Raptors always look like they’re preoccupied with something very serious. My obsession with pencil work continues as I browse my extensive collection of bird photographs.
Immature Brown Pelican from a photo of mine.
Pencil sketch made from one of my photos.
A Red-shouldered Hawk, from a photo taken earlier this year.
A juvenile Grackle begging its mom for a meal, from a photo I took in Galveston years ago. Young birds tend to grow very quickly to adult size but may continue to behave like infants, following mom around squawking for food, or demanding that properly conducted and verified elections be overturned.
Significant fallout on Saturday as heavy rains fell the night before. Drove to Galveston early and spent the day gathering migrant bird sightings and photographs. The east end of the island was blanketed with Baltimore Orioles and scores of other species. April had been comparatively weak until now. Bird postings to decrease in frequency henceforth.
Indigos and catbirds are a safe bet each spring, the catbirds were especially numerous. Happy to get a decent shot of the male Painted Bunting, much less seen than its brilliant blue cousin.
Underexposed photo of subject in the shadows, not taken in moonlight! I love all the thrushes.
I took a break mid afternoon and then checked out the East End Lagoon and Apffel Park, both packed with migrants. Parked by a mud hole along Apffel Road and it was like attending the theater. Yellow Warbler, Blue-winged Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Baltimore and Orchard Oriole.
The chat did NOT want his picture took, no sir.
Imagine stopping to rest after a great journey, exhausted and sopping wet, and then people line up to take your picture. I was happy that the weather did not give strong headwinds this time as this causes extreme fatigue and fatalities. Rain is enough to bring them down at landfall. Given clear skies and a tailwind, they generally head further inland to more isolated fields and forests. Pretty much the story of this April with so many inactive birding days.
Happy to log a female, which I had never seen before.
My take is warbling, but I could be wrong. Opinions welcome, please comment below.
I drove down before sunrise to avoid the traffic and to enjoy the feast of color and light that greets us most every day on the gulf. Thanks, as always, for looking!
All photos (CC BY SA) 2021, Galveston, Texas. Corp Woods, Lafitte’s Cove, & East End locales.
Pardon me as I unburden myself of a bunch more bird photos.
Did a double-take seeing a Cattle Egret out on a sandbar with a large assembly of terns. April at Bolivar Flats is never disappointing. Royal Terns and the two on the left are Caspian. Probably Forster’s Tern in the foreground.
The local population of this Central and South American species has increased steadily over the span of my short birding career, based on the frequency of sightings. Texas Monthly has a feature article for those interested.
All photos (CC BY SA) 2021, taken in Texas, Spring 2021.
Harrier indulged me with some close-up poses in the early AM out near Bolivar Flats. There’s been a pair of them hunting the fields between the highway and the beach.
All photos (CC-BY-SA) 2021, G. Paul Randall. April on the Texas Gulf Coast.
It is peak birding season here on the Texas Gulf Coast, so please forgive the excessive posting of bird photos. This Prothonotary Warbler stayed with me for a good 30 minutes giving ample photo ops. At one point it was foraging so close that the telephoto couldn’t focus. You have to see this bird in person to appreciate the intensity of yellow. It is like the archetype of all yellows, uncapturable by photographic means. This is at the Snuffy Smith Memorial Bird Blind (not its real name) hidden away within the Corp Woods Nature Preserve in Galveston, TX.
The shear cruelty of the natural world is on display here as a warbler snags a pair of mating moths.
All photos (CC-BY-SA) 2021, G. Paul Randall
The Northern Cardinal
Sees himself in reflection
Me, I merely grunt
And keep on shaving