Mallards, Pelicans and Sunsets

These photos were all taken on December 19 or December 20. I take many more than I could ever post so I must learn to be more selective with what I keep.

The first sunset pictures are from December 19 and the second set with the red and purple are from December 20. I’m glad I stayed a little longer on the 20th otherwise I would have missed these.

I have been spending a lot of my time trying to capture the mallards in flight at Sunset Bay.
Until I get a new lense for my D500, I am having to crop most of my photos. I am having trouble deciding which lense will be best, so it’s taking time. Here is a pair of mallards at Sunset Bay.
Mallards at Sunset Bay
Pelican Portrait
Incoming pelicans as seen from the small dock at Sunset Bay.
Sunset at White Rock Lake with Downtown Dallas in the distance
Sunset at Sunset Bay
Slightly different version of the same sunset.
This is the same sunset just taken a few minutes apart from the others.
Sunset Bay
Sunset Bay
Sunset Bay

The Beauty at Sunset Bay (posted 11/06/2016)

I have noticed a few different birds at Sunset Bay during the last couple of weeks. But as usual, I spend most of my time focused on the pelicans. The Kingfisher has been out and about but it is so fast and therefore difficult to capture. It seems to be quite the attraction with a few photographers who come out specifically to see the Sunset Bay Kingfisher.

It also seems that there are quite a few more people coming out to the lake, especially Sunset Bay. I have spent time at other spots around the lake, but lately, I feel as though I will miss something if I don’t go. I’m probably missing something right now. Later…

Gliding Pelican - The pelicans provide entertainment during each of my visits to Sunset Bay.
Gliding Pelican – The pelicans provide entertainment during each of my visits to Sunset Bay.
Graceful - I hope each of you gets to see the wonder of pelicans gliding into the bay.  Words and photos can't describe what it feels like to see them slowly descend into the water.
Graceful – I hope each of you gets to see the wonder of pelicans gliding into the bay. Words and photos can’t describe what it feels like to see them slowly descend into the water.
Pelican in the Sun
Pelican in the Sun
Ruddy Ducks - They didn't get very close.  This is a zoom and a crop of some of them.
Ruddy Ducks – They didn’t get very close. This is a zoom and a crop of some of them.
Three Pelicans - This is one of my favorite, so far!
Three Pelicans – This is one of my favorite, so far!
Pelican - The reflection of the sun was what made me take this photo.  The color was beautiful!
Pelican – The reflection of the sun was what made me take this photo. The color was beautiful!
Two Pelicans - Sleeping and Preening
Two Pelicans – Sleeping and Preening
Two Pelicans - Different Pose
Two Pelicans – Different Pose
Flying Canada Geese
Flying Canada Geese
Resting Pelicans
Resting Pelicans
Northern Pintail - I noticed this single duck that looked very different from afar.  One of the photographers helped me ID the duck.  I followed it around but it was more and more difficult to get a photo as it got darker.
Northern Pintail – I noticed this single duck that looked very different from afar. One of the photographers helped me ID the duck. I followed it around but it was more and more difficult to get a photo as it got darker.
Northern Pintail Duck
Northern Pintail Duck
Northern Pintail among the Mallards
Northern Pintail among the Mallards

Foggy Morning at White Rock (10/22/16)

What a beautiful morning! The fog over the bay made for some great mood photos. I had planned to be out