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

This month's Best images: inverted Brown Pelican mandible stretch  dolphins splashing  Snowy Egret looking down  Red-tailed Hawk gets into the air  Female Kingfisher Hovering  Rambunctious Pelicans red diamond If you assume I am a bird I.D expert, you will be disappointed. red diamond The Current Bird Journal is always here  Cameras Used  Ethics  Feedback red diamond Bird Rescue Advice from Rogers Wildlife Rehabilitation red diamond Herons  Egrets  Herons or Egrets?  Books & Links  Pelican Beak Weirdness  Pelicans Playing Catch  Bird Rouses  Courtship Displays  Duck Love  Birding Galveston  The 2nd Lower Rio Grande Valley Birds  & the 1st  Bald Eagles at White Rock Lake  Bird Banding Info red diamond Coyotes  800e Journal G5 Journal red diamond JRCompton.com  Links  My resumé  Contact Me  DallasArtsRevue red diamond So you want to use my photos to make your project look better?  How to Photograph Birds  Bird-annotated map of the SW Med School Rookery  Even I use Site Search to find anything here, but that gets art-related finds on DallasArtsRevue, too.

306 photos this month

Index of Galveston & San Antonio & Dallas Photos

Galveston 

Many Birds: The 8-Mile Road     Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge     Galveston Island State Park     From the Ferry     More from the Ferry     Birds On The Beach     Galveston Island Avian Departure Committee 

Some Birds: Seawolf Park     The East End     


Few or No Birds: Local Color - colorful buildings in Galveston     
High Island - wrong season    Joseph S. and Lucie H. Cullinan Park in Sugarland near Houston on our way to San Antonio - wrong season
San Antonio   

Some Birds: Our Lady of the Lake rookery inside San Antonio
Scads of Birds: at Mitchell Lake south of San Antonio on Loop 410.

First Sightnings this trip:   Magnificient Frigatebird   Sandwich Tern   American Oyestercatcher   White-tailed Kite   Sharp-shinned Hawk 
First Sightings of Species Juveniles:    Juvenile Common Gallinule     Juvenile Roseate Spoonbilll 
Yet Unidentified:     Oh, Some Shorebird     Shorebird on Chartreuse Rock


Galveston, Texas

Ferrying to Galveston, An Introduction

 Second Year Magnificient Frigatebird - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

fs: 2nd Year Magnificent Frigatebird

Nope, not anywhere near around here in Dallas, Texas. I saw and photographed this young bird in Galveston last week. My first-ever sighting of a Magnificent Frigatebird, although it was one of the birds I had most hoped to see and photo down there.

fs: = first sighting — first time I've seen or adequately photographed this species

Flight of Brown Pelicans shot from Ferry - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Flight of Brown Pelicans shot from Ferry from Galveston to the Bolivar Peninsula

Unfortunately, I saw few birds at High Island on the Bolivar, and I got mercilessly bitten by big, hungry mosquitoes and other bugs — so no pix of birds there, but other than that, the trips across the bay aboard the ferries were grand fun.

Pelicans, Cormorants and a Light House - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Pelicans, Cormorants and a Light House

We don't see many lighthouses up here in land-locked Dallas, but they got one very nice iteration on the other side of the bay from Galveston.

Adult Nonbreeding Sandwich Tern shot from the Ferry - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

fs: Adult Nonbreeding Sandwich Tern

Also photographed from the moving platform of the Ferry, and I think it's another first-sighting for me. Saw lots of egrets — Great and Snowy, but no American White Pelicans. White pelicans are inland birds. Brown Pelicans are coastal.

Some other Tern - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

fs: Some Other Tern

In almost the exact same positioning, having over-flown the ferry and heading out. I hope to track down this bird's identify. But its unique under wing-tip pattern is the same as the Sandwich Tern.

Two Dolphins Splashing Across the Channel at significant distance from the Ferry

Dolphin-photographing from the ferry was great sport many were engaged in, and I saw them every time I crossed the bay this way. Video would probably catch the best full action. Mostly, however, I only got the tops of fins. Then, gradually, I learned better. My trick was to watch where they were, plot a trajectory, and then just hope I could catch up with my telephoto. This one time, I accomplished my goal. Great fun, but usually frustrating. I don't know from dolphins, but this may be a parent showing its juvenile how to swim with the ferries.

Tug with Industrial Landscape Beyond - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Tug, Barge and Galveston's Industrial Shoreline

These are just the first shots that I worked up from the trip. I have hundreds more, only a few dozen of which I'll show you. Then I'll get back to photographing birds at White Rock Lake, which I'd got a little bored with, but now I'm looking forward again to standing on the pier at Sunset Bay (did that today for a little while; counted 37 pelicans; others might have been out fishing; and counted more than two hundred American Coots just in Sunset Bay. Erin emailed me last week about an Ibis, several of whom I saw down South, about that same time.

Pretty Much Proof Cormorants Hop Two-footed to Get Up Air Speed to Fly - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved. 

Pretty Much Proof Positive that Cormorants Hop Two-footed to Get Up Air Speed to Fly
 

One Gratuitious Cormorant Getting Up Speed to Take Off - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

One Cormorant Getting Up Speed to Take Off

Photographed on the same clear day within minutes of shooting the submarine from the same ferry.

