Purple Martin Swallows

I got a tip that the Purple Martin Swallows were starting to gather at the lake. It was described just as I found it. There were so many of them that it was an amazing sight, especially when they flew off and then flew back. This happened each time they heard a dog bark.

I didn’t have much sunlight left by the time I made it out there so I will try again to get some closer shots. They have beautiful colors that can be seen better in the sunlight.

Female Purple Martin
Female Purple Martin
Purple Martins
Purple Martins
Purple Martins
Purple Martins
Crowded
Crowded
Purple Martin Gathering - Too Many to Count
Purple Martin Gathering – Too Many to Count

Central Park, NYC

I was able to spend this past week in New York and because I had been before and visited the typical tourist spots, I decided to focus on Central Park. I enjoyed the focus on nature during this trip. While there are still quite a few tourists in the park, it is a much different feel than Times Square.

I decided to visit a different part of the park each afternoon starting with the part closest to my hotel and then expanding from there each of the following days. I wasn’t going to be able to see everything so I decided on the Great Hill, the Conservatory Garden, the Ramble and the Central Park Zoo. If I ever make it back, I will add to this list. I would also like to go sometime between March and May.

Robin and Nest
Robin and Nest
Robin
Robin
Cream and Gold
Cream and Gold
Gray Catbird
Gray Catbird
Not sure but interesting
Not sure but interesting
Purple Flower
Purple Flower
Zinnia
Zinnia
Soft and Pretty (a favorite)
Soft and Pretty (a favorite)
Different
Different
Yellow Flower
Yellow Flower
Sleeping Raccoon
Sleeping Raccoon
Juvenile Robin
Juvenile Robin
Cardinal
Cardinal
Butterfly
Butterfly
Sparrow and Chick
Sparrow and Chick
Red Flower
Red Flower
Burst of Yellow (Cheery)
Burst of Yellow (Cheery)
Pink Petals
Pink Petals
Black Stork (Central Park Zoo)
Black Stork (Central Park Zoo)
Beautiful Lilies
Beautiful Lilies
Hydrangea
Hydrangea
Hydrangea
Hydrangea

Wigeons at White Rock (6/18/16)

The Chiloe Wigeon pair seems to have made White Rock their home for now. The are amusing to watch as they interact with the other ducks. The male is quite feisty and the female is a bit timid. When the Mallards peck at the male, he turns and gives it as good as he gets it. The female just tries to stay out of the way. I don’t know how they ended up at White Rock or how long they will stay, but I’m glad I got to see them. As I pay more attention to the birds around me, I realize just how special and important White Rock Lake is to them all.

Chiloe Wigeon Male
Chiloe Wigeon Male
Chiloe Wigeon Pair Arriving at White Rock
Chiloe Wigeon Pair Arriving at White Rock
Chiloe Wigeon Pair , Male Profile
Chiloe Wigeon Pair , Male Profile
Chiloe Wigeon Pair, Sunset Glow
Chiloe Wigeon Pair, Sunset Glow
Chiloe Wigeon Pair
Chiloe Wigeon Pair
Chiloe Wigeon Profiles
Chiloe Wigeon Profiles

Full of Surprises

Monday evening at White Rock was full of surprises. A Baltimore Oriole at the Boy Scout Hill area actually stayed put long enough for a few good photos. A juvenile hawk was calling for it’s mom. I heard this as soon as I got out of my car at Sunset Bay (you have to listen 🙂 ). Closer to the lake, I was able to photograph a pair of Chiloe Wigeons – thanks Ben! They are Chilean Whistling Ducks. And, of course, Black-bellied Whistling Ducks decided to visit Sunset Bay. When I feel like skipping a visit to the lake, I’m going to remember the fun I had Monday evening.

Baltimore Oriole - Front View
Baltimore Oriole – Front View
Baltimore Oriole - Wing Detail
Baltimore Oriole – Wing Detail
Juvenile Hawk
Juvenile Hawk
Chiloe Wigeon Pair - Chilean Whistling Ducks
Chiloe Wigeon Pair – Chilean Whistling Ducks
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks
At Peace
At Peace

Morning Walk at White Rock or Mosquito Morning

I had fun (except for the mosquitoes) joining a group from Audubon Dallas on an early morning bird watching walk at White Rock. It is amazing to me how quickly they can identify the birds by their calls. I have learned a few of the more basic such as the Cardinal and the Oriole. I have a lot to learn. It is a little more difficult for me because not only do I have to hear it, but I also have to see it and then it has to be kind enough to stay put long enough for a photo. 🙂 The smaller birds have a more difficult time cooperating. I have chased quite a few from tree to tree only to come away with a blurry image of a really interesting bird.

