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I had a rare opportunity to take some photos of birds in my back yard yesterday. Almost forgot how. The birds are all hot and thirsty – a water feature (or several) will really help them out and offers you a great chance to watch them up close.

Canada Warbler (migrant)

 

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Yellow Warbler

 

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Flycatcher

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Tufted Titmouse

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House Finch (i think)

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Carolina Chickadee

 

 


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It has been a long, hot summer and its not over yet.  I have not yet shared these Great Egret pictures from my springtime visit to legendary High Island, TX. I’ve dearly missed blogging here at Birder’s Lounge and will continue to share pictures until I can resume normal content. Enjoy 😉

You can just barely see the light blue egg in this photo.

Reinforcing the nest while keeping a close eye on its precious contents.


It was a real treat to see the pairs work together so diligently for their offspring.

The parents occasional turned the egg(s) while fussing over their nests.

Aren’t they just lovely!?

The End.


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These pictures are from early spring, at High Island, TX. Enjoy!

The Double-crested Cormorants mixed uneventfully with the spoonbills.

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The males did their best to win a mate.

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Once a female accepted a male, they sealed the deal with this bonding ritual, where they took turns stretching their heads way down, then back up to gently rap their amazing beaks together. I say this based strictly upon my own observations, so please speak up if I’ve got this wrong!

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Meanwhile, new spoonbills were still arriving…

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…and some were ready for a nap…

While others spent their time just looking as handsome as possible.

😉


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Seems like I’ve hardly been outside since this trip in early Spring…and I really want to share some more photos before full-on summer is here. Enjoy!

This shorebird was literally unmoved by the splash of waves crashing against the rocky shore of the bay near…Baytown, TX.

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She speaks! Small, soft little calls to no-one in particular.

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This was a colorful and active sparrow, running around at the shoreline. It struck me as odd – sparrows are birds whom I expect to see in trees and fields, and near lakes and streams. This one likes the bay!

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I have never seen these most interesting crabs until I went on this trip. Out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw the sand moving. I had to look for a good 15 seconds or so before they (there were a LOT of them) started moving again. I guess my approach spooked them. But wow, when they all started moving, the whole area was in motion. One big claw, one little…no, just one big claw. They eat fast and continuously with the little…hands. Their eyes are held proudly above their head…not just any creature can do that. And when frightened, they dart into holes i the sand, covering up the top with that big claw. Fascinating.

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I’m guessing this is a laughing gull. Great color pattern, obliging subject for me and my camera.

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I love this photo – that turtle is most definitely smiling, and I simply must smile back.

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This small turtle, I’m guessing it is a young one, was in the middle of the road early in the morning. I pulled my car over to move her to the other side, and took the opportunity to photograph her. She pulled into her shell so far that her skin bulged out. What a cutie.

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This young alligator was one of about a hundred I saw during my trip to Anahuac NWR. Lots of sunning and sleeping going on, and lots of little ones. All of the alligators seemed to be incredibly disinterested in people. I am thinking that is why there were no “Beware of Alligators” signs, despite their numbers and proximity to trails. Actually, they probably fear people, given the number of restaurants advertising “fresh swamp alligator” on their signs.

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I will do my best to get more photos up before so much time goes by again. I’ve got some awesome Roseate Spoonbill and Great Egret photos, nesting at a rookery.

🙂

 


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In an area of Anahuac NWR known as “The Willows,” I noticed that the pond appeared to be boiling in many areas. I looked closer and decided that the boiling  was really spots where lots of air bubbles were coming to the surface. I plunked all my stuff down on the boardwalk, sat down and watched closely for awhile. I believe what I was seeing was a large number of giant tadpoles swimming quickly to the surface for a breath of air, then diving back down to hide beneath the layter of plant material. It happened so fast that I never quite saw them with my own eyes, but this lucky photo captured the source of these bubbles. Giant tadpole?

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I have never actually seen a crayfish, though their exit-burrows are familiar enough. Is this a crayfish…that’s my assumption. This photo shows one side of the body above the surface, and the legs below the surface. You can also see one black eye. Are those whiskers? It was so fun to see this new (to me) creature in the water.

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This grackle is in the middle of a full-throated call which I can only describe as the sound of bubbling water. I captured his picture right at the moment his nictitating membrane was raised, something that happened fairly routinely while he strutted around in an inch or so of water at the edge of the pond. The grackles that live near my house make a very interesting, hard-to-describe call…but I’ve never heard them make sounds like bubbling water. These grackles appeared to be hunting,  near the edge of the bubbling pond. I can only assume that the grackles have learned to mimic the sound of the bubbles. Fascinating!