Mallard Family - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Mallard Family

Sometimes I save them up because I wasn't sure I liked them enough to show them before.

The Lone Pelican - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

The Lone Pelican

Sometimes I save them, because they seem a little more somber than whatever tale I'm spinning at the moment.

Corms and Gulls Out On The Logs - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Corms and Gulls out on The Logs

Sometimes I'm not so sure I like them right after I shoot them. Very early in my photography career, after my newspaper days and on the verge of me showing pix in art shows, it might take me as long as a year or two to really figure out what I wanted to show.

Corms and Gulls in The Mist - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Corms and Gulls (Double-crested Cormorants and Ring-billed Gulls Out in The Mist

In the last few years, I've had to decide almost immediately, and with guesses that quick, I sometimes pass on some fairly decent shots. Sometimes I throw them away, often I save them.

American White Pelican Under Mockingbird Bridge - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

American White Pelican Under Mockingbird Car Bridge

Today, I threw away (permanent delete) more than 12 gigabytes of bird pix that did not measure up to my exacting standards, and I haven't even begun to show you the good picks out of that large pile. But I likely will.

Male Great-tailed Grackle Belts it Out - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Male Great-tailed Grackle Belts It Out in the Mist

These are all pix I fully expected to have shown you already, but it just didn't happen.

B&W Spotted Duck - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Mallard Left and Black & White Spotted Duck along The Big Thicket

And I especially wanted to show this duck with those other ducks

Corms Crowd a Pier - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Cormorants Crowd a Pier Along Yacht Club Row

Odd that I feel a deep need to count American White Pelicans, but I rarely have that need to count cormorants. That just doesn't seem fair.

Male Grackle Proclaiming - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Male Great-tailed Grackle Proclaiming

I read on Bird Chat yesterday that someone was claiming never to have photographed any domestic birds, only ever wild ones. I never though of grackles as domestic or wild, really. But on this journal, I'll photograph any bird, regardless of its pedigree. A bird is a bird is a bird, and I am overtly fond of all of them.

Cormorants STanding and Sitting - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Cormorants Standing and Swimming

They're in a lovely disarray. I liked this shot, then I didn't, then I did, etc.

Cormorants Fishing - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Cormorant Fishing Party

Just cormorants. I didn't see any gulls or pelicans among them.

Female Grackle on Sign - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Female Grackle on Sign

I've come to believe that if a bird is on a sign, it's a Mockingbird, but this is definitely not a mocker.

Rapidly Escaping GBH - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Rapidly Escaping Great Blue Heron

I didn't see it, and I must have startled it, and as it flew it grumped at me for making it move from a perfectly decent place to find fish, to one that was not nearly so perfect.

Rapid GBH - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Rapid GBH

Of course, as soon as I was finished photographing it, I apologized, although it may have been too far away by then to hear me.

Rapid GBH - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Rapid GBH

Is there an app for knowing there's a Great Blue Heron hiding in the bushes who will be upset if it decides it has to fly off to the next perch down the shore, if I come a walking?

Starling Flyby - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Starling Flyby

I did not scare these guys. They were just landing and flying and landing and ...

Starlings Rising - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Starlings Rising

But every time I lined up a shot of them mostly on the ground, they suddenly weren't.

Fluttering Starlings - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Fluttering Starlings

Just when I thought I was finally getting into the rhythm of their ebb and flow, they flowed away.

Pelican Beak Wide - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.  

Pelican Beak Wide

Or at least tall.

Mean-looking Ringbill - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Mean-looking Ring-billed Gull

But it only looks that way. It was, in fact, a perfectly pleasant companion on a cool pier in a cold wind. We talked awhile, and it didn't get scared and fly off when I approached, and it had some perfectly pleasant things to say, even if we were both too cold to stand around.

Feather in the Water - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Feather in the Water

With a well-placed drop of water on top.

Double-crested Cormorants Lined Up Along Hidden Creek Forest - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Double-crested Cormorants Slinging Up Along the Shore

The shore along the Hidden Creeks Area between Sunset Bay Proper and Dreyfuss Point.

Two Egrets and a Cormorant on the Steps - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Two Great Egrets and a Cormorant on the Lower Steps

And one of them appears to be doing an interesting kind of dance, although I believe what was actually happening was a leg and wing-stretch I just missed.

A Peculiar Pattern of Great-tailed Grackles - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

A Peculiar Pattern of Great-tailed Grackles

I think this would make a great pattern for a shirt. These days, I guess it would have to be a long-sleeved and maybe fleecy shirt.

Great Blue Heron Standing on One Leg - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Great Blue Heron Standing on One Leg

A very cold day.

Eeg, Duck and Two Cormorants - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Great Egret, Female Mallard and Two Cormorants

Probably all but the duck are looking for fish.

the B&W of it - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

The Black & White of It

A big, white Mute Swan with what looks like a yellow neck — it's really white, too — and a little bitty American Coot, who is mostly black with a bright white bill most of the time. This is in sunlight, so you know if wasn't photographed this week.

 

Some Ducks in Sunset Bay

November 22

 Tan Mallard Hybrid - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Tan and Dark Brown Male Mallard Hybrid

The bird behind this one looks more Mallard-like with its green head, but that one's body is dark brown. This one's a male, because it's tail feathers curl forward, a telltale sign. Its head looks like it's about to sprout a poof (gotta be real name for that). Nearly all of today's ducks are mallard hybrids, but then nearly all hybrid ducks come from mallard stock, because they'll mate with anybody, and the males are especially equipped to do that.