Red & Yellow - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Composition in Red and Yellow
 

Another Pelican on a Pole - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Another Pelican on a Pole
  

National Glory - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

National Glory Bow
 

National Glory Stern - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

National Glory from the Stern
 

Cormorants Waiting for the Ferry - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Cormorants Waiting for the Ferry
 

More Pelicans and Cormorants Waiting for the Ferry to Arrive - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

More Pelicans and Cormorants Waiting
 

 Adult Breeding Laughing Gull on the Ferry - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Adult Breeding Laughing Gull
 

Looking Back at another Ferry-full - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Looking Back at Another Ferry Full
 

Adult Brown Pelicans next to the ferry as it came into port - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Close-up of Adult Brown Pelicans by the Ferry as it docked

This journal entry desperately needed more birds in a bird journal, so I found these yet-unused pix from the ferry ride past Seawolf Park.

Adult Nonbreeding Neotropic Cormorant - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Adult Non-breeding Neotropic Cormorant
 

Adult Brown Pelican Next to Ferry - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Adult Brown Pelican next to Berthing Ferry
 

Adult Brown Pelican - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Adult Brown Pelican

Didn't see flock after flock of Brown Pelicans flying down the beach on Galveston this time. Had really expected — and looked forward to it, though. Either the City government had figured a way to stop them from doing that. Or more probably, it was just the wrong season.

Brown Pelican Tilt-back Mandible Stretch - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Brown Pelican Tilt-back Lower Mandible Stretch

I've seen this particular behavior hundreds of times among White Rock Lake's annual September (used to be October) through mid-April visit in Sunset Bay, but this is my first for that same act for that same purpose with a Brown Pelican. It's really difficult to zoom back when the lens is not a zoom.

 Brown Pelican Inverted Lower Mandible - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Lower Mandible Inverted over Brown Pelican Breast

I'd wondered, and now I know for sure. Brown Pelicans invert their lower mandibles down over their upper breast just like American White Pelicans do — and for the same reasons: Because they can, and because they need that bag as flexible as possible to fill with fish, come back to the surface and swallow. See American White Pelicans doing it below.

Brown Pelicans dive spectacularly into the ocean and root around down there filling their pouch, while American White Pelicans do their rooting at or only just below the surface.
 

Big Pink Birds Flying Over the Near Horizon - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Big Pink Birds Flying Over the Near Horizon

They are, of course, Roseate Spoonbills. Pronounced rose ate. And this is the first time I've photographed a whole flock of them. From the ferry, of course, whose constant pitch and yaw kept it from being sharp.

 

 

my all-time Fave Galveston
Birding Drive is
The 8-mile Road

 White Ibis in Green Field - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

White Ibis in Green Field by Blue Stream

Galveston Nature Tourism's great little black & green brochure describes the 8-Mile Road birding tour — and most others very well, and I found this little fold-over (also available as a PDF download): "This area includes examples of the ridges and sloughs that run along the island, remnants of ancient dunes systems. The structure provides for shallow inter-tidal marshes, tidal creeks, oyster reefs, mud flats, brackish and fresh water ponds; upland pastures and woods on the highest points. Lafitte’s Cove is a 32 acre preserve with an excellent oak mott and fruiting trees and bushes, an excellent place for migrating songbirds in spring and fall. 137 species were recorded in one spring season."

Cormorant, Tricolored Heron,

Cormorant, Tricolored Heron preening, Juvenile
Roseate Spoonbill and Oh, Some Shorebird

I've been down that colorful road three times now, and I hope to keep going back every year or couple. It was my number two birding destination on Galveston Island. Number One was the East End, although lately there have been far fewer birds than on my last spring visit. But the island and the nearby Bolivar Peninsula, easily (and at no cost) reachable by ferry, have an amazing diversity of birds — even in autumn.

Juvenile Roseate Spoonbill - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Juvenile Roseate Spoonbill

For a change in Nature, the juvenile Spoonbill is handsomer by far than the adult, although adults are pinker.  I believe this is my first sighting of a juvenile Roseate Spoonbill.

Tricolored Heron -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Tricolored Heron

We've got them up here now, too. But they are much more abundant on Galveston Island.

European Starling -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Adult Breeding European Starling

All I could see was the silhouette, so, just on the off-chance, I photographed it. Pretty, but rather common just about everywhere.

American Oystercatcher - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

fs: American Oystercatcher

Another first sighting I had actually hoped for. Nice of the Universe to let me do that sometimes.

Reddish Egret on a Rock - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Reddish Egret on a Rock

After seeing these birds many times, I've become much less excited about each new sighting, but they're still plenty weird.

Rudd Turnstone - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Ruddy Turnstone

Everywhere I looked on this trip, there were more birds and more species of birds.

Ruddy Turnstone - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Ruddy Turnstone

And a side view.

Gray-legged, White Pointy-headed Shorebird - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Pointy White-beaked, Gray-brown Shorebird

I've gathered these five photos together, out of my sometimes chronological order, because I think they may all be one species I should know well, because I long-ago photographed their breeding performance in, of all places, Matagorda Bay, not that far from Galveston. 

Close-up of Shorebird Flying - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Close-view of Adult Nonbreeding Western Willet

And this bold, though hardly unique, under-wing pattern should have tipped me off long before now.

Gray-legged Shorebird - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Gray-legged Shorebird on the Rocks

Eventually, I'll probably have to delete some of these shots of Western Willets, but they're all so pretty, I just can't let go.

Some Shorebird with Dark Background - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Some Shorebird

All four of these are Willits of one age or another. All Western Willets, too.

Reddish Egret on One Foot on a Rock -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Reddish Egret Balancing on One Foot

Whatever they are doing, Reddish Egrets are still an amazing sight.

