Bird Brain Chronicles, Bird pics and story

Return of the Bird Brain Chronicles!

I began a series of articles on birds in Corpus Christi, and anywhere I visited last year that I called the Bird Brain Chronicles. When my mother died, I put things on hold, and never got started again. Today, I decided I needed to get back to taking pictures of birds again, which I did at the Suter Wildlife Refuge in Corpus Christi. Then, I did a bird brain thing and didn’t realize that I had changed a setting when I too full moon pics a couple of weeks ago. So, these pics aren’t as sharp as I expected they would be. If you were to talk with my wife, she would tell you I whined about the pics the whole time I was picking the best of the bad lot I took. Still, I’m posting these because the birds are beautiful and I’m trying to document the birds I see. Be gentle as you look at these pics!

 

Northern Shoveler
Northern Shoveler

As you enter the the walkway over the wetlands, there’s a holding pond and outlet to the bay. I’ve seen a number of different birds there, but I almost always see this beautiful bird, known as a Norther Shoveler. This one was swiming in the outlet area after leaving the holding pond earlier. The Shovelers were flocking in the holding pond. I had the chance to talk with a couple from Fort Worth as we both watched. I enjoy talking with other birders, although putting myself in the class of a birder might be overstimating my ability as a birder. I saw a few Northern Coots mixed in with the Shoveler flock, but didn’t get a good picture of one.

 

 

 

 

Black Necked Stilt
Black Necked Stilt

I love black necked stilts. Their legs are so long that they do look like they’re on stilts. There’s an elegance to their awkward walk that makes me smile. This was the first bird I really noticed when I got to the farthest end of the boardwalk. He was slowly walking through the shallows looking for his brunch. (Brunch, of course, being served after ten and before noon.) I looked away some other birds when I heard a couple of real bird watchers talking about them, and when I looked back, he had disappeared. I usually see a stilt or two any time I come to this refuge and quite often in other parts of the city. I think they’re beautifu birds.

 

 

 

 

Green Wing Teal
Green Wing Teal

These are the birds that I overheard a couple of real bird watchers talk about. They’re beautiful green wing teals. They must have been doing lunch because they swam together, ducking their heads under water for whatver food they could find. (No pun intended.) I took a lot of pictures trying to get a good view, and I won’t continue to beat myself up by saying that I messed up the settings on the camera. That bothered me because this was the first time I’d ever seen a green wing teal. I am reminded though, that even more important than a great picture is seeing the beauty of God’s creation in person. I continue to be amazed at the beauty and diversity of God’s creation.

 

 

 

 

Brown pelican
Brown pelican

 

If you know me, you know that I’d have a brown pelican in the picture mix somewhere. I love watching white or brown pelicans, but I’ve come to realize the beauty and variety among brown pelicans is amazing. I’ve often said that Steve Spielberg must have been thinking of these birds when he designed the flight patterns of the pteradactyls from Jurassic Park. This one was a little farther out in the water, but in some places they’ll walk around within a few feet of people.

 

 

 

Sanderlings
Sanderlings

 

As we were looking at the birds spread out in the bay, these little birds cae running up the shallows looking for food. An old guy like me got tired just watching them running around. They don’t look too small in this cropped picture, but they were tiny little birds. They were so fast that when I looked away, they disappeared and I saw them later way off in the distance. These were new birds for a life list, if I kept up with one. If you think about diversity and variety in the bird world, you have sea birds like pelicans and great blue herons who are large, and then you have small birds like sanderlings – all of those beautiful birds playing an important part in our amazing ecosystem designed by God. I have a few other pictures that I could share, but I’m going to stop tonight. I plan to share more pics, and I hope that I get the settings right in the future. Look around as you walk about this amazing world and enjoy the beauty of God’s world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bird Brain Chronicles, Bird pics and story

January 12 – Lots of Egrets

The #BirdBoxChallenge is a big deal these days. Based on the actions of characters in a Netflix movie, people are putting on blindfolds and trying to do normal, everyday tasks. You’d think there’s be limits, of course, because there are some things even the dumbest people won’t do. Like, who could imagine anyone being idiotic enough to drive a car blindfolded. Just won’t happen. Nope. Not here. Not in America….well, maybe. PT Barnum was right: no one ever went broke because they underestimated the intelligence of the American people! Anyway, I bring that up because I want to offer a variation of the Bird Box Challenge. I’m calling it the Bird Brain Challenge. Instead of blindfolding yourself to the fears of our surroundings, open your eyes and notice God’s handiwork in our world today. Look at the beauty and variety we see in people, in plants, in animals, and especially birds. Enjoy this beautiful world that God has made!

As to the pictures today – lots of egrets. There’s a reason. I’m actually going to link a picture back to my facebook photo album so you can see the whole sequence of an amazing egret battle! But, first things first. We were at the South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center today. Lucy walked with me. We didn’t see the variety of birds we usually see, but we saw that amazing egret battle. The first bird we saw, though, was an Inca dove with it’s distinctive pattern on the wings. They used to visit our backyard when we fed the birds, but this is the first one I’ve seen this year.

 

Then, we saw some birds that were too far off to get good pics. After that, we came to a lake where there were numerous water birds. Most of them were too far off to see too much, but there were some egrets close by. They were photobombed by a darker bird that made me wonder if juvenile egrets are hatched with dark feathers. I late discovered what kind of bird it was, but I’ll save that reveal for later. What we did see was a growing tension among the egrets that led to a great battle between two males, I believe. Finally, one prevailed and chased the other one off, but thee was a bit of a twist in the ending. If you click on the picture of the egrets fighting, you can see the beginning of the fight all the way through. The captions explain the twist.

 

The darker bird was a juvenile white-faced ibis, if I got the identification right. He kept right on eating through the fight without a care in the world. Front row seats to the premier boxing match of the spring and he kept staring down at his dinner. I would have caught the identification when I looked at the pics later, but a different angle confirmed that it was an ibis.

 

 

 

As we continued on our walk, we saw some beautiful flowers and even a lizard. The last picture of the day was the butterfly below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a great day to be out in God’s world today. It was good to see families and friends walking the trail at the Botanical Gardens. It’s a beautiful place to go. Get yourself a yeary membership and you can go there often and see the beauty of God’s creation in the different stages of the year.