Tag Archives: fowl

An 80-Degree Winter at Brazos Bend State Park

You wouldn’t think it’s winter down here in southeast Texas.   It’s been in the upper 70’s (Fahrenheit) for the past few days.  Foggy in the morning, sunny and bright by mid-morning lasting into the evening.  Yesterday, it was 80 degrees.

I get every other Friday off.  During those Fridays, I generally don’t like to go anywhere (except on vacation, that is).  However, I’d scheduled a bone density test for this particular Friday off, so I decided I’d take along my cameras and spend time after the appointment at a state park to which I’d never been.

Well, I’ve still never been to that state park, and probably won’t ever get there.  You see, Google Map’s directions are not always spot-on.  I managed to get lost and spent the remainder of the morning never finding the park. But, I did see a lot of new area around the outskirts of Houston which I’d never seen before.  I’ve read that seeing new places helps your brain’s neurons (or whatever) create new pathways, which in turn keeps you from getting age-related dementia too soon.  So I guess the morning wasn’t a total waste.

By the time I finally found a highway that would take me home, I decided I might as well drive out to familiar ground instead of going back to my apartment.  So I found myself showing the park ranger my annual Texas State Park pass and I spent a few hours at 40-Acre Lake in Brazos Bend State Park.

H5T1290_Ibis

H5T1377_Turtles Reflection

H5T1418_Great Egret - Vertical

H5T1467_Leading Lines

H5T1549_Friday Afternoon Fishing

The weather was unbelievable.  For  a winter’s day, people were out in shorts and t-shirts.  There still wasn’t much bird life, but the American alligators were sunning themselves in numbers.

H5T1385_Sunning

H5T1403_Alligator Face

Becky was out sunning herself too.  Oh, and I was also testing my new Giga Pro T II wireless remote by Hahnel.

U9A7631_Becky at Brazos Bend

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Filed under Brazos Bend State Park, nature, Parks, Photography, Texas, wildlife

Yellow-Crowned Night Heron

0662_Yellow-Crown Night Heron

I’ve seen a bunch of these guys during my last few visits to Brazos Bend State Park, Texas.  They also have nests in the oak trees in my mother’s front yard; every spring, one must be very careful where one steps in certain parts of the road under those trees in front of Mom’s house.

The thing about yellow-crowned night herons that draws my attention are their eyes.  And they are great little posers.

0679-3_Up Close and Personal

0634_Yellow-Crown Night Heron

0686-2_Yellow-Crown Night Heron

8945_Yellow-Crowned Night Heron

9980_YellowCrownNightHeron_Excellent

The Sibley Guide to Birds says yellow-crowned night herons eat mainly crabs.  This particular heron with its first summer plumage appears to prefer the large crayfish (aka crawdads or crawfish) inhabiting the park.  Unfortunately for this guy, the paparazzi just wouldn’t let it eat in peace Winking smile

0031-2_Papparazzi

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Filed under birds, Brazos Bend State Park, Parks, Photography, Texas

Caracara

I was driving home after a morning photo shoot at the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge. I looked over to the right side of the road, toward a concrete water tank. A large, quirky-looking bird was pecking at the ground. I stopped, grabbed my camera with the 70-200mm and 1.4x extender attached, carefully got out of the car, and managed to fire off one shot before the bird flew away.

0902_Crested Caracara ORIG

0902-2_Crested Caracara

A check in my Sibley Guide to Birds identified this bird as a Crested Caracara, a falcon that feeds mainly on carrion.  I was subsequently informed by several Facebook friends that it’s seen a lot in Costa Rica, and is also known as the “Mexican Eagle”.

On the July morning of Friday the 13th, 2012, (which has always been a rather fortunate day for me), I drove out to the refuge for some neat  cloud shots.  On my way home, there were two caracaras on the road.

9571_Caracara On The Road

One of them flew onto a fencepost where it posed nicely for me until I started getting a little too close for its comfort level.

9620-3_Caracara 56pct CROP

9685-2_Caracara 42pct

Both birds eventually landed high in some tree branches.

9709_Two Caracara

It was a good morning.

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Filed under birds, Brazoria NWR, Photography, Texas, Wildlife Refuge

A Bright Spot of Yellow in Port Aransas, Texas

Great Kiskadee - Paradise Pond, Port Aransas TX

Great Kiskadee – Paradise Pond, Port Aransas TX

A taste of things to come once I start to work on the writeup of my 2-1/2 day weekend trip along the Texas coast. I’ve become enamored with bird photography and now understand why birders get so excited about seeing a certain bird. I’ve even got the Shipley’s Guide to Birds now, and it’s a really cool book!

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Filed under birds, nature, Photography