Reddish Egret with Head Down -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Reddish Egret Looking Bluish

I should know better by now, but I still expect the Reddish Egret to look — well, you know — reddish.

Shorebird on Chartreuse Rocks - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Shorebird on Chartreuse Rock

I'm just not sure who this bird is, but I keep feeling like it'll be plain and obvious in the next bird book I peruse.

Maybe a Loggerhead Shrike - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Loggerhead Shrike

Another first sighting.

By right about here, the 8-Mile Road turns left onto Sportsman Drive as the land mass narrows and looks like a row of houses from middle middle class on the ground to very expensive ones based a couple stories higher — all right on Galveston Bay facing the mainland and. Just seaward of that 'corner,' there's a loose, rocky and pitted, wharf area where most of the above birds in today's journal gathered, and from which I photographed Brown Pelicans flying fast down and splashing into the ocean and under it for food — talk about an amazing sight — a couple springs ago.

Great Egret Leaning Low - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Great Egret Leaning Low

Hardly a new species for me, but an opportunity to show some of what this bird is capable.

Great Egret Reaching High -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Great Egret Stretching High

And that's just the low and high of it.

White Ibis out in a field -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

White Ibis in a Field

On the left, going out, are wetlands. Houses on the right. And the roads and little bridges in between occupied by whom I assumed were neighbors. Very friendly humans of middle and young ages.

Female Belted Kingfisher on a Wire -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Female Belted Kingfisher on a Wire

Maybe more southern Kingfishers are a little less flighty. This one stayed while she could plainly see it was being photographed, yet it only eventually flew away. This is the best of several, almost identical shots, though she occasionally turned her head slightly. Then gone.

Female Grackle -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Female Grackle?

Boat-tailed, Great-tailed or Common Grackle. All their territories overlap down along the Texas Coast, so I just don't know which. I have seen errant white feathers on the Great-taileds …

Blue Chairs to Watch the Bay - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Blue Chairs to Watch the Bay

I never even considered thinking about photographing the people who live out here's homes, although I shot cute and/or interesting homes out the kazoo in town. Maybe because quite a few of them, whole families of them, were out fishing or otherwise enjoying their neighborhood themselves and being friendly about it.

must be a YCNH, right? - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Juvenile Heron with White Shoulders and "Scowl"

That head shape. Those stripes and spots. That Green Heron-like "scowl" (that looks like a mouth, but is actually a configuration of feathers) under its eyes. So many markings of a juvenile Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, but I've yet to see a YCNH with white shoulders like this. So I'm not ready to label it a YCNH, though I think it must be.

The Other Best Osprey In Flight picture - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

My Best Osprey In Flight photo

I've photographed an Osprey once at White Rock Lake; once at Lake Ray Hubbard (carrying a large fish) and once here. This time, I got to fire a bunch of shots, most of which are in adequate focus, and a few of which are bright and sharp like this. Wish I could show it to you at full resolution. It was amazing that once it jumped from its tree, I was able to follow it across the sky, clicking away. Very exciting for a few hurried seconds.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

These have been common at White Rock till these last few weeks. Nice to see them again this late in the season.

Scissortailed Flycatcher on Barbed Wire - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher on Barbed Wire

Nice of the local humans to put wires, barbed or not, up for them.

Dead American Coot in the Road - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Dead American Coot in the Road

I have a long history of photographing bird and other animals on the side of the road, and I have an especially illustrative history of photographing American Coots that way.

I've been back to White Rock Lake a couple times since I got back from Galveston and San Antonio, but I keep seeing not just the same species, but the same exact birds, every time. So I'm already missing Galveston, and I haven't even worked up the San Antonio (Hi, Mom.) or rest of the Galveston pix yet, but I got medical appointments soon, so I'm going to rest on this weekend.

 
 

On the Beach

2nd winter Laughing Gull - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.  

2nd winter Laughing Gull

On a post probably somewhere near water — and maybe a ferry, too. The National Bird of Galveston.

Four Brown Pelicans -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Four Brown Pelicans

Or maybe this is Galveston's bird. I missed them repeatedly flying down the beach this time. Wrong season?

Juvenile Sanderling on the Beach - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Juvenile Sanderling on the Beach

I've seen dozens and dozens of Sanderlings, almost always on one beach or another.

Neotropic Cormorant on Sign -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Neotropic Cormorant on TP&W Sign

Adult nonbreeding Neotropic Cormorant. We get them at White Rock Lake, too, but you have to look closely to tell the difference.

Laughing Gulls -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Laughing Gulls

And these are but a tiny minority of all the gulls on the beach that day.

Reddish Egret -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Another Reddish Egret

Probably from the 8-mile Road terminus before we turned on Sportsman Drive.

Lifeguard On Duty - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Lifeguard On Duty

On the beach, too, oddly enough.

Beach Search -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Beach Search

Also along Seawall Boulevard.

Barefoot in the Surf -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Barefoot in the Surf

Looks like she's having fun.

Stripes & Plaids -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Stripes & Plaid Barefoot

Love me some pattern clash harmony.

 

 

Galveston's East End —
The Easiest Place to Find Birds

Left of Cornucopia - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

PHOTO FROM MAY 2013: Black-necked Stilts, White Ibis, Blue-winged Teal, then across the bottom: Black-necked Stilt, a White Ibis, a Willet flying, another Teal, Breeding Adult Snowy Egret, another couple stilts and another White Ibis. I believe the big brown ducks at the top right edge are American Black Ducks, all in one place on the East End of Galveston.

