Grackle

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.

April 24th, 2021 (Bird Photos)

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.

Painted Bunting
Indigo Bunting
Gray Catbird

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.

Wood Thrush

Underexposed photo of subject in the shadows, not taken in moonlight! I love all the thrushes.

Northern Waterthrush
Yellow Warbler

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.

Yellow-breasted Chat

The chat did NOT want his picture took, no sir.

Summer Tanager
Blue Grosbeak

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.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Black-throated Green Warbler

Happy to log a female, which I had never seen before.

Warbling Vireo -or- Philadelphia Vireo

My take is warbling, but I could be wrong. Opinions welcome, please comment below.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Five-lined Skink (male, breeding)
Houston Ship Channel

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.

Burden

Pardon me as I unburden myself of a bunch more bird photos.

Tricolored Heron
Hermit Thrush
Dunlin
Prothonotary Warbler
Louisiana Waterthrush
Cattle Egret

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.

Reddish Egret
Crested Caracara

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.

White-faced Ibis
Laughing Gull & Brown Pelican
Cliff Swallow
Kentucky Warbler

All photos (CC BY SA) 2021, taken in Texas, Spring 2021.

Birds, Early April 2021

Northern Harrier, Bolivar Flats, TX

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.

Green Heron, Seawall Blvd., Galveston
Sora, Lafitte’s Cove, Galveston
Ring-billed Gull (immature, 2nd winter), Bolivar Flats
Forster’s Tern, Galveston
American Avocet, Bolivar Flats
Whimbrel, Bolivar Flats
American Oystercatcher, Bolivar

All photos (CC-BY-SA) 2021, G. Paul Randall. April on the Texas Gulf Coast.

Oh Yellow, Little Fellow

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.

Red-eyed Vireo
Worm-eating Warbler
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Black-and-white Warbler (female)

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