December 8, 2014 Goose Island, Texas

Great blue heron
Great blue heron

Temperatures rose rather quickly this morning as we recovered from the effects of that short arctic blast, unfortunately, the rising temps were accompanied by the rather persistent wet, dreary weather pattern of the last month and a half. Yes, yet another day of fog, mist, showers, and grey skies. Looking back over my notes, there have been only 5 nice days here since I arrived in the great state of Texas on December 3rd. Still better than snow and single digit temps though!

Took one quick loop of the pastures, even though it was foggy and misting. For the first time in a couple of weeks, there were no whoopers to be seen anywhere. Usually there are a few around though out of shooting distance.

As always, click on any image for a larger, sharper version.

 

Great blue heron on a duck blind
Great blue heron on a duck blind
Great blue heron
Great blue heron

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I did attempt a mood shot of a blue heron standing on a duck blind out in the bay, but just couldn’t get it to work when I processed it, the two closeups of another blue heron kind of show just how bad the light is here today.

Black bellied whistling ducks and grackles
Black bellied whistling ducks and grackles

I did find a small group of black bellied whistling ducks on a small bay front pond in Fulton on my way in to Rockport this afternoon. These ducks are absolutely gorgeous in flight, but without any light today, there was no chance of a decent flight shot, so I will keep checking this area when, or if, the sun ever comes out again.

January 6, 2014 Goose Island, Texas

Long billed dowitchers
Long billed dowitchers

Cold Weather and Small Wading Birds

The weather has changed, and not for the better! It still is grey and dreary and now we can add downright raw. The arctic cold front blew in last night sending temps down to freezing overnight, winds strong enough to make me retract the north facing slideout on the motorhome so the canvas roof rollout wouldn’t get ripped off.

Least sandpiper
Least sandpiper
Killdeer in a N.Dakota cornfield
Killdeer

 

 

 

 

 

As always, click on any image for a larger, sharper version.

I still went out and got some small wading birds shots right here in the campground, I didn’t want to get too far from the warmth of home today !

Killdeer on the run
Killdeer on the run

Today was only the second time in my two weeks here that I have seen any Roseate spoonbills around.

Roseate spoonbills feeding
Roseate spoonbills feeding
Roseate spoonbills feeding
Roseate spoonbills feeding
Roseate spoonbills feeding
Roseate spoonbills

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These two sandpipers are TINY little things, moving constantly ( probably trying to stay warm ) in their search for food.

Least sandpiper
Least sandpiper
Western sandpiper
Western sandpiper

 

 

 

 

 

I always wondered what these dowitchers were probing for in the sand, now I know!

Long billed dowitchers
Long billed dowitchers
Long billed dowitchers
Long billed dowitchers
Killdeer
Killdeer

 

 

 

 

 

Western sandpiper
Western sandpiper
Least sandpiper
Least sandpiper
Killdeer
Killdeer

 

 

 

 

 

Killdeer
Killdeer

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 5, 2014 Goose Island, Texas

Black vultures
Black vultures

Cool weather and drab birds

Cool dreary weather continues but since the start of cabin fever is setting in, I drove out to the pastures again with hopes of snagging a few whooper shots. No such luck again though. In an attempt to keep my photography skills somewhat sharp during this serious lull in the action, I scouted out some of the more drab birds around here that I could get somewhat close to. With no light whatsoever to work with, these are not exactly great photos, but at least they get me thinking as a photographer again, someday this lousy weather will end.

As always, just click on any image for a larger, sharper version.

Turkey vulture
Turkey vulture
Turkey vulture
Turkey vulture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blue heron hunting with snowy egret
Blue heron

I suppose the great blue heron doesn’t actually qualify as a truly drab bird, especially if you find him in a rather colorful setting. With a little sunlight, these probably would make for some decent images.

Blue heron hunting with snowy egret
Blue heron
White pelican
White pelican
Laughing gull
Laughing gull

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blue heron hunting with snowy egret
Blue heron hunting with snowy egret
Blue heron stalking
Blue heron stalking

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turkey vulture landing
Turkey vulture landing
Turkey vulture
Turkey vulture

 

 

January 4, 2014 Goose Island, Texas

Finally some whooping crane action

This family unit of whoopers was too far away for any decent shots, but I thought this sequence was still kind of interesting. The chick is the one in the middle in the first frame, identified by his red brown head and the like colored tips of his wings. Both whooping cranes and sandhill cranes adopt that strange leaning forward pose ( as in the second image ) just before takeoff, kind of like they are staring down the runway to see if it is all clear. The pose serves as a great key to a photographer to get ready for flight shots. It does take a hundred feet or so for these large birds to get airborne.

Whooping crane family takeoff sequence
Whooping crane family takeoff sequence

Hopefully some of these guys will cooperate and come a little closer during my last week here.

 

Whooping cranes in flight
Whooping cranes
Whooping cranes in flight
Whooping cranes