Always before, on my visits to Galveston, my absolute best place, where I found the widest variety and most birds and species, and where I spent more time and came back most often to, was The East Triangle formed by Seawall Boulevard past Apfel Park Drive out to Boddecker along the east-most edge of the island, down to Apfel Park itself, and back toward town to Stewart Beach Park. Most of that land is unoccupied by humans and remains wild and green and full of birds.

White-tailed Kite b Big Ugly Apartment Building - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

fs: White-tailed Kite

I think this is my first-ever White-tailed Kite. (Nope, but when I saw one before — link here, then search "white-tailed"). it didn't look anything like this — or like a White-tailed Hawk. When I saw this one and photographed it, I assumed it were an owl. The building in the background is on the beach.

GE on a pole - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Reddish Egret on Pole with Passing Pelican

At least in spring and early summer when I've gone to Galveston before. Oh, there's a bunch of tall apartment-looking buildings with stupid, easily forgot names hugging The Gulf side and all but blocking the view in a few places, but there's wonderful roads around and through that otherwise wild land that, in some seasons, is alive with avian wildlife — or has been. Every trip till this one, that was the first and last place I'd visit, with a couple times in between. This time, in autumn 2015, not so much. Although it was still the last place I tried for bird photos.

Reddish Egret on Pole and Passing Pelican -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Great Egret on a Pole along East Seawall Boulevard

Far fewer shorebirds foraged along the easternmost shore, from which great, huge ships can be seen hauling massive cargos out into the Gulf of Mexico, where fisher-persons plied their craft in every nook or cranny. Someday, I'll have to go down there and check it out in full, freezing winter, if that ever happens. But sometimes, it's the humans who are more interesting. Oh, I think we can all assume the other blur is a Brown Pelican.

 Fisherwoman with Eel - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Fisherwoman Catches a Long, Skinny Something

After all the time I've put in this journal this last week, I thought I'd just throw off these last few pix and pack it in for the weekend. Thanks for listening.

This is probably the most interesting human pic I shot in Galveston. She's wearing plenty clothing, and until I got the pic large on the screen, I didn't even notice her condition. It was just someone catching a fish in the waning light of a gorgeous evening on the east end of the island. Although I did photograph some guys out there, too. But they weren't catching anything — or smiling.

Large Ship on the East Side - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Large Ship on the East Side

At the north and/or east end of the island there's a ship channel that funnels cargoes from Houston to forever. I especially like the big, colorful ones.

A PDF of a map of Galveston Island's East End is available online, and it's exactly the same as the paper version I got at the Galveston Island Visitors Center at Ashton Villa on Broadway near 23rd, with the East End of the island on one side; West End on the other. Where the right-most triangle of land with only two curving streets and no crosshatch of cute houses is amazing in spring and summer.

A small sampling of that wide wonderment can be seen in my May 2013 Bird Journal. And that was just one place out in the boonies between apartments, hotels and the deep blue sea.

 

 

Galveston Island State Park

Osprey in a Tree - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Osprey in a Tree

What a great photo opportunity to get close enough to an Osprey to get it this sharp and details. Wow!

Osprey in Profile in Tree - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Osprey in Profile in Tree

But my attention span was not released till this bird flew away, then it flew behind some trees. Nice that it stood still for these shots.

 Hawk in Tree -c pry

fs: Sharp-shinned Hawk (a first for me)

Kala King thinks it might be a Sharp-shinned, not the Cooper's Hawk I originally called it here, but they're closely related and look almost identical. But I think it is a Sharp-shined, and If so, it's my first-ever.

Hawk at Galveston Island State Park - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

fs: Sharp-shinned Hawk

I had posted this somewhere down this page, but it looks like the same bird as above. Maybe even the same tree. Thanks, as often here, to Kala King for helping to identify this hawk by sending me to this page.

Loggerhead Shrike - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Loggerhead Shrike

My Lone Pine edition of Birds of Texas, "Shrikes are small, predatory songbirds that impale their prey on barbed wire fences or thorny vegetation." and they are 9 inches long with a wingspan of about a foot. So, it's much smaller than the usual birds I can actually see out there with my failing vision.

Great Blue Heron and Great Egret in GISP -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Great Blue Heron and Great Egret in GISP

Looks a lot like White Rock Lake.

Snowy Egret IF - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Snowy Egret in Flight

Another White Rock Lake usual.

Coopers Hawk - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

fs: Sharp-shinned Hawk

I assume this is the same hawk I couldn't identify at the opening of this Journal Entry, which makes it a Sharp-shined Hawk, not a Cooper's.

White Birds Trees up the Hill -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

White Birds Trees Up the Hill

We kept promising that we'd wind around that hill and drive to the top, but though we were navagationally challenged, we never did get there.

Three Brown Pelicans Fly Over - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Three Brown Pelicans Flying Over

My Osprey reverie was broken when some Brown Pelicans flew over GISP.

 

  

Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge
on the Bolivar Peninsula

 

Turkey Vulture Close Up

I think it's pronounced "anna-whack." At least we did. Their site is still advertising last year's Alligator's Hunt, but the place, which is essentially — at least the part we attended — a swamp with a 14-mile road that runs in a sort of big circle. There's probably more to it, but this was plenty — and joyously plentiful for interesting, often beautiful, birds. .

