Low Rider

My little vacation has come to an end and back to work I go. Don’t feel too sorry for me, I basically have 4 days of work left before I close the books on this year. Thankfully, I’ll be able to look forward to a much better year as this one I’d just as soon forget altogether. We’ll be heading back down to Texas sometime in the first couple of months in hopes of getting the first part of the new year off on the right foot. Knowing how much content those trips add to the photography queue, figured I’d try my best to pop some of the previous Texas finds off the queue – some of those still need proper IDs and need some final validation from Ron (those damn Terns all look alike from afar). Fortunately, today’s featured feathered friend was easy to classify.

Double-Crested Cormorant found on Galveston Island, Texas December 2016

This rather smug looking waterbird was found while visiting Galveston Island State Park back in December 2016 (Yes B in the UK I am still waaaay behind ha). While exploring the trails and shorelines for Clapper Rails, I came upon this Cormorant hanging out in the packed sand. Not being up on my Cormorant game, I initially ID’d it as a female knowing the rest of the Cormorants that I’ve photographed were splendored in much darker to all black feathering (link here). At the time it wasn’t obvious whether this specimen was the standard Double-Crested variety or the Neotropic which I had previously photographed in the same place (link here).

Double-Crested Cormorant found on Galveston Island, Texas December 2016

Hit the jump to read more about my education on this particular species.

Continue reading Low Rider

My Crested Style Fu is Superior to Your Pelikido

It appears I finally broke my consecutive post streak.  Was on a roll thanks to outside forces driving me to get through as much of the Texas related birding encounters as possible.  Deadline is still there, I just had the opportunity to enjoy a guilty pleasure this weekend – I happen to be part of a top ranking fake group on Rock Band and we were able to get the band together Friday.  It has been awhile and we were all a bit rusty.  We had a great time even though my arms are now sore from the night of drumming – I may have to start warming up before we play now eesh.  Before you laugh at me too much, we have put our computer engineering skills to good use – our singer has modified a real mic and I have a full electronic Roland drum set that feeds through an Ion head to a midi converter to now an Xbox-360 to Xbox-One pigtail converter and then to the console.  Thinking that still isn’t helping my case any ha!   Reality of it all is I am now trying to get back in the posting saddle.  Thanks to having to do this while traveling on the road, thought I would go with a post that doesn’t need a lot of research – had to leave my reference books at home.

Today’s featured post comes to you courtesy of Seawolf Park near Galveston Texas.  We were visiting that location for the first time back in January 2017 which produced a number of intriguing experiences.  While hunting for dolphins from their wharf, I spotted a Double-Crested Cormorant looking tauntingly at a nearby Brown Pelican.  Screw the dolphins, this might turn out quite interesting.

Double-Crested Cormorant and Brown Pelican tangle at Seawolf Park in Galveston Texas January 2017

Slowly their paths converged.  An entire gulf of water to explore, yet each one refusing to yield their path to the other.   Hubris had once again taken root in its victims giving false confidence to its host.  So there it stood, the formidable Crested-Fu style of the Cormorant paired off against the more physically dominating Pelikido of the larger bodied Brown Pelican.  Surely cooler heads wood prevail – maybe a respectful bow and mutual diversion of their conflicting trajectories.

NOPE!

Double-Crested Cormorant and Brown Pelican tangle at Seawolf Park in Galveston Texas January 2017

Hit the jump to see how this angry bird encounter turns out!

Continue reading My Crested Style Fu is Superior to Your Pelikido

Cormorant Need Nomorant

It was a big birding day today! Early count puts me somewhere in the 14 to 16 new birds to add to my list and should put some distance from my brother’s recent charge. Based on that haul I can probably take the rest of the year off from bird posts so all of you non-aviary oriented readers out there are probably going to rejoice knowing this is probably the last post of its kind until 2016 (I can already hear the collective cheers).

I have to say, today’s featured bird is one of those I always knew I had in the tin, but just wasn’t sure when it was obtained and which location it was taken at. This is primarily due to the huge delay in getting things processed as of late. Truth to be told it is really which of the location”s” was going to come up first since I know this bird was shot during at least 3 or 4 different shoots.

Double-Crested Cormorant in South Dakota

Turns out, the first one to pop off the queue was the series taken at Lake Andes in South Dakota.  If you recall from the previous posts, Lake Andes turned out to be quite the haul for new birds.  Unfortunately, these particular specimens were holding court a significant distance from where we were able to shoot on the banks.  The Beast was straining with all its might to pull them in and as you would expect (and in this case physically see the results), the shots turned out a little soft.  Not bad for the distance, but definitely not gallery worthy in any manner.  Luckily, the quality of the shot doesn’t come into play on whether you get the checkmark or not (I won’t mention names, but I know someone that is claiming a certain yellow highlighted bird on his birding list that has an equal chance of being a school bus based on the shot results hehehe).

Double-Crested Cormorant in South Dakota

Hit the jump to read a bit more about this large bird.

Continue reading Cormorant Need Nomorant