Green-headed Brown Black Duck - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Green-headed Brown-black Duck with Yellow Beak

I think this is a more grown-up version of the six, so-called Black Ducks left off at the lake sometime last year or the year before. They've been around a long time, and it's been diverting to see what colors they've adopted each new season. I'm showing it here with a more or less standard male Mallard for comparison.

Large Gray and White Duck - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Heavy Gray and White Duck — A Blue Swedish

Pretty sure it's a duck, but maybe it's got some Muscovy in its heritage, but it's big as a goose. There are seasons or at least weeks when I think these big mottled gray ducks are beautiful. Not quite there now, but close.

A couple days later, I got an email from Annette Abbot saying, "Believe I can help you identify some of them. They are part of a group of domestic ducks someone has been dropping off at the lake in the last few months. According to domestic duck and goose experts, Chris and Mike Ashton, the gray and white one is a Blue Swedish duck. Pretty much any duck with a tuxedo is a Swedish duck or a Swedish duck hybrid. … The Ashton's have a website with this info also."

Ashton Waterfowl site   links include    Heavy Ducks   Light Ducks   Call Ducks (the smallest varieties)   Bantam Ducks (the garden variety, make good pets.)   Indian Runners (who stand upright).

Annette said, "Hard to identify the ducks with all the hybrids out there. Domestic ducks can be very big, as big as our geese!"

Large Mottled Brown Duck - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Large, Mottled Brown Duck Swimming

Despite what appears to be its balding face and immensity, this is one beautiful duck. Not the very Mallard-like beak and head (shape, at least). "The brown mottled ones are Appleyards … not real common and most of the ones dropped off didn't seem to be too healthy."

Mottled Brown & White Duck Walking - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Appleyard Duck Walking

Note the size and the goose-like underhang, and here its head shows much more green, and the tell-tale blue, wing-bars showing through.

Mottled Brown & White Fem Mall with Broken Lower Mandible - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Where do I begin?

A lot like a female Mallard, except it's got an adult male Mallard's breast color and downy white feathers like a juvenile Mallard's underside, but yellow beak, what's left of it. Its upper mandible is broken, so it doesn't extend as far as the lower one, making it look a little mangled. I'm guessing this is a male Mallard.

Tan Splotched Blond Duck - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Tan-splotched Blond-brownish Duck with Orange Beak

And it's legs seem to be attached toward the rear of its body. I didn't see it on land, but it might be an Indian-runner-like bird who walks upright. I'd like to see it do that, if my surmise is accurate. If if. "Not sure what the light brown, tan, one is. Could possibly be an Orpington but don't know too much about that breed. Saxony females are also that color."  And this is, according to the curly feather rule, at least, a female.

Poofy-top White Ducks Among Coots - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Poofy-top White Ducks Among Coots

We have all kinds of white ducks, every once-in-a-while, one of the pops up with a new crown. All these others were photographed on one, gray day. This one was done on a not-so-long-ago day with sunshine. "The pouf of feathers is called a "crest" and is highly prized among duck breeders. However, since it is formed when the skull doesn't close fully when the duckling is forming, I am not as enamored with the cute little crests as I used to be. …"

Large, light and dark browns and mottled duck - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Large, Light and Dark Brown and Gray and Mottled Duck

Male, with dark brown head, very Mallard-like yellow beak, white-edged wings. Lovely mix of colors, but big.

Brown-black Ducks with White Fronts or ... Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Dark Brown Ducks with White Fronts or Bellies and Green Heads

And two poofs on the way. These, again, might have begun life as dark brown, almost black bodies, or else they've come along lately. I'm sure there are 'fancy' duck-growers out there working hard at confusing us all.

White-fronted Brown-black Duck with Green Head Swimming - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

White-fronted Brown-black Duck with Green Head Swimming

I'd have to call this one cute, and those middle-browns are gorgeous. The orange streak following it is its bright orange right foot, drag-steering it.

Mostly Brown Female Mallard - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Mostly Brown, Mostly regulation female Mallard with Coots Back

Most female Mallards have those bright white bars on their wings with the luscious blue stripes between them. I have to say 'most,' because I still haven't seen all female mallards. Down to this pic, I'd guess most of those ducks are not exactly wild, but this and the next two down certainly are.

 Male Blue-bill - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Male Blue-bill

And, of course, I need to mention our small but probably growing population of Scaups, which are, as should by now be obvious, a species of duck, although they tend to blend in with the coots, and from whom many people cannot distinguish them.

Male Pintail Duck - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Male Pintail Duck

Talk about handsome, and dashing. Amazing markings with its herringbone suit, bright shirt whose white extends up its neck and along the back of its face, and those florid wings sweeping back towards its long, pointing pin tail. This wild duck has been hanging out in or around Sunset Bay and lagoon for several weeks. Not sure what he's waiting for. Maybe he lost his mate, although she looks enough like a female Mallard to blend in easily, but he's usually alone, even in a crowd.

As winter comes more upon us, there will be many more odd ducks joining the party, most of whom who have been seen in Sunset Bay, although they'll be visible all around the lake.

First, the Ruddy Ducks will settle into the notch of lake between the road around The Arboretum and Winfrey Point. Hundreds, sometimes thousands of Ruddies will float out well out from shore, and it will be a challenge to catch them a little closer, which they try not to do while photographers are around, but they, too, are beautiful ducks with lots of interesting details. And they'll get redder before they all fly away. Another species to watch out for are the Buffleheads, who will suddenly appear on the west side of the lake after it stays a little colder than this. No telling who all else will show up, but I'm looking forward to them all.

