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Birding & Blogging in Galveston, Texas

Panasonic Lumix FZ200

I sold off my Canon gear earlier this year because I had too much money tied up in it and I was getting tired of lugging that 400mm prime lens around. I went through Spring migration with only my Lumix ZS20 and frankly, I was birding with only field glasses for the most part. But I got to wanting a better rig so I began looking at the super-zoom bridge cameras that everyone offers now. Finally settled on the FZ200. The above grackle was taken hand-held at full zoom (600mm equivalent) @ 1/125 sec. and does not look too bad. The camera has some decent anti-shake and the lens is f2.8 Leica glass. I miss the instant AF on the Canon, but you can’t have everything. The camera itself is super light weight and wide angle is 20mm. Been using “intelligent auto” for regular daylight exposures with happy results. As has been pointed out everywhere, this camera likes to clip highlights.
Continue reading “Panasonic Lumix FZ200”

Scissor-tailed Fledglings

Fledglings were hanging out on the fence waiting to be fed.

The adult is one stressed-out looking specimen. Look at that beat up tail! I pulled up across the road and stopped to watch them for a while. They seemed oblivious to the cars and trucks racing by a few yards away.

Wintering

osprey-11-2016
Osprey

Spring has sprung
Fall has fell
Winter’s here and it’s
Hot as ever

A couple of recent bird encounters. The Palm Warbler is in non-breeding molt and was a bit of a tough ID for me. I saw a migrant last Spring in breeding plumage. They winter from the Gulf Coast down to Central America and not too much west of Galveston. Continue reading “Wintering”

Eastern Phoebe

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Eastern Phoebes winter here on the Gulf Coast, but you don’t have to go all that far north to reach year-round and summer range. This past spring they were nesting on my brother’s front porch in South Carolina. Winter range extends down into eastern half of Mexico, but regular and breeding range is mostly east of Oklahoma. Photographed out near East Beach in Galveston, TX. Continue reading “Eastern Phoebe”

The Usual Suspects

Outing on Galveston’s West End today turned up a selection of regulars, some of my fave birdies.

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Marbled Godwit

About the last photo I took today turns out to be a keeper. Flock of 40 odd Marbled Godwits and White Ibis, with a couple of Long Billed Curlews thrown in the mix, in someone’s front yard out on 3005. Continue reading “The Usual Suspects”

Horned Larks

My first ever Horned Lark, and a general photo-dump from Monday’s outing.

horned-lark-4-20160919 Continue reading “Horned Larks”

Bolivar Flats

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The Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary is established and managed by the Houston Audubon Society. The salt flats, dunes and upland scrub are the result of a century of sediment deposits diverted there by the long jetty at the mouth of the ship channel at the western end of the Bolivar Peninsula. It’s a great place to see a wide variety of birds. Continue reading “Bolivar Flats”

Early Fall

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Common Yellowthroat

I did not expect to see much during a brief visit to the little Corps Woods Nature Sanctuary this early in September. But I was pleasantly surprised with sightings of Yellow Warbler (female) Baltimore Oriole and probable Orchard Oriole (female) and this Common Yellowthroat which is my favorite warbler. At Apffel flats I spied a Little Blue Heron and not much else. I wonder when the Yellow Rumps will arrive? Continue reading “Early Fall”

Avocet

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American Avocet

East Beach in Galveston, Texas. Found a pair of avocets feeding in a puddle in the sandy parking area. They look plain without their makeup on. UTC is the north-most range for wintering avocets and we always have a few here. In Spring they’ll molt into that beautiful cinnamon tan, head, neck and shoulder, before heading back to the Northwest and Canada for whoopie season.

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