This and That

This and That

Still getting caught up on organizing my photos and establishing keywords so I can find things again. But I did manage to get to Brazos Bend and one new place. All this time I have been keeping my eye out for baby birds. You know, it is that time of year.

Baby Moorhen chick with tiny winglets Sony A700 with 70-400mm 1/1000 sec. f/5.6 ISO 1000

Baby Moorhen chick with tiny winglets

Sony A700 with 70-400mm 1/1000 sec. f/5.6 ISO 1000

The only phrase that comes to mind is "So ugly that it's cute". And actually, the adults aren't beauty contest winners either. I learned my birds calling this a Common Moorhen, but the name was changed a few years ago to Common Gallinule by the American Ornithologists' Union. Now, aren't you glad to know someone is in charge of such things?

I saw two of these chicks near the bridge at Creekfield Lake at Brazos Bend on a Friday. I was relieved to know they were still alive on Saturday via an Instagram friend who spotted the two in the same place.

It is tough out there for baby birds.

A trio of Yellow-crowned Night Heron chicks Sony A700 with 70-400mm 1/500 sec. f/5.6 ISO 1600

A trio of Yellow-crowned Night Heron chicks

Sony A700 with 70-400mm 1/500 sec. f/5.6 ISO 1600

And I told you several weeks ago I was watching a nest of Yellow-crowned Night Herons at Brazos Bend? That particular nest had one visible chick, but last time I looked it seemed to have failed. No chicks bouncing around, no activity. That happens, you know. Sometimes new parents don't feed the chicks enough or predators get them.

This other nest was about 50yds from the first but I didn't spot it until this week. And these chicks are alert and thriving. It is really hard to get clear shots with all those branches. In fact, this photo is truly created with some Photoshop mad skillz. Technical details for those who care about this kind of stuff will be provided by email.

Baby ducks Sony A700 with 70-400mm 1/1000 sec. f/6.3 ISO 1600

Baby ducks

Sony A700 with 70-400mm 1/1000 sec. f/6.3 ISO 1600

I found these baby ducks at a new place, Resoft Park. There are several islands in a small pond where Cattle Egrets are nesting. The distance from the shore to the birds is at the extreme range of my 400mm telephoto and I didn't get any good ones to share. Plus, those birds are fast. I do want to go back and try again with my new camera. The Awesome Autofocus Lock Feature (as explained in this Youtube video by Gary Fong) might help me with BIF shots.

The above shot was one of the last ones I took with the SonyA700 before it totally died.

R.I.P.

Male Anhinga in full breeding plumage Sony A700 with 70-400mm 1/500 sec. f/5.6 ISO 1600

Male Anhinga in full breeding plumage

Sony A700 with 70-400mm 1/500 sec. f/5.6 ISO 1600

This Anhinga is decked out in all his finery. Note the russet plumes on his head and neck, the turquoise eye and lores, and russet tail feathers. He was hanging around on a dead tree at Elm Lake, Brazos Bend State Park. I have no idea if they nest in the park, but there are plenty of places in the surrounding areas.

In fact, all this extra rain we have had lately has offered the birds MORE places to hunt. When it was drier, they all congregated around the few water sources.

Cow might be trying to tell us something... Sony A700 with 70-400mm 1/2000 sec. f/5.6 ISO 1600

Cow might be trying to tell us something...

Sony A700 with 70-400mm 1/2000 sec. f/5.6 ISO 1600

Everyone seemed to like the cows, including me. This gal got the Fractalius and Photoshop Oil Paint treatment, but just look at those white eyelashes! And not many can rock such fancy chin whiskers.

Oh, before I forget. I resurrected my Gustaviatex Flickr account and welcome you to stop by. There are a lot of photos from the blog and galleries, but some will be new to you. And my fave photographer Bill Maroldo has one, too. Check them out.

Take note, while you are reading this I am out taking photos with my new Sony A77II. The camera was delivered two days earlier than expected (Yay Amazon!) and unless it is pouring down rain, I will be out Thursday and Friday with all my new toys. And I am sure I will have a new adventure for you next week. 

A77 II - First Adventure

A77 II - First Adventure

Pelicans

Pelicans