Unexpected Opportunity

A Kingfisher! I was so excited to see this bird at the spillway. It stayed for about five minutes but it was so far away that I could only hope that one of the photos would come out halfway decent. Secretly, I wished for a perfectly clear shot but I knew that wasn’t going to happen unless I jumped the fence and swam to the little island. But then I would become one of the people bothering the birds. So, of all the photos I took, I can post one somewhat decent one.

Sunset Bay brought an unexpected opportunity for me to photograph some Mallard ducklings. I was happy to see them come so close to me and stay put for a few seconds. I felt much better about the morning especially after knowing that the Kingfishers shots would be blurry at best. So, after about an hour at Sunset Bay, I had photographed a new duck to the area, a green heron, an Eastern Kingbird and the ducklings. I had also seen a Great Egret and a Great Blue Heron. I really should have called this “Expected Opportunities” because there is always something to see and enjoy at the lake.

Kingfisher at White Rock's Spillway - I watched this Kingfisher preening for about 5 minutes before he flew away.  He was far off so I wasn't able to get a very clear shot.  Darn not having one of those super zooms.
Kingfisher at White Rock’s Spillway – I watched this Kingfisher preening for about 5 minutes before he flew away. He was far off so I wasn’t able to get a very clear shot. Darn not having one of those super zooms.
New duck at Sunset Bay
New duck at Sunset Bay
Green Heron - Apparently there are three green herons that have been visiting Sunset Bay.  I was able to see one before he flew off.   I would love to see all three at the same time.
Green Heron – Apparently there are three green herons that have been visiting Sunset Bay. I was able to see one before he flew off. I would love to see all three at the same time.
This Eastern Kingbird was difficult to capture.  He was moving so fast trying to eat as many insects/bugs as he could catch.
This Eastern Kingbird was difficult to capture. He was moving so fast trying to eat as many insects/bugs as he could catch.
The Family
The Family
I had so much fun with these little Mallard ducklings.  I think they were as curious about me as I was about them.  They came fairly close quite a few times.
I had so much fun with these little Mallard ducklings. I think they were as curious about me as I was about them. They came fairly close quite a few times.
Playing in the Waves
Playing in the Waves
I think I was getting too close.
I think I was getting too close.
Just enough morning sunlight...
Just enough morning sunlight…

Hot x 3

What was I thinking! Sure, there is time for a quick 30 – 40 minute visit to the arboretum before they close. Water, please… I will be quick. It won’t be that hot anyway. What was I thinking!

Yes, it was a quick visit but it sure was hot. I saw maybe five other people while I was out there. It seems it was even too hot for those searching for Pok√©mon. While I do love the arboretum, I have to remember this visit the next time I think to myself that I can get some photos during a “quick visit” in the middle of the hottest part of the day.

So I’m glad that there were some birds singing and flying around and some flowers soaking up the sun. Otherwise…

Blue Jay - I couldn't resist since he was singing his  heart out.
Blue Jay – I couldn’t resist since he was singing his heart out.
Blue Jay - He stayed put singing long enough for me to get several shots.
Blue Jay – He stayed put singing long enough for me to get several shots.
These little flowers caught my eye as I was headed to the rose garden.
These little flowers caught my eye as I was headed to the rose garden.
A few roses were doing well despite the heat.
A few roses were doing well despite the heat.
Close up of the previous rose.
Close up of the previous rose.
This rose had just the right touch of sunlight.
This rose had just the right touch of sunlight.
The water lilies had pretty much closed for the night except for a few of these very tiny yellow beauties.
The water lilies had pretty much closed for the night except for a few of these very tiny yellow beauties.
One last picture before closing time.
One last picture before closing time.

Fair Park (7/16/16)

I went to Fair Park to visit the butterfly house but I ended up spending more time at the lagoon watching a juvenile green heron trying to catch dragonflies. In the hour or so I was there,I saw him eat only one dragonfly and I got a decent photo of that moment. The green heron was easily distracted by other birds, people walking under the tree, dragonflies and even an airplane. It was quite entertaining to watch the heron stalk back and forth depending on what had it’s attention. I’m sure someone could say the same thing about me if they were watching me watch the green heron.

Leopard Lacewing Butterfly
Leopard Lacewing Butterfly – I found this butterfly in the outside butterfly garden. It should have been inside the butterfly house.
Pink Flower
Pink flower found in the outside butterfly garden.
Water Lillies in the Lagoon
Water Lillies in the Lagoon – This is one of my favorite water lily photos of all I’ve taken over the last few years.
Not Happy!
Not Happy!
Distracted by a Plane
Distracted by a Plane – The eyes are so unusual. They look like crazy eyes.
The One that Got Away
The One that Got Away
Hunting Dragonflies
Hunting Dragonflies
The Hunt
The Hunt – He eventually caught this one.
Catching Breakfast
Catching Breakfast

Estero Llano Grande SP (July 13 & 14)

I enjoyed a few hours at the Estero Llano Grande SP during my trip to South Texas. I was able to visit with my family and sneak away for a chance to photograph some different birds that I might not normally see in Dallas. The heat kept my visits to the park to one hour on Wednesday evening and two hours first thing Thursday morning. By the time the park opened on Thursday morning, it was already close to 90 degrees. I was one of only a handful of people braving the heat.

I saw many more birds than I was able to photograph. Even though it was so hot, the birds were still out and about. One of the park employees even showed me the tree with the resident screech owl. I never would have noticed the owl on my own. I’m sure I walked by many birds that I didn’t notice even though I was walking slowly and scanning each tree. All in all, I had a fun morning. I will visit again in November when birding is in full swing.

Preening Buff-bellied Hummingbird
Preening Buff-bellied Hummingbird
Buff-bellied Hummingbird
Buff-bellied Hummingbird
Another photo of the same little hummingbird
Another photo of the same little hummingbird
Glowing
Glowing
Rabbit
Rabbit
Eastern Screech Owl
Eastern Screech Owl
Eastern Screech Owl
Eastern Screech Owl
Butterfly on colorful flowers
Butterfly on colorful flowers
Great Kiskadee
Great Kiskadee
A pair of Great Kiskadees
A pair of Great Kiskadees
Golden-fronted Woodpecker
Golden-fronted Woodpecker
I don't know the name of this bird.
I don’t know the name of this bird.
The last photo of my visit.
The last photo of my visit.

White Rock – Illegal Fishing

I have been disappointed at the low number of birds at the spillway the last few times I have visited. But I have noticed people fishing on the other side of the gate each time (illegal). I’m sure that these people are scaring off some of the birds and disturbing their daily routines and habits. This has also been happening at Sunset Bay, although allowed. Very disappointing! I’m not sure what can be done because it seems to be many different people not necessarily the same person that can be given a warning or a ticket (at the spillway).

There are still some brave birds, or maybe very hungry birds, that continue to search for food regardless of this intrusion. I have also noticed a Yellow-crowned Night Heron resting in the trees. I’ll keep visiting and hope that the birds aren’t being disturbed too much.

Snowy Egret looking for food
Snowy Egret looking for food
Black-crowned Night Heron
Black-crowned Night Heron
Balancing Act - Resting on one leg
Balancing Act – Resting on one leg
Yellow-crowned Night Heron
Yellow-crowned Night Heron
Yellow-crowned Night Heron - Twisting & Turning
Yellow-crowned Night Heron – Twisting & Turning
Great Egret
Great Egret