When Lesser is More

Greetings everyone. Seems like it has been months since I’ve been able to find time to pound out a post. It has really been only about a week and half but my days have become longer than usual now that Linda is officially home and in recovery mode. Although she is frustrated by the limited amount stuff she is able to do (both physically and under strict limiting from doctor’s orders), she is apparently able to do a lot more than expected based on comments from the follow up appointments. Her cardiac rehab specialist couldn’t believe she was so soon out of surgery and able to walk into her office. No surprises here, that’s my wife, driven to get back in the dog agility ring. Of course, this has forced me to learn new skills like something called “laundry” which translates to shove as many clothes as you can in the hole of the large metal box, pour the sticky stuff from the big white jug into a slide at the top and hit the brightly colored button. Then there’s grocery shopping which as far as I can tell is to simply walk up and down every aisle and grab 5 of everything that looks yummy and then get sent back with an explicit list of things to get (while picking up even more yummy stuff). Not sure about this cooking concept either – there are all these appliances and utensils scattered about the kitchen which probably all have some purpose, but not sure what, as the contents of the containers I bring from the various places on the way home all seem ready to eat just as they are. Oh wait, I have kind of fallen in love with the metal box under the counter they refer to as the dishwasher!

Enough about my domestication as I know you are really here for the birds!

Lesser Scaup found at Galveston Island State Park, Texas Gulf Coast, December 2017

Hit the jump to read a bit more about this frustrating duck!

Continue reading When Lesser is More

A Snowy Redemption

Definitely sticking with the game plan for this month, staying ahead of the game and getting the posts out early. It definitely helps when you already have the images worked up in the digital darkroom. To be honest, short of getting the birds in the tin, the major effort in this whole blogging thingy is working up the images to make it worth my reader’s visit time. Of course, this doesn’t always happen, case in point the horrific Cave Swallow pictures I forced upon you a few posts back. I try my best so you can at least tell it is a bird – not to mention Ron is starting to push me with the quality stuff he is putting up over on his blog (link here). You probably didn’t know this, but I credit him for getting me into photography while I was in high school and the reason I can navigate around a camera (although I did introduce him to back-button focus). Today’s featured bird is a bit of an atonement for a slight I made in a recent post.

Snowy Egret found at South Padre Island Bird Viewing and Nature Center December 2016

Within the Cinnamon Teal post (link here), I unintentionally dismissed one of the most regal birds there is (at least in North America). It wasn’t the species that dimmed my excitement, just that I was revved up to add a new +1 to the list. I am lucky enough to have a large number of Snowy Egret shots from just about everywhere we’ve traveled along with tins full from Emiquon and other local water hotspots. When I saw this set of Snowies in the post queue, I immediately decided this was the perfect time to bring them out.

Snowy Egret found at Galveston Island, Texas, January 2017

Hit the jump to see some more picture of this immaculate bird.

Continue reading A Snowy Redemption

A Tern in Treble

Welcome to the end of an extremely productive month. Think I cranked out like 15 posts in my big push to get some of the Texas Gulf Coast birding collection out. Pretty much got through most of the topics I wanted to, but now looking at a similar goal for February – unfortunately, I still need to process those pictures before those will be ready. In the meantime, thought I would go with a post that was alluded to in my Pelican vs Cormorant post (link here).

For my 16th post of the month going with a bit a dramatic, if not alarming experience also witnessed at Seawolf Park in Galveston, TX back in January 2017.

Tern Caught in Fishing Hook at Seawolf Park, Galveston, Texas in January 2017

If you are not familiar with this bird, it is a member of the Tern family. These birds are pretty common in the area and spend their days patrolling the waterways for fish and shrimp that unsuspectingly venture to close to the surface. These Terns are truly a joy to watch as they spot their prey and hit the water with shocking force. Will say, they are easier to watch than actually get a decent picture of with big glass. Hand holding the Beast was putting my skills to the test with these aerial acrobats. Having just witnessed the comical feather-fu minutes earlier, my spirits were up and a giant smile painted my face – was thinking how fun that post was going to be, while getting a few shots in the tin of the Tern’s hunting.

Tern Caught in Fishing Hook at Seawolf Park, Galveston, Texas in January 2017

Sadly, my heart took a turn for the worse. My smile was turned to pure shock and utter disbelief as a new scenario unfolded before me … one I will never forget.

Hit the jump to learn what changed my happiness so quickly.

Continue reading A Tern in Treble

With Skim Please

Feels like I’ve been away from the blog for weeks! Alas, it has only been but a day or two. I’ve been busy with getting some work done around the house and trying to get ahead of the backlog that is starting to pile up at my day job. On the positive front I was able to get a loop in at my favorite hill training course (Springdale Cemetery). It has been awhile since the weather cooperated and finally got a chance to run with Ryan to see how our legs fared over the holiday break. Pretty happy where I’m at, but need to start ramping up the mileage to be ready for the race season that starts in April. If things keep going as planned, I should have no problem being ready for back to back 5K and half. What I am little concerned about is finishing my current race against none other than Father Time. Will be coming down the wire to get all my Texas birding posts outs.

Let’s not waste any more time getting to that task. Welcome to the blog, the newest bird in my list.

Black Skimmer encountered on Galveston Island, Texas January 2017

That intriguing bird you see is called a Black Skimmer. I guarantee you will not forget your first encounter with this relative of Gulls and Terns. One reason for this is you likely will not see just one. Possibly 2

Black Skimmer encountered on Galveston Island, Texas January 2017

Hit the jump to see and read more about the Skimmers!

Continue reading With Skim Please