There were quite a few different birds out and about this morning but I was most excited when someone spotted the Yellow-Crowned Night Heron nest. There were four juvenile herons watching us before we even saw them. We didn’t stay too long so that we wouldn’t disturb them too much. I have to admit that I left the group a little early because I just couldn’t take the mosquitoes anymore. I think they actually liked the deet from our spray.

Waiting for breakfast at the White Rock Spillway
Waiting for breakfast at the White Rock Spillway
Black-crowned Night Heron
Black-crowned Night Heron
Great Blue Heron or Tricolored Heron? Catching breakfast
Great Blue Heron or Tricolored Heron? Catching breakfast
Caught the Night Heron moving from one step to another - thought this was funny.
Caught the Night Heron moving from one step to another – thought this was funny.
Focused on catching breakfast
Focused on catching breakfast
Juvenile Yellow-Crowned Night Herons There were 4 in the nest but one jumped out to the side.
Juvenile Yellow-Crowned Night Herons
There were 4 in the nest but one jumped out to the side.
Juvenile Yellow-Crowned Night Heron
Juvenile Yellow-Crowned Night Heron
Female Wood Duck
Female Wood Duck
Tufted Titmouse Pair?
Tufted Titmouse Pair?
Great Egret with morning catch
Great Egret with morning catch

Rain Delay

Caught in the rain! I thought it was safe to venture out so I decided to visit the arboretum again. About a half hour into my walk, it started to rain. I was able to make it to the gazebo by the lily pond before getting too wet. It didn’t get much better after that. Wet shoes, wet jeans, wet hair, dry camera. I used a plastic poncho to keep my camera dry. Other people were not so lucky.

Since I was already there, I waited for the rain to slow down so that I could get a few photos of the flowers with raindrops. I had about a 15 minute window before the rain started again. My rain delayed visit ended with some nice photos but it was shorter than I had planned.

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DSC_1237

DSC_1240

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P1130161

P1130169

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P1130183

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Time for Flowers

I visited the Arboretum twice in the last few days. I went early Sunday morning and then this evening because they are open until 8pm on Wednesdays. It provides a nice opportunity to photograph the flowers with a different light. Walking around the Arboretum is also great exercise. 🙂

Red Rose
Red Rose
Magnolia
Magnolia
Lotus
Lotus
Water Lilies
Water Lilies
Water Lily Pond
Water Lily Pond
Dogwood
Dogwood
Pink Rose
Pink Rose
Light Pink Rose
Light Pink Rose
Zinnia
Zinnia

Fort Worth Japanese Garden

I had to make a trip to Arlington yesterday, so I decided to visit the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, specifically the Japanese Garden. I thought I might see some Wood Ducks but I ended up seeing a Great Blue Heron and a Green Heron. Not what I expected but I sure was happy. The blue heron pretty much stayed in the same spot the whole time I was there but I chased the Green Heron around for those photos. That definitely made it more interesting. I don’t make it to Fort Worth very often so I’m glad this was a good visit.

Great Blue Heron and the Koi Fish
Great Blue Heron and the Koi Fish
Catching Lunch - Not the best photo but it captures the moment.
Catching Lunch – Not the best photo but it captures the moment.
Lunch
Lunch
Green Heron on Alert
Green Heron on Alert
Green Heron in a Tree
Green Heron in a Tree
Green Heron - On Alert Again
Green Heron – On Alert Again
Profile
Profile
Windy Moment - He doesn't look happy.
Windy Moment – He doesn’t look happy.
Scratchin'
Scratchin’

Excitement Among the Calm

While enjoying a nice quiet evening at the lake, one unusual event caused quite the excitement. More and more people are putting their boats in at Sunset Bay which truly disturbs the birds. But this time I could tell something was different. This man was moving with speed and purpose. After being asked to please not disturb the birds, he stated that he was going to help his wife who had fallen into the lake. He said nothing else and then disappeared. Well, we called for help. After a short wait, the Fire Water Rescue team arrived and began assessing the situation. They never made it into the water because their raft popped as they were airing it up. With a large group of firefighters and police officers watching, the man and his wife appeared from the direction he had headed toward. And sure enough, he had helped his wife who had probably tipped her boat and fallen in. I didn’t take photos of the whole scene because I am more interested in the birds. 🙂

I was able to get a few shots before and after all of this excitement. It was a very nice evening.

Sunset Bay
Sunset Bay
Female Wood Duck
Female Wood Duck
Wood Duck Profile
Wood Duck Profile
Wood Duck Calling Out
Wood Duck Calling Out
Great Egret
Great Egret