Full View TV - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Full-view of Turkey Vulture (TV)

I had to really edit down to get just these two dozen shots. I love Turkey Vultures, whom I often call Jonathan Livingston Turkey Vultures, because of their lazy circles in the air and other flying marvels. But they are just as fascinating on the ground. The white stuff on this one's wing feathers is a flock-mate's scat, splashed there to help cool this one down. Having mostly dark feathers can warm up a TV.

Short Flight of Probably White Ibises - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Short Flock of Who Probably Are White Ibises

Because that species is the most common here or there.

Adult Nonbreeding Pied-billed Grebe in Swamp -- Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Adult Nonbreeding Pied-billed Grebe

Most of the action was in the swamp areas that sometimes ran on both sides of the road. I love drive-through birding. It gives me more chances than usual to get my camera and lens set solid, so I don't shake. Which, more and more, I do. As my father always said before he died at 10B, "It gets worse."

Adult Breeding Common Gallinule - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Adult Breeding Common Gallinule

Colorful bird.

I'm Thinking of this as a Brown Gallinule -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

I'm Thinking of This As A Brown Gallinule

Except there isn't any such bird as a "Brown Gallinule," but there's just too many similarities, so it's gotta be at least in the family. Kala King to the rescue again. She found a almost exact duplicate of this bird on an Argentine website, and it is a juvenile Common Gallinule, which I may have seen before, but I didn't know that I was seeing it till this time. Ditto with the juvenile Roseate Spoonbill somewhere above.

Adult Breeding Common Gallinule - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Adult Breeding Common Gallinule

Kinda pretty. At least nice colors.

Juvenile YCNH with Crawdad - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Juvenile Yellow-crowned Night-Heron with Crawdad / Crayfish

I did not see it swallow that big, dark thing.

Maybe An American Black Duck - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Maybe Two American Black Ducks

That's the closest I can come to identifying these two — so far. But every time I've identified dark-bodied ducks by that name, I've been wrong. After awhile, I just get used to being wrong, although I dearly love not.

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Black-bellied Whistling Duck with Juvenile BB Whistling Duck

One of my favorite-most ducks, they used to visit Sunset Bay at White Rock Lake in Dallas often, back when I started this journal nine years ago (Yes, all the pages are still online. Go back with the "Last Month" or "Last year" links at the top, or visit the long out-of-date INDEX page that used to link every page, but though I've heard of other people's sightings of them, I haven't seen them at White Rock Lake in many years. So it's nice to see them at Anahuac.

Splash And Run I -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Splash And Run I

Not entirely sure who either of these two birds are. Not, I think, American Coots. Kept thinking a Purple Gallinule, but that's pure speculation.

Splash & Flap II -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Splash And Flap II

Or maybe I should say "who this bird" is. I think it was the same bird. Although I remember this happening consecutively when I aimed my lens at several different dark black birds momentarily in sunlight, then when I thought to photograph it, suddenly it was dark in dark shadows.

Guess Who's Coming for Dinner - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Guess Who's Coming for Dinner?

Speaking of dark shadows. Alligator. Very much at home in the semi-tropical swamp.

Rigged for Silent Running - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Rigged for Silent Running

I never even heard a ripple.

Adult Breeding Common Gallinule -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Adult Breeding Common Gallinule

Probably my best shot of it all day. They don't pose or hold still with humans watching.

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks Away - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks Away!

I love watching these birds fly.

Two of the Many — Whistling Ducks in Flight - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Two of Many Whistling Ducks in Flight

I didn't stop shooting and suddenly change lenses. I just blew up a smaller portion of the continuing saga of the Retreat of the Whistling Ducks, so you could see just how beautiful they are.

Buncha Whistlers Flapping - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Buncha Whistlers Flapping to the Far Side of the Swamp

Beautiful ducks.

Landing Patterns -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Landing Patterns

Not sure exactly how I managed to get them in focus from so far for so long, but I'm delighted I could do it.

Swamp Flowers - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Swamp Flowers

I know my swamp flowers even less than I know my spiders or birds.

Neotropic Cormorants and a Sign -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Neotropic Cormorants and a Scatted Sign

We have those in Dallas sometimes, too. But our usual variety is the so-called Double-crested Cormorant.

TV Fling Over - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

TV Flying Over

Jonathan Livingston Turkey Vulture indeed!

Cattle Egret Showing Late Breeding Colors - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Cattle Egret Showing Late Breeding Colors

According to David Allen Sibley, they're only in their breeding mode from March through July, but I guess this bird hasn't read The Sibley Guide to Birds.

 

 

Creepy Hanging Spider
from High Island

Creepy Hanging Spider at High Island - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Creepy Hanging Spider from High Island

I didn't see any birds, so I didn't photograph any there, but I saw hundreds of these spiders hanging everywhere I looked. I wasn't disappointed about finding no birds, because I never expected to. There were also zillions of mosquitos and other flying, biting insects, one variety among whom left a neat circle of red dots on my left shoulder, even though I knew to spray my feet and legs, neck, face with eyes closed, and any other exposed skin. I want to go back next spring, when there'll be fewer spiders and biting bugs.

I looked through spiders and spiders and spiders on at least a half-dozen spider sites, but I never found one like this, which — depending upon the scale of your internet device — is is about life size or maybe a little bigger.

