All in Brazoria Wildlife Refuge
Scissor-tailed Flycatchers have beautiful coloring and are a huge challenge. Most of the time you see them on a post or wire and they fly off before you can even get the camera in position. It was surprising these guys let us walk around aiming the bazookas at them. Even at close distances, it is difficult to keep the long tail in focus and within the frame. They do flick the tail a lot.
Arrgghh. We haven't had a hotter summer in ages. Day after day of brilliant blue skies, record-breaking heat and very little rain. All our favorite bird places have dried up and the few times we have ventured out, the promised cloudiness turned out to be a mirage. I know, this time last year we were recovering from Harvey and all the flooding, but this heat has been hard to take.
The baby Willet in the image above ran under our parked truck and then into the bushes. He is trying to get back to his calling parent. The world looks huge when you are a tiny chick.
Soras are very tiny members of the Rallidae family, kin to Clapper Rails, Purple Gallinules, Moorhens and Coots. They are shy and secretive, generally found in fresh water marshes and wetlands among the cattails and reeds. You hardly ever see them. Except this year...
Parked on the shoulder of the cutoff road under the Intracoastal Canal bridge, Bill Maroldo was working on a Great Blue Heron on his side and I had a nice Little Blue Heron perched on a post on mine. We had some sea fog so the light was nice and there were no crabbers to disturb the birds. Bill suggested I might like to use his 1.7x teleconverter instead of my 1.4x on my long lens.
You can already see where this is going, I bet.
This is that in between time for chasing birds. The Winter visitors are beginning to leave for breeding grounds in the north and our Spring migrants have not yet arrived. Plus, we have had a fairly wet winter and our year-round birds have spread out.
Getting a sharp, clear image of a bird in flight (or BIF) is a goal of most avian photographers. Some people seem to have a knack for finding and following birds in a blank sky while the rest of us struggle.
It really won't be long before birds are sporting breeding plumage and courting. We are seeing dark blue lores on Great Blue Herons, and other waders are sporting new feathers. Great Egrets will start building nests at High Island in February. In the mean time, we are chasing raptors and finding birds where we can.
We made our last trip out before the cold weather blast on Friday, Dec 29 and it was a great way to wind up the year. Around 11 am we headed down to one of our favorite birding places, Surfside.