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Birding & Blogging in Galveston, Texas

Fallout, April 8th, 9th, 2018


Orchard Oriole

A strong front blew through Texas on Saturday night, putting migrants down on the island in good numbers. Always welcome news for birders, nothing but hardship for the birds. I went to Corps Woods on Sunday without a camera and the place was alive with birds, though the weather was overcast and drizzly. On Monday morning I returned with camera and a rain jacket. Photographs follow: Continue reading “Fallout, April 8th, 9th, 2018”

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Brazos Bend, April 6th, 2018


American Crow

Mostly cloudy with scattered showers, as the meteorologists like to put it. The threat of rain was constant all day Friday but I drove out to Brazos Bend SP anyway and had a splendid outing chock full of beautiful birdlife and frightening alligators. I ticked Black Vulture and American Crow off my year list before I even parked the car. The calls of Carolina Wren and Northern Cardinal were pretty much constant during my 2½ hour stay. Continue reading “Brazos Bend, April 6th, 2018”

Moondrils


Day Past Full

A banyon light appears at night, sends shafts of bright into our pocketed lifetimes. A day past full, its fat face like an orbiting bath mirror, with the sun behind us, warming our little cueball’s backside. She blazes and sets mindfires in man and beast. Even the tides speak of her gravity, like a witch’s spell or a sacrament. Keep your friends close, your moons closer. A calm with thorns / to poke holes in your norms / a forge to make memories / a mind to remember.

In moon-shine your best behavior, in goodness sign a happy postcard, and send it out to the stars. Continue reading “Moondrils”

Boutique


Indian Paintbrush

The sky is not a telephone. I tour the colonies on Good Friday looking for gaps in the empire. Pigeons crowd into the photo booth like hawks circling a feeder. The universe does not care, exactly, though every world view has its Christ. Even lizards do it, I bet. Continue reading “Boutique”

March Shading


Little Blue Heron

Raging hormones: local water birds are getting their breeding colors now, in full intensity. All photos from west-of-79th, except the coyote, out in Apffel. Seeing a lot more birders out and about too, as April approaches. Continue reading “March Shading”

Avocet City


American Avocet

Migrating avocets are passing through the area now. I saw about 50 at Old Frenchtown Rd. and many hundreds at Bolivar Flats. The individual above is in transitional plumage, giving a splotchy look to that cinnamon-tan head and neck. Many are plain white still which is their winter season appearance. They summer in the Northwest, up into Canada, and winter from the southern Texas coast on down through Central America. Continue reading “Avocet City”

March 2018


Cooper’s Hawk

Here’s some recent bird photos taken on Galveston Island. The Cooper’s and the phoebe were taken at Lafitte’s Cove on Monday, 3/12. The Fulvous Whistling-ducks were at that retention pond out by the movie theater on Seawall Blvd. They were accompanied by American Coots and some scaups (I’m assuming Lesser). The kite was taken a few weeks ago on the East End. Continue reading “March 2018”

Spring Auguries 2018


Glaucous Gull Herring Gull

Poking around my west-end haunts yesterday before work and found quite a bit of bird activity. Spring is coming. The Glaucous Gull and the Semi-palmated Plovers (below) were at the north tip of 8 Mile Road where hundreds of Laughing Gulls were gathered and making a racket.

(Update: not a Glaucous, I checked with our local expert Jim Stevenson who says, “See the black primaries? Glaucous, Thayer’s and the other “white” gulls have no dark feathers in the tips of the wings.” I stand corrected!) Continue reading “Spring Auguries 2018”

Beach Behemoth


American White Pelican

White Pelicans winter in the southern US and Mexico, but there are pockets of year-rounders and Galveston/Bolivar area is one of them. I do see them much more often in the winter though. These beauties are really large, standing as tall as a Great Blue Heron with about three times the bulk. This was taken at the ship channel off Boddeker Road, eastern most tip of the island. Subject backed by a line of (mostly) Black Skimmers, which assemble here in large flocks in the winter. The dark blue band at the top of the image is the hull of a passing ship. Continue reading “Beach Behemoth”

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