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

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The Current Bird Journal is always here. All Contents Copyright 2015 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. Cameras Used  Ethics  hopelessly out-of-date Feedback page red diamond Bird Rescue Advice from Rogers Wildlife Rehabilitation red diamond Herons   Egrets   Herons or Egrets?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  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  Links  My resumé  Contact Me  DallasArtsRevue  So you want to use one of my photographs in your work — How much you gonna pay me?  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, too, because it includes my other website, DallasArtsRevue.  Dates on daily posts are when I posted it, not when I shot those photos.

13 photos so far this month

A couple of weeks ago I photographed a Juvenile Yellow-crowned
Night Heron, and today I found this link to its uncle or aunt.

Scissor-tailed Flycatchers Reappear on Winfrey Meadow
August 2 2015 - 127

Hairry-lipped Flycatcher - Photograph Copyright 2015   All Rights Reserved.  

Hairy-Lipped Flycatcher

I gave up looking for Scissor-tailed Flycatchers two or three weeks ago, although I still scrutinize Winfrey Meadow every time I drive down DeGoyler Drive and up Winfrey Hill, circle the circle drive unless somebody is illegally parked there, then slide slowly down the hill from the parking lot down toward Sunset Bay. Today, I saw perhaps three scissortails, and at least tried to photograph all of them, though I really have no idea which one was which shot.

Yeah, I know, birds don't have lips.

Scissor-tail Aloft - Photograph Copyright 2015   All Rights Reserved.

Scissor-tail Aloft

Not exactly flying high, but flying. When I'd finished shooting them for about a half hour, I figured I might have one half-way decent shot of a mid-summer Flycatcher Flying, but as you can see, I got considerably more than just one — in fact, a whole half dozen.

Cup-winged Flycatcher Flying Left - Photograph Copyright 2015   All Rights Reserved.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher Flying with Wings Cupped

Or at least that's what it looked like. I suspect it's one of many possible wing configurations useful for various specific flying purposes — slow down, speed up, control flight, etc.

Scissortail Flying Among the Stalks - Photograph Copyright 2015   All Rights Reserved.

Scissor-tail Flying Among the Stalks

Their usual modus operandi is to perch atop a fairly high look-out point and look around and around until they spot something flying that might be worth pursuing. Then they chase it, catch it and eat it. I think this is about a half step from perching, wings out to catch some air, just before setting out to fly.

Scissortailed Flycatcher Flying Low - Photograph Copyright 2015   All Rights Reserved.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher Flying Low

And largely in its own shadow, making it a little darker.

Scissortail Flying Back - Photograph Copyright 2015   All Rights Reserved.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher Flying the Other Way

Their colors seem muted, compared with the same species in the same places, earlier this summer and later in another year. But if you do a sites search for "scissor-tailed flycatcher," you'll find dozens of other examples that are all, usually, more vibrantly hued.



Sandpipers a Little Closer to My Favorite Pier In the World
August 1 2015 - 134

GATHERIN OF PEEPS IN SUNSET BAY - Photograph Copyright 2015   All Rights Reserved.

A Gathering of Peeps in Sunset Bay

I scared away a Great Blue Heron earlier this week when I visited the Pier at Sunset Bay early in the morning, so I'm still overcompensating and going out to the lake end of the pier slowly and ever so carefully, careful not to raise my camera too quickly — or fall, although I may be finished with my falling for awhile. So imagine my surprise after photographing peeps at the huge canyon of The Spillway recently so very far away, to find them this close and up personal-like. Wow!

Gathering - Photograph Copyright 2015   All Rights Reserved.


A treat I really wanted to take max advantage of. This trip was more like four PM, in the hottest part of the day. I didn't even see anybody else around with a camera. Some people have more sense, I suppose.

Killdeer and Least Sandpipers -Photograph Copyright 2015   All Rights Reserved.

Killdeer & Least Sandpipers

I had my 300 on my Nikon with a 1.7X extender = 510mm. Not equivalent of, 510 actual millimeters of focal length. The distance between the nodal point of a lens to its focused image, although I have not much notion now, just about exactly 50 years after I taught Photography in the Air Force, what a nodal point is. Amazing how some stuff scintillates through time, and other stuff just won't last a couple hours. Issues when one is 70 years old, I suppose.

The Least Sandpipers on the Edge -Photograph Copyright 2015   All Rights Reserved.

The Least Sandpipers on the Edge

Two birds on the island created as the water evaporates away from the shallow bottom of White Rock Lake in Sunset Bay.

Sandy Pipers - Photograph Copyright 2015   All Rights Reserved.

Sandy Pipers

It does damage to the acuity, for which I have no definition handy any more, of the image, but I cracked the aperture back to f11 to try to get as many of these guys in focus at once.

Too Much Fun for the Pigeons Not to Join In - Photograph Copyright 2015   All Rights Reserved.

Too Much Fun for the Pigeons Not to Join In

Then along come the pigeons on probably their thirtieth or fortieth, "oh, gosh, where are we, guys. Better jump up and fly around in a couple circles, so we remember where we are, again." Then they see the Sandpipers (I sure hope that's what those littler birds in the background really are. I'm terrible at knowing Shorebirds. So the pigeons land and loiter briefly.

Wh Not Everybody Join In and Up - Photograph Copyright 2015   All Rights Reserved.

Why Not Everybody Join In and Up?

Then they rise into the skies and flap away, and some of the sandy pipers take wing, too. It's a game. Up! Up! Up!


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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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