 

 

Seawolf park on Pelican
Island in Galveston Bay

Stars But No Stripes -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Stars but No Stripes on the Gato Class Submarine USS Cavalla

That's Galveston across the body of water between Pelican Island and Galveston Bay north and south, and Pelican Island Causeway and Seawolf Park itself west and east. I bet somebody has a name for that part of Galveston Bay, but it's not on the maps I have, unless it's just more bay, which my Apple dictionary defines as "a broad inlet of the sea where the land curves inward."

I apologize for this journal entry's "My Vacation Slides" aspect of this story, even if late in its development, I found good photos of birds taken from the ferry past Seawolf Park, so there's some nice bird pix here, although there were no birds at all at Cullinan Park [below] near Houston, where we really expected to find them along that sweet boardwalk while bypassing the endless superhighways around Houston on the trip from Galveston to San Antonio.

boat with people -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Part of the Edsall Class Destroyer Escort USS Stewart in Seawolf Park

With some other tourists.

Entry to Inner Submarine - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Entryway to the USS Cavalla , SS 244

I wanted to go down into it, and I didn't want to go down into it. But I did go down into it, although I didn't stay long.

Looking Down into the Submarine - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Looking Down into the Cavalla

A little too cramped for my tastes, but lots of things down in there to photograph almost as if they were abstractions, which, of course, they are.

Torpedo -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Torpedo Forever in media res, with submarine and Destroyer Escort

Submarine with a torpedo stuck coming out of the forward tubes. With big metal boats behind.

Twin Props - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

A Torpedo's Twin Props in the USS Cavalla

Big metal boat shooting torpedoes (the green part) impelled via propellers like these, now chained to the sub's innards.

Sub Pricelist -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Submarine Price List

When I photograph art in galleries, etc., I'm careful to always photograph the price list, so I'll have all the pertinent information for captions in DallasArtsRevue.com, and that's what photographing this felt like.

Sub Circuits - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Sub Circuits

It's getting a little darker and more cramped in there.

Submarine Hallway - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Sub Hallway

I'm sure the Navy calls hallways in submarines something besides hallways.

Sub's Wheels - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Some of the Hundreds of Wheels in the Sub

The wheels in the sub go round and round … As you can tell, I was fascinated by the Cavalla, as I have been with other submarines open to the public and all the ones in movies and memory and history.

Avian Set Pieces for the Game of Life & Scat

Or something like that. I had expected many more birds on Seawolf Island. I believe these are Laughing Gulls, although they were not laughing. They just stood there.

Slant Light on a Textured Wall -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Slant Light on a Textured Wall

The first of a short series of slant light shots. There was also a slant-lighted picnic table, but the focus was too soft and the subject too boring to show here.

No Attachments - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

No Attachments Allowed

I love idiot signs for people who don't read them, especially if it's splayed with slant light.

Artillery by the Destroyer Escort USS Stewart - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Artillery & Propellers next to the Destroyer Escort USS Stewart
 

Cars & Boats from the other side of the park - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Cars & Boats from the Other Side of the Park

The dangle in front of the sub is another Palm tree. The cars are in a parking lot. Without a wide-angle lens — I was mostly using an 85mm lens, which, compared with my usual 510mm, seemed wide angle, I found no other easy way to photograph the boat and the sub without taking a Ferry past Seawolf Island, which I did, and got these:

Seawolf's Ships from a Ferry - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Seawolf's Ships from the Ferry

Submarine and Destroyer Escort with Galveston Bay on this side and Galveston on the other. It might be considered lucky that I'd photographed Seawolf Park from out there, although I pretty much shot everything I could from out there, as you will see. I used to be afraid of ferry boats, now I see them as an opportunity to photograph everything in sight, including dolphins, elderly ships, and scads of birds.

Seawolf Park from a Ferry - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Seawolf Park from a Ferry

Those tiny little dark bumps on the wreck of the (I assume it used to be a restaurant.) on the left are gulls. Probably Laughing Gulls, but I can't get the image big enough to identify them. Yes, there's a big ship sailing behind the park that is trailing a bare wisp of dark smoke.

the cavalla from a ferry on a clear day - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Most of the USS Cavalla from the bay

And on a more clear day from another ferry —  the Dewitt C. Greer.

Mostly Asian Fisherpersons - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Mostly Asian Fisher Persons

Most of the fisher persons we saw at Seawolf Park were Asian. I don't know what they were catching, but I probably should have asked.

Wasn't Trying to Be Artsy, I Was Just in a Hurry - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Wasn't Trying to Be Artsy — Just in a Hurry

This is either a 2nd winter or adult nonbreeding Laughing Gull.

 Willets on the Rocks - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Western Willets on the Rocks

The Willet on the right has its wings slightly raised, exposing those high-contrast, black & white tail feathers.

 

  

Galveston Local Color

Blue & Yellow - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Blue and Yellow

Every time I go there, I take pictures of the often cute — though not always so — and colorful houses and other places of pute-, repute and disrepute.

Houses Trees & Flowers -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Houses, Trees & Flowers - from The Slant Collection

This was easily my favorite painted wall this trip. I especially like the part The Universe threw in for free, the bright interstices of slant light. Note also gratuitous bird forms.

Black, Blue & Bright Grass -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Black, Blue and Bright Grass

Some buildings were utterly pristine. Others weren't.

Injure at Your Own Risk - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Injure At Your Own Risk

I loved the signs.

Tractor Trailer - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Tractor Trailer

I think the ocean is this way.

Under Apts Garage Fence -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Under Apartments Garage Fence - from The Slant Collection

I needed to turn around and saw this fence and had to position The Slider just right, so I wouldn't have to get out.