 

All Around White Rock Lake

November 20

 Great-tailed Grackle Chases a Ring-billed Gull - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Great-tailed Grackle Chasing a Ring-billed Gull

'Bout time I paid attention to somebody besides pelicans, don't you think? Found these along The Big Thicket after failing to find anybody at two other places.

Grackle Still Chasing Gull - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Still Chasing That Gull

Didn't seem so at first, but soon it became obvious that the far end was really hoppin' with gulls and grackles. Two of the former, and one annoyed member of the latter here. That grackle chased that gull until they were both out of sight.

Gull-A-Thon - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

It's A Gull-A-Thon

And when I aimed back into the thick of it, more gulls had arrived.

Gulls About to Take Wing - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Gulls About to Take Wing

Then those few who did not already have its wings up, got their wings up, so they could …

And Are Off - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

And Are Off

Get up into the air and fly away.

Ring-billed Gull Against the Sun - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Ring-billed Gull Against the Sun

Movie directors call this time "The Golden Hour," and it was beautiful. Warm enough to roll down the windows and playing music loud driving home. Felt good.

Hops Into The Air - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Another One Hops into Low Air

And eventually I snapped to the fact that I'd been photographing gulls on purpose, and having quite a challenge of it.

And Flies - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

And Flies ...

And getting some interesting pictures.

Away - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

... Away

Having the setting sun on the far side of the lake helped.

And So Does This One - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

And So Does This One

As did having practiced with all those pelicans, so now I can almost catch up with faster moving birds.

 

Sunset Bay

November 19

 Pelican Mob Coming Back from Fishing - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Pelican Mob Coming Back from Fishing

Standing as usual on the pier in Sunset Bay talking with another photographer. Both of us having gangbusters fun. When the pelicans began materializing out past the logs. Lots of them materializing. Oodles.

Buncha Swoopers and a Flapper - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Buncha Swoopers and a Flapper

A bit of a close-up. Actually, I just blew this up a bit more.

Pelicans Come Marching Home - Hurrah@ - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

The Pelicans Come Marching Home Again — Hurrah! Hurrah!

I love it when I get to see this many pelicans come flying home. Probably one of the reasons I go to the lake at different times.

More Pelicans - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

More Pelicans Coming

And more keep coming.

Pelican Bullet - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Pelican Bullet Sizzling By

This one ventured fairly close. This might be the only pelican who flew over the logs to go check out the inner-bay situation. It flew around both places where pelicans have been resting fairly close to the shore, saw none of his friends there, so he flew by the pier (Thank you!), then back out to the logs. Apparently a person in a kayak had cleared the scene. Later, I was told that a call to one of the police officers who patrol the area, might help stop paddlers intent on evil. It is against the law to molest shore birds.

Male Scaup Preening - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Male Scaup Preening

We only have Scaups for a little while each year. They gather to four or six males usually, and those are visited once or twice by a couple of female, then the females fly off. Weeks or a month later, the males finally leave. Note the color of their bills. They are sometimes called "Blue Bills."

The Scaup is smaller - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Coots Are Little, But the Scaup Is Smaller

I still think coots are small, but note how very small bluebills must be.

The Front One Looks Younger - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

The Front One Looks Smaller

Dad and one kid?

 

November 18

Pelican Banking for Turn - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Pelican Banking for Turn

That same dull gray day. Highly imperfect lighting, but I managed anyway, and got these, which I could probably print huge, if I were of a mind to. Unfortunately, I don't have much wall space left, so I'm not sure where I'd put them if I did. This pelican's left wing is blurry in the wind, but it's amazing sharp, and boy does the lens focus faster without the doubler. It's probably a little sharper, too. And it offers an interesting new perspective. I've been wanting a wide angle lens, and I suppose compared to 600mm, 300mm is at leas wider an angle lens. I'm digging it.

AWPelk Flyover - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

American White Pelican Flyover

Love, love, love watching them fly high, but for photographing, lower is better. Gotta fill that frame. I just aim, wait for focus and shoot in rapid bursts for these shirts, stopping either when I turn myself inside out or have aimed the camera up around and past my head, so I need to straighten out before I can shoot again.

Toe in Water Air-speed Reduction Before Landing - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Toe-in-water Airspeed Reduction About Thirty Feet From Landing

Note the little splash by its right foot — just enough to keep it from crashing into the pelicans you can see one of at the bottom right of this frame.

Mallards Flying Out of the Lagoon - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Wet, Dripping Mallards Flying Out from Sunset Lagoon

I probably need to blow these up a lot more for you to see how sharp they are, but I guess those water drops dripping off them will have to do for now.

Mallards High Overhead - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Mallards High Overhead

I wanted to show all seven birds in this flock, but the more I included, the smaller each one got, so I jettisoned a couple birds to get them this big. Note the gray sky beyond them looking the faintest, ever so light, blue. The weather guys promised warm and bright for today, but it never quite made it.

Katy the Mute Swan - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Katy the Mute Swan

Up close from the bottom edge of the pier at Sunset Bay.

Lower Mandible Inveron - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Lower Mandible Inversion, which sometimes leads to …

Been awhile since I've done one of these. Nice to have the whole sequence in one series, though there's not a prescribed order of these things. It's however the particular pelican wants to do these things. I shot one other series with an interesting twist at the beginning, but this one was closer, so I'll do it now, and maybe get around to the other sometime later.

American White Pelican Mandible Stretch - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Extreme Reversal of Mandible Inversion

The reason they stretch their lower mandible — or jaw — is so they can keep it malleable, so they can drag in a bunch of fish and it won't tear — and yes, I've seen pelicans with torn lower mandibles, and it must be pretty awful not to get to use it however they'd like to.

American White Pelican Mandible Stretch - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Big Gaping Maw

Perhaps the most oval-like jaw stretch I've seen. I'll likely post this one on the Strange Things Pelicans Do With the Beaks page.

American White Pelican Mandible Stretch - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

With Neck Stretched Full-length Up

I'm only recognizing that this pelican has not only stretched its beak here, it is also stretching it neck up here, and then down in the next shot down.

American White Pelican Mandible Stretch - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Neck Tuck with Beak Still Nearly Fully Extended with Rounded Beak

At least 'rounded' compared to how pointed its beak is in the next shot:

American White Pelican Mandible Stretch - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Full Beak Stretch Up with Pointy Beak

Its head and face is still there, just obscured by its stretched-tight lower mandible. This camera, when it gets going, goes at four frames a second, so I think this time I just held the button down. Meaning all this stretching only took a couple seconds, overall.

American White Pelican Mandible Stretch - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

And Back to Normal

Which brings us back to a pretty normal looking American White Pelican. This day, I was joined by two — and for a little while, three — other photographers on the Pier At Sunset Bay, and two of them seemed knowledgeable about birds, so they were particularly fun to converse with. The other photographer never said a word.

 

November 16

 Coot Preening an Injured Friend - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Coot Preening an Injured or Ill Friend

Coot Preening Injured Friend - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Coot Preening an Sickly Friend - Close-up

I watched these guys for maybe five minutes. The healthy coot was picking something out of the other one's head feathers. I've never seen this behavior before, so I was careful to capture it. Could not have done it with my extender on my lens, but it's at the shop now and I hope they can fix it. Anyway, now I'm only using the 300mm lens itself, and everything is sharper, even on a dull, darkish, cloudy day.

 

Poppy Drive in Upper Sunset Bay

November 15

Sparrows Eating Fries - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

House Sparrows Eating Chips

When there wasn't any traffic on Poppy Drive past the hospitals then right down into the park, these sparrow could have their way with the fast-food bag of jettisoned food. But when cars got with a couple dozen feet, the birds swooped away. I wasn't fast enough to catch them doing that, so I settled for trying to catch them eating between cars.

Hot Fresh French Fries - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Fresh Chips

What they're eating looks like French Fries or popcorn or bun with mustard, but they were obviously enjoying, and they hardly seemed to notice that they had to fly away when cars approached, although they didn't mind The Slider sliding up slowly along the No Parking curb.

Adult Male Breeding House Sparrow Chewing Chips - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Adult Male Breeding House Sparrow 'chewing' something

I guess I don't eat nearly enough fast food, because I don't recognize the bag.

The Sparrow Flock Waits - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Waiting for the Rebirth of Wonder

Then just as I was leaving, I realized that if they could follow my motion, I could move the bag to the sidewalk on the other side of the road, and maybe they could have their way with it. But when I left, they were still not finding it, just hanging out in the trees almost directly over where I dropped the bag, food tears up. Guess I should have left it in the middle of traffic.

Back to Pelicans Sunday or Monday.

 

All Around the Lake

November 13

 

Quick Pelican Takeoff

The most exciting moments of my bird photographing today's was when a total of maybe seven American White Pelicans left the clatch of pelicans closest to the pier in Sunset Bay, where I stood in the cold, to fly out across the lake where other pelicans, cormorants and gulls had already been swimming back and forth across the lake for fish.

Inches Off the Tarmac - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Inches Off the Tarmac, Ready to Hop at Least One More Time

But I noticed that they were leaving, two at a time, splash-hopping across the very shallow water of Sunset Bay to get up flight speed, then flying out to the fishing fleet. Photographing them hopping and flying off was comparatively easy. These images are of several birds doing that.

And Up - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

And Up

I'd seen them as I drove along Arboretum Drive toward Winfrey Point and Sunset Bay just beyond. I still don't know how the word gets from those birds way across the lake, back to the klatches of pelicans in Sunset Bay.

Swimming In Air - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Swimming in Air

But catching them, especially more than one of them, actually getting ready and looking like they were next, was next to impossible.

And Up - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

And Upper

I watched carefully, and I paid my full attention, but I did not recognize which pelicans were going to do that, so I'm lucky I got these.

On Past the Logs and their cormorants - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

On Past The Logs and Their Cormorants

I kept hoping to catch them, and they kept surprising me. As usual.

TRanslucent Red-tailed Hawk - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Translucent Red-tailed Hawk

This and one other hawk flew high over Sunset Bay, and I wondered if my lens would separate them from the sky. It did spectacularly well.

American Coot - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

American Coot

Between 'important shots,' I did what I always do, photograph anything that looks interesting. I'd been trying to capture coots for awhile. They're dark-feathered and bright, white faced, so they're always a challenge to get the exposure so their overall black bodies to show dark and that brilliant white beak to show bright, in the same picture. Kinda like this. Noble little beasts.

Mad Dash - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Mad Dash for Fish

Fishing in a fleet of birds is often a competitive event, even if everybody is collaborating to drive the fish into a smaller and more accessible area.

Rush Near the Dam - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Rush Near the Dam

Whoever gets to the fish first, eats. Everybody else hopes there's more fish for them.

Big Bunch of Busy Birds - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Big Bunch of Busy Birds

It can get pretty exciting, or it can be just plain boring.

Pelican Wing Stretch - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Pelican Wing Stretch

 

Sunset Bay, My Favorite Place to test a lens

November 12

 Turkey Vulture Over - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Turkey Vulture Over

I don't think I've ever got this sharp a pic of a TV (Turkey Vulture), which is all the more wonderful, because today was my first test of just my camera and telephoto lens — no telextender, and I quickly learned that unit caused the out-of-focus issue that plagued me the last couple days. I woke up with the notion of taking it off, took it off, and was amazed.