Downstairs Stairs with Slant Light - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Downstairs Stairs with Slant Light — from The Slant Collection

Anna suggested this stairway. Great choice, and another possibility of a slant.

Multi-Stairs - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Multi Stairs

Maybe attached to the headquarters building for the Galveston Island State Park, which is on the opposite side of Seawall Boulevard from the part of the park that we explored this time.

Colored Apts on Seawall Blvd - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Colored Houses on Seawall Blvd.

I've long considered myself a Colorist, although I've never quite known what that might mean.

Female Grackle and Pleasure Pier -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Female Grackle with Pleasure Pier

We were eating on the porch on this side when this bird landed just a few feet away. Perfect for inclusion on a bird journal, even if we stray a little sometimes.

Red Tails in the Sunshine -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Red Tails in the Sunshine

Restaurant called Fish Tails had me at Free Parking. Expensive. Good food. Very slow and indifferent service.

 

Red Spoons at Fish Tails -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Red Tails under Red Umbrella at Fish Tails

Anna's hand. The restaurant's spoons we ate dessert with.

Wave Length Hair Salon -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Wave Length Hair Salon

I loved the shark action even before I figured out what it had done. Driving by I assumed the green one was another shark. Maybe that's why sharks attack surfboards.

Carnival Magic - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Prestidigitation

I'd say not quite magic exactly in warrens of tiny cabins.

Palmtree with Porch - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Palm Tree with Porch

The house belongs to the tree.

Shades of Gold -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Shades of Gold

There seems to be a fence downstairs; I wonder if it has slant light.

Green and Orange and White -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Green and Orange and White

Vivid yet subdid.

Castle on Broadway - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Castle on Broadway

I think this might be a church, although there was a Bishop's Palace in a lot of the Galveston publicity.

Flags -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Flags

The key is the flag on the left. I'm really curious whose it is. I thought I knew from Boy Scouts that our Flag always goes on the left. But that's wrong. I found the rule here: "the flag of the United States is always placed in the position of honor - to its own right," which means to the viewer's right. So this one at 412 Something Street is correctly flown. In a neighborhood that nice, I guess someone would see to it.

Galveston Flamingos - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Galveston Flamingos

Pink plastic flamingoes precede me every where I go.

Crimson and Bab Blue - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Crimson, Baby Blue and White

Dramatically pleasant.

Decay - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Decay

I find great beauty in grottiness. Might as well, there's always some around.

Porch Warning -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Porch Warning

There's a distinct elegance in the tawdry.

Two Houses, One on a Pole -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Two More Houses — One on a Pole

No idea where this was and/or is.

 

 

The Avian Departure Committee
Just Outside Galveston

The Avian Departure Committee - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

The Avian Departure Committee

This juvenile Muscovy Duck came up to the car while we were getting ice for the trip across Houston to San Antonio to visit my mother. He seemed friendly and looked hungry, but we didn't have anything to feed it. Unless it's obviously more farm animal than wild bird, I do not feed them, and if we have nice crackers, we eat them ourselves. But it was non-aggressive, just like a goodbye welcome wagon duck always should be.

 

 

 

  

San Antonio, Texas

Mitchell Lake in San Antonio

 Crested Caracara -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Crested Caracara

Wasn't at all sure who this was when I was photographing it, and this was as much focus as I could wrench out of it. At least it's recognizable. I don't think I've seen one since on our way to The Eagle Festival That Had No Eagles somewhere in East Texas. I gotta find a bunch of them somewhere and just watch them for a couple hours. Take some pix, too, of course, but really watch.

American White Pelicans Dunking and Tilting Back - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

American White Pelicans Dunking for Fish and Tilting Back and Swallowing

Mitchell Lake had literally thousands of American White Pelicans. As you will see as this story unfolds. I hope to finish it by the end of this month.

Western Meadowlark -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Western Meadowlark

I don't think I've seen a Meadowlark since The Fort Worth Drying Beds still allowed vehicular traffic on their crisscrossing roads. I miss that place. There's nothing as convenient and un-bird-scaring as driving around photographing them through The Slider's windows.

Pretty Sparrow in a Tree - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Pretty Sparrow in a Tree

I looked all the way through two bird I.D books, and they all look the same this late at night. So I searched through, tiny painting by little painting, the back half of Sibley's Guide to Birds and still did not find this bird. Not claiming it's not there, just that I did not find it.

Rock or Other Pigeon by the side of the road - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Mourning Dove by the Side of the Road

Common bird in an uncommonly beautiful place. Kala King says this is not the Rock Pigeon I wanted it to be but is a Mourning Dove.

Solar-powered Something-or-nother - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Solar-powered Something-or-nother

No idea what's going on here.

Male and Female Black-necked Stilt -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Male and Female Black-necked Stilt

Males have black wing-feathers, females have brown.

Lesser Yellowlegs - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Lesser Yellowlegs

I always want the birds I successfully photograph to be Greaters, not Lessers.

Adult Male - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Adult Male Black-necked Stilt

Such beautiful and elegant birds.

Adult Non-breeding American Avocet - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Adult Nonbreeding American Avocet

The breeding Avocets that visit White Rock Lake on alternate years have rust-colored head, neck and breast. Can't tell about the one with its beak in the water, because there's just too little info.

Adult Nonbreeding with Juvenile Lesser Yellowlegs - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Adult Nonbreeding and Juvenile Lesser Yellowlegs

I think …

Tricolored Heron - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Tricolored Heron

Having just attained flight or is just about to land.