Compare any of today's images with yesterday's attempts, which were taken last week, and you might get some glimmer of how glad I am.

Full-frame Pelican - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Full-frame Pelican

And it's sharp, sharp, sharp as it flies nearly directly over my head. This thrills me. It always thrills me when I manage to render some hapless bird this remarkably sharp. Yippee! the lens works, and the camera works. I only need to get the 2X telextender fixed. Sigh.

Juvenile Double-crested Cormorant Over - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Juvenile Double-crested Cormorant Over

I'm always at a disadvantage when I'm shooting straight up into the sky at something flying over, because I'm generally panning along with it, which means by the time it's straight up over me, I'm pointing a heavy lens (and camera) in about the most distorted position I've got for cameras. No wonder my back hurts, it's a wholly unnatural position. Nice, sharp bird, though.

Two Pelicans Flying By - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Two Pelicans Flying By

Weren't nearly as many pelicans in Sunset Bay this morning as there were yesterday at nearly the same time, so there wasn't as much activity or birds flying thither and yon, but a few obliged me by flying by.

Single Pelican Flying By - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Solo Pelican in Full Foot-tucked Pose Flies Rapidly Past

These last two shots would have been nearly impossible with the teleXtender on. Almost perfect for a lens with half the number of millimeters. Superb.

And One More - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

And One Last Shot

Same bird as above, but with very slightly differing angle of view.

TV Over - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Turkey Vultures Rock!

Jonathan Livingston Turkey Vulture. Amazing beautiful birds, considering where they stick their long, pointed faces and bald heads.

 

How sharp is this — Bird Pix for Today's Entry

November 11

Pelican Near Landing - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.  

Pelican Near Landing

I'm either frummed or beeked — a cross between freaked and bummed. I shot 305 images this morning — mostly of Pelicans coming back from across the lake. We rarely see them before they reach the outer limits of Sunset Bay. Then, suddenly they materialize right at the logs farthest out. But I was SO excited to be photographing them. I did notice that I was getting less focus than usual, and I wondered why, but I figured surely some of those shots would be in sharp focus. Surely enough to show them here.

Inches from a Skid - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Inches from a Skid

But I was wrong, wrong, wrong. Not a single one of the photographs I thought I was making this morning were in focus. Not even one.

In Position - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

In Position and Still Flapping

You may be wondering what I'm going on about. These look fine, sharp and a little better than just decent. Certainly acceptable. What's the deal, J R?

Skidding - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Skidding

Well, the deal is I shot these last Friday — the same day I also photographed the Great Egrets Aerial Dancing. These are acceptably sharp, and now they even feel a little rub-it-in-my-face sharp.

Two Male Mallrds Coming In - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Two Male Mallards Coming In

Looking good. Looking very good.

Ring-billed Gull - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Ring-billed Gull

Today's pictures are way different. They're soft, not worth posting. So I didn't.

Great Egret Flying Low - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Great Egret Over the Surf

I won't be showing today's photographs, because something bad is the matter with either my lens or my camera.

Great Egret Flat Out - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Great Egret Flat Out past The Dam

One or the other — lens or camera — is bunged. I've run a series of tests, with other cameras and other lenses, and I'm just not sure what the deal is. What is it gone bad?

Great Egret on a Sliver of a Stick Sticking Out - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Great Egret on a Sliver of a Stick Sticking Out

I love the tonalities and gentle colors of this one. The eye is sharp, which leads us to believe that the whole thing is, though its legs are a tad soft. Long telephoto lenses do that.

Egret Soars Over the Spillway - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Egret Soars Over the Spillway

Exactly what my long telephoto is doing now, today, Monday, Veteran's Day, I really don't know. I'll probably break out one of my elder cameras for tomorrow, and hope to get to photograph more pelicans flying in. Meanwhile, I'll worry and fret, and run more tests when I'm sure I know what I'm doing. The mount seems too loose. I seem too tight. I just don't know.

Well, I retested with my intelligence turned on this time, and it's not the lens. Thank the goodnesses for that, because I've learned to think with that chunk of metal and glass. But I've grown fond of the camera, too. Hmmm.

 

More Aerial Dancing

November 7

 The Challenge - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

First: The Challenge

Stretch neck as far as it will go, lean head back, then hold that pose a while — maybe 20 or so seconds or longer. If the challengee assumes the same pose, the competition begins, although sometimes this step seems unnecessary. Then comes The Chase, which may be followed by The Aerial Ballet.

The Chase - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Then: The Chase

And the chase was on.

The Dance Begins - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Then: The Dance Begins

Ballet dancers only dream of flying. It seems easy for these Great Egrets. They often get to it fast, then it's over. I assume one of them won. I just don't know which. They seem to decide that themselves. But almost as soon as I got into this one, it was over.

 

Flying Facing Dance - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Flying Facing Egret Dance with Fish

Seven minutes later, two more egrets go at it. One of them has a fish, so the issue for the mock battle that I call Egret Dancing is a little more clear. Since their main game in the spillway is fishing, it seems entirely likely that they are competing either for position — the best place to find and catch more fish — or the fish itself.

Look Down with Fish - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Look Down with Fish

It's sure not for mating rights, about which they also 'fight' like this sometimes, but usually closer to next spring, not this late autumn, with winter between. I'm never sure what's up in their minds. I saw — and photographed them air dancing yesterday, and I hoped they'd do it again today, and that I could capture some of it. And they did, and I managed to catch more of the action today.

 

Egret Flat Out - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Egret Flat Out

This picture marks the beginning of a new, much longer and more ornate story. I'm following a flying egret with no idea where it was headed, just that it was comparatively close through my telephoto lens.

Heading Up the Dam - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Heading Up the Dam

Then it flew up the dam.

Another Chase Begun - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Another Chase Begun

And from this frame to several following, I have no idea what's going on, I was just in it for the action. I assume one of these is the egret who just flew up the dam, and the other was just standing there, maybe even looking for fish it could grab and eat.

On Off from the Dam - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

On Off from the Dam

And the chase was on.

Looks Up in Surprise - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Looks Up in Surprise

Then they engage as only egrets do — far as I know. Although I saw some Willets doing something very similar once, only they were flying higher and over a field, not water. I'm pretty sure they were displaying for mating.

Not Exactly the Two-Step - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Not Exactly the Two-Step

I especially like this one, at least partially because I don't know what's going on, but I can tell that something interesting is happening. The one on the left is floating in place with its wings outstretched. The lower egret is whipping around, its wingtips blurring but its feet sharp and still in all the movement and implied movement. It is clearly the secondary actor here. It is reacting. The upper bird is the upper bird, the actor.

Doe See Doe - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Doe See Doe

And this was a long way off, but a good lens renders it very well, even as a smaller portion of the frame, and there's good action going. Lots of action and wings splayed.

Look Back Wondering - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Look Back Wondering

Am I'm always amazed how they seem to be standing on air doing whatever is going on here. Looks like a quick double-take with the bird on the right.

Rock 'n Roll - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Rock 'n Roll

I also love the fact that with all this flying and/or floating action, nobody ever rends flesh or tears feathers. No blood was spilled in the creation of this story. It's all symbolic or visual, very visual. And it happens quick. Way quicker than showing you all these images.

Swing - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Swing

They're so elegant in their motion.

And Around - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

And Around

And it's gangbusters fun to try to keep up with. Then, suddenly...

Floating - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Floating

,,, a little quicker than it started, this largely symbolic show of aggression stopped, and though I hung around awhile longer, the aerial dance action was over for the evening, apparently.

 

Catching Fish on the Dam &
Egrets Dancing over the Spillway

November 6

 The Egret Line-up - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

The Line-up — Egrets on the Dam

Egrets lined up along the top edge of the dam. I assumed they were there for fish, but for most of the time I watched and photographed, nobody dipped down to catch something. I wondered about that but kept watching.

Fisher Stoops to Conquer - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Fisher Stoops to Conquer

When this happened. The third Great Egret from the left stooped down …

The Fisher Stabs - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

The Fisher Stabs

… buried beak in fluid for a fraction of a second or so.

Pulls It Dripping Out - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Pulls It Dripping Out

Then pulled its catch up, still dripping.

Chomp - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Chomp the Fish

Chomps down on the fish.

Allign It to go down Easy - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Align it So it Goes Down Easy

Bounces around in there to get it aligned with its throat, so it would go down easy.

And Swallow - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Thicken Throat and Swallow

And either decides to open its throat, so it'd go down — or the throat just opened.

Tempers Flare -r Aerial Dance - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Tempers Flare or Aerial Dance

A few minutes later, this fracas erupts. No telling why.

Dancing Big - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Dancing Big

Which, a fraction of a second later, leads to this excitement.

Fish and Challenge - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Fish and a Challenge

The egret on the right has its neck and head extended about as far up as it'll go. That's usually a sign of a challenge of some sort. I rarely know what they're fighting about. The egret on the left appears to have something in its beak. Looks like a fish. More than that I'd probably have to be an egret to understand.

Melee Ensues - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Melee Ensues

But I think the neck-stretched egret near the right of this image is the same one as before.  Who these other egrets are, and why they are scampering and flying in such a hurry, is a mystery to me.

Nonbreeding Franklin's Gull - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Nonbreeding Franklin's Gull

This guy was sitting on the easter more edge of the moorings for the walking bridge directly adjacent and parallel to the car bridge on Garland Road over the lower steps, somewhat down from The Spillway, which itself is down from the dam. This is the only Franklin's Gull I've see this year, and I don't know if it was ailing or not. I saw it, decided to walk on by. Did a double-take, kept walking; then did a third look back and down, and decided, oh, why not. I photographed it four times to make sure I got a good one.

 

Another Cold, Wet Afternoon, this time a Tuesday

November 5

One of the Closer Pelicans - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.  

One of the Closer Pelicans

We'd gone to a movie we'd both wanted to see but got mixed results. It was gray, wet and raining medium-hard when we got out of the flicks, and when I suggested the lake, that was easy. I counted 102 pelicans in Sunset Bay. No telling where the other 16 were; the ones in the bay weren't doing much. It was kinda a not-doing-much kinda day, but some pelicans were very close into shore, so I took advantage, since my cam and lens are fully weather-sealed, meaning the rain probably wouldn't do much harm.

Standing Around Flapping - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Standing Around Flapping

If you're a pelican, sometimes you just have to flap. I caught this one starting to do that, and the sequence follows all the way through to when it stopped. This is my favorite frame among those.

Wet Drip Beak - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Wet Drip Beak

The closer I get, the sharper the focus can be. A lot of people avoid photographing anything in the rain, but the lowered contrast makes colors pop, even if the pop is rather subtle sometimes.

Beak Bust - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Beak Bust with Great Detail

We — me, too — think of American White Pelicans as mostly white, but they've got all kinds of colors going, depending upon how they have their feathers deployed and how wet they are, age, etc.

Two Male Mallards Landing - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Two Male Mallards Coming In

All the other mallards landing pix from today were me being too slow or they going too fast. This head-on shot was by far best and most focused.

Three Pelicans — Two Preening from Under - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Three Pelicans: Two Preening from Under

More detail and more wet, dark feathers, not even counting their black primaries that are that color, so they're hardier.

Wet American Kestrel on a Wire - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Wet American Kestrel on a Wire

I'm surprised I even recognized it, it was so comparatively small and here blown up more than usual and looking like a sponge. Waiting for something worth eating — usually insects and small vertebrates — to swoop down on. We waited but it didn't swoop while we watched. Maybe it was busy digesting what it caught awhile ago.
 

A Cold, Wet Monday Afternoon in Sunset Bay with
118 American White Pelicans and some other guys

November 4

Adult Nonbreeding Neotropic Cormorant - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.  

Adult Non-breeding Neotropic Cormorant Just Standing There

I shot 18 pictures this cold, wet Monday afternoon in Sunset Bay. I was kinda surprised I could even find that many times to photograph anything, since not much was going on. The pelicans were settled in and hunkered down, not moving around much, mostly intent on staying warm and dry, even if most of them were standing on the shallow bottom of the lake.

The Neotropic Cormorant was standing there with its head tucked down into its feathers when I stopped The Slider while driving past where the arboretum chopped down all those real trees, so they could replace them with big, metal fake trees for kids to climb and play on. I clicked, and it moved slightly. I clicked again, and again and again, and each time it moved closer toward its head being up like this.

Small White Duck and Medium-sized White Pelican - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Small White Duck and Medium White Pelican Each Standing on Some Wood

It was raining, and if this photo were about five times larger, you could see each individual blob of rain falling. When I first saw them, I though where'd all that dust come from, only it wasn't dust on the picture, it was raindrops in the picture. I could feel them, too. These white birds look high and dry, but they're really wet and happy the lanolin on their feathers is letting the rain drip off like water off a duck's back.

Duck Egret Corm Corm - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Duck Egret Corm Corm

Not certain which variety of cormorants those are back there — they one with its head of in the rain, and the one with its head down from the rain, but those others are a Great Egret and female Mallard. The egret is hunting for food. The duck is swimming along minding her own business, and nobody knows what all those cormorants are up to.

Sleeping pelks - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Sleeping American White, Tan, Brown, Black and Orange Pelicans

Sometimes one would stretch neck, beak, leg, wing or something, but mostly they stayed hunkered and waited and rested and got a little wet.

Not No Ugly Duckling - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Not No Ugly Duckling

First it came up to the pier I stood on and looked up expectedly as if I would feed it some white bread like all those other bird-feeders might, but I don't. I talked for awhile, told it how handsome and/or beautiful it was, and surely it must have something to say, and did it miss having a mate. Then it swam off far enough that I could almost get it all into my telephoto frame. Always quiet. Always, when I've seen it, at least, very well behaved, if not entirely gentle, always mute is our Mute Swan.

 

Our Trip to Ennis, east and around on highway 85,
Bardwell Lake, Waxahachie and back to Dallas

November 4

Six of Them on Wires - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission. \ 

Six of Them on Wires

Anna wanted to see Pinky Diablo's show in Waxahachie — and apparently so did a lot of other people, so we planned a trip to end up there, but wander around down and around thereabouts and maybe find some birds worth photographing. And we did. Boy! Did we.

All, I think, of these - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

All, I at first thought, of these, but now they look different.

I'm really too tired to track this guy and tonight's other unsubs down now. An olive something or 'nother maybe. I'll figure it out eventually, but I don't know yet. You'd think it'd be enough just to get one in focus.

Just One of These - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Just One of These

I remember pulling over to the side of the road — Highway 85, that I'd seen identified as the place where lots and lots of birds were identified on some site. So we had to go down 85, but Highway 85 didn't have shoulder enough to park along where we started out looking for birds there. Eventually there was some shoulder, , and by the time there was, we were pretty tired of parking on the slanted shoulder along a narrow, two-lane-blacktop.

Oh, yeah, I was gonna tell you, where this bird was overlooking was a big swamp that looked like it'd be delicious for birds, but there were only a very few birds close, and there was a ditch and a fence between us and the swamp, so even bird-crazed I did not go over or through into somebody's private farm-space though we could hear other birds, just not see them. Eventually, I tracked sound to one far-a-way bunch that would rise when we weren't ready to photo them, then disappear when we were. We're thinking we might try this highway 85 some other time. Maybe mid-autumn is not the right time. Or something.

We kept thinking the pickings were slim, but I got plenty of birds for today's journal. I keep telling me to limit journal entries to a dozen or less photos, just to cut down on the time it takes while upping the quality, but I just don't always listen.

TV with a Skunk - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Turkey Vulture Waiting for us to Go Away

So it and its friends, who were nearby watching, could get into the skunk.

TV Waiting on Pole - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

TV Waiting Off in the Distance

And watching us carefully. I think perhaps in the country human beings get into Turkey and Black Vulture's business and disrupt them. We just wanted to watch and photograph them doing it, but they didn't want us that close to their prey, and this bunch stayed away till we left.

Another Wire; Another Bird - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Another Wire; Another Bird

Again, identification later. And I'm really surprised I got this one sharp in focus. That's always a minor miracle, especially with small birds.

Herring Gull with Small Fish - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Herring Gull with Small Fish

This is lake Bardwell, in which we were mostly disappointed as a birding location, but it looked like it was going to rain, so was dark gray and getting darker, and kinda cold, to boot. This bird was walking and flapping along in the shallow water along the edge of the lake sticking its head into the surf and pulling out, well, I couldn't really see what. But when I got the pic up full-screen, I could see the moving, barest sliver of a silver little fish. One would not make much of a meal, but the bunch that it caught while I watched and tried to photograph it doing that, probably sustained it for another day.