Female Northern Shoveler -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Female Northern Shoveler

With a Schnozz like that, it's just about gotta be a shoveler.

 Mostly Great Egrets with N Shovelers n thrown in - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Mostly Snowy Egrets …

… with a Black-bellied Whistling Duck & some  N. Shovelers thrown in near the top. All today's posted birds will end up below yesterday's, and then the whole caboodle of Galveston & San Antonio Birds will be on their own page, to make this one just a little faster-loading. Plus there's a few stragglers from on Galveston Beach and the Muscovies who saw us off and probably others, that I'll had to next month's journal, then to that page.

Am Whi Pelks with Mystery Ducks - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

American White Pelicans with Mystery Ducks

Scattered at the bottom.

Buncha Shorebirds - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Buncha Shorebirds

I gave up after a half hour trying to track the big one at the left end.

More Mysterious Shorebirds with - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

More Mysterious Shorebirds …

… with an egret (can't see its beak or feet, so I just don't know) and a Black-necked Stilt.

Neeven Mo Sho Buds - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

And Even More Shore Birds

Whom I cannot — as often — begin to identify, but this egret is a Snowy, which means that last one was, also, since it's probably the same one.

Miles of Pelicanos - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Miles of Pelicanos

I shoulda broke out my little Panasonic, so we could see tiny little white dots all along that concrete whatever it is.

'bout 21 Pelicans - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

'Bout 21 Pelicans

… standing on a pipe.

 

 

Cormorants at Our Lady
of the Lake Rookery
in San Antonio

Neotropic Cormorants -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Neotropic Cormorants

I've never really spent much time observing and photographing cormorants, but there's a beauty about that, and much yet to learn. I do know that if I want detail in dark birds, I have to overexpose them, which brightens the background I'd really rather go darker. Similar to photographing white birds and being careful to underexpose them, which usually darkens everything else in the photograph.

I switched this one and the second image down from here, because this is so much better a photograph, but if I'd taken the time I should have, I might have got a lot more, much better shots of these amazing birds that nearly nobody seems to like.

I'm not sure what's driving the bird on the right into its throes of ecstacy positioning, but it's presenting its hind parts to the other, who's just standing there with its wings outstretched. Might it be an invitation to sex? Isn't it kinda late in the season?

Four Cormorants - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Four Cormorants

These are the best shots I got in the rather limited time I spent at Our Lady of the Lake College.

Cormorant FAce-off Over a Nest - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Looks Like a Standoff Over a Nest

Literally over a nest. I have no idea whether the two birds here are even angry with each other. No telling. Note juvenile behind the first adult on the right.

Neotropic Cormorants in a Nest in a Tree -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Neotropic Cormorants in a Nest in a Tree

It was late in the season (mid-October) and many of whom might have been chicks weeks or months earlier, were nearly grown. To figure much out about them, I'd have to watch them over and over for months, probably years. But there's so many of them, it shouldn't be difficult. We got them in Dallas, too — although most cormorants in Dallas are Double-crested, not Neotropic Cormorants. I'm glad I at least have these guys in pictures now.

No, It's not Howling -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

No, It's Not Howling

Neither of them are. Or I don't think they were. There were so many cormorants in those trees on an island just a few feet away from a rapid-rise mound up to the level where I was standing on the other side of a fence from. Kinda wish I'd gone around where we usually go around the fence, to get better detail and more an idea what was going on. But I remain ignorant. I thought it was an opportunity to figure out a little about Neotropic Cormorants, but nobody else in the exploratory committee even wanted to be there with all those dark birds.

Gobs of Cormorants - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Gobs of Cormorants

And if I, too, weren't prejudiced against whom I used to call "stinky birds" before I learned their true species, might already know much more about them.

Goose or Swan full of Orange Flowers -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Goose or Probably a White Ceramic Swan Full of Orange Flowers

I know the bird was not real. I assume the flowers were also not. But I don't even remember where this was, except on a porch at somebody's home somewhere near Our Lady of the Lake College. There was probably way more local color in San Antonio, but this is the only image I have posted, so far.

 

 

Not a Single Bird at Joseph S. & Lucie H/
Cullinan Park in Sugarland near Houston

 Houston-area Boardwalk with No Birds - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

At a Houston-area Bird-watching Boardwalk with No Birds

More of Galveston and a little bit from the trip from there to San Antonio, but very few birds in this mix. So I shot what I could. Eventually, this page will be called something boring, like "Visiting Galveston and San Antonio in mid-October 2015," and it will have all the best photographs of birds I shot. Lots of them, I promise. These, however, were photographed at Cullinan Park [See map online.]

Boardwalk Abstraction - Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Boardwalk Abstraction

Cullinan Park at Oyster Creek is open from 6am to 9pm, daily. There is no fee for admission. It is located on the west side Highway 6, also known as
Addicks-Howell Road, between Voss and Highway 90A, on the southwestern outskirts of Houston. 

Wilted Lettuce -Photograph Copyright 2015 JRCompton.com/birds   All Rights Reserved.

Wilted Lettuce

And it's beautiful and very very green. Just weren't any birds when I visited October 15, though a guy who's a regular said there'd be a lot of them in a couple weeks. 
 

Last Month    Index of Pages    A year ago   Bird-annotated Map of White Rock Lake   

Except as noted, all text and photographs Copyright 2015 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 most of that is documented in this Journal, all the pages of which continue online. I've been photographing professionally and semi-professionally yet always amateurishly since 1964.

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