Like I Need Another GBH - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Like I Really Needed another photo of a Great Blue Heron

I have taken so many photographs of Great Blue Herons, I often wonder whether it's really worthwhile to take yet another one, but I still do it every chance I get. I love GBHs, and though I hope I can someday catch them at something I've never captured their images doing before, I will continue photographing them whatever they might do. They're just too special not to. Isn't this bird gorgeous?

Adult Red-tailed Hawk - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Adult Red-tailed Hawk on a Wire

Pretty much the same deal here. Red-tailed Hawks are the most common hawk in America, but I'll shoot and keep shooting till I can't photograph any more. What an awful thought. Oh, yeah, as usual, all of today's photographs are presented in strict chronological order. It's just easier that way. Except that today, I used two cameras, each with a different numbering system, and I might have got the murdered vultures out of order.

 

Auto-Assaulted TV - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Auto Assaulted Black Vulture

This time there were two vultures. Either both TVs, or one a Black Vulture and the other a Turkey Vulture. Turkey Vultures have red heads, and Black Vultures have gray heads. We suspect the Black Vulture got hit first, then when a TV stopped to eat out its insides, it got hit. Again, I suspect some people find what vultures do to be evil. It's not. It's natural and good for the planet, unlike people who purposely hit them with their cars and trucks.

Dead TV - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Vehicle-Assaulted TV

Anna and I think TVs rock. They don't flap so much up there, although they pretty much have do sometimes, but they are most identifiable when they rock back and forth horizontally as they soar. I always believed that Turkey Vultures are the real Jonathan Livingston aerialist bird species. Gulls do a good enough job, but Turkey Vultures are the best fliers anywhere. That I know of. Oh, them and pelicans...

TV Feathers Close Up - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Vehicle-Assaulting Turkey Vulture Feathers Up Close

Too many people think Turkey Vultures are ugly, because they have smooth, red heads very well adapted to sticking their heads into the rotting insides of carrion. The City of Austin a few years ago passed an ordinance allowing Turkey and Black Vultures the right to clean up carrion in the streets of Austin. A truly noble notion and an amazing accomplishment in a world that looks down on vultures.

Battered TV Head - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Battered TV Head

Please don't let friends drive their vehicles into vultures.

Big Piece of TV - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Big Piece of TV Down the Road from the other Ones

Well, enough of that. I'd much rather watch them fly.

 

Near Mockingbird Bridge at the North End
of White Rock Lake

Posted November 3

First Winter Herring Gull Maybe - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

First Winter Herring Gull Maybe

First thing I saw flying along the arboretum drive I was driving on was a big, light-colored bird flying really fast. I'd read about somebody spotting watching a Bald Eagle hunt up by Mockingbird Bridge, so when I was unable to stop the car and still see or photograph the really big, fast bird, I lit out for there, where I did not see the big bird, but there were a bunch of gulls playing Jonathan Livingston Seagull all over the place around and over Mockingbird and the Walking bridge there that no longer sings.

I Know It's A Gull But I'm Hoping Herring is Close to the right name - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Herring Gull, also

These. Which I think might just be Herring Gulls. But I know I'm lousy at identifying birds, but more than adequate good at photographing them, so I'll call these them until I find out different. Our usual majority gull species — I know better than to call them sea gulls, since they are obviously lake gulls — are Ring-billed Gulls, and these gulls don't have rings around their beaks, their whole end of their beak is dark.

Maybe another Herring Gull banking - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Maybe Another Herring Gull Banking

I did not see the big, fast bird again, but it's always nice to have a subject that keeps coming back close, so I photographed these guys for awhile till I'd got every angle a couple times.

Maybe Another or One of the Same Herring Gull - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Maybe Another or One of the Same Herring Gulls

I love the pelicans, but it's really fun to photograph somebody else every once in a while.

Oh, and I've gone back to dating the time I post the pix and words rather than when I shot them, even if that other was more accurate, this is less confusing. I photographed these early on November 2

 

Birds at the State Fair of Texas

sometime last month

Black Turkey at the Fair - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Black Turkey at the State Fair of Texas last month

This stuff will end up at the bottom of a long page of bird pictures, but I've got them, and I sorta like them, and I haven't really shot any bird pix this month yet, so they'll do for the moment.

Big Bird Being Fed - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Big Bird Being Fed

This is one of those birds that can be adequately photographed with a wide-angle lens. I should remember what it is, since I see more of them every year we go to the fair, but I don't. Usually there's a big sign I photograph that tells me, but I was in a blur at the Fair this year.

Rooster, Lamb and Some Lil Bird - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Reddish Rooster, Blackish Lamb and Some Lil Bird

Cuteness is the chief criterion for animals and birds in the petting zoo, where we go every year. There's giraffes and big ole' fat pigs, piglets galore, and littles of everything. I've seen them all, and pet all that'll have us do that, gotta touch the animals to know what they feel like.

Fluffy Fancy Ducks and a Buncha Goats - Photograph Copyright 2013 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Fluffy Fancy Ducks, and a Buncha Goats and Goatletts

Just gotta get my cute animal pet in every year.


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All text and photographs Copyright 2013 by J R Compton.
All Rights Reserved. No reproduction in any medium without specific written permission from and payment to the writer or photographer.    My favorite answer is, "I don't know." I am, after all, an amateur.   I've only birded for seven years as of June 2013, although I've been photographing professionally and semi-professionally and almost always amateurishly since at least 1964. Thanks always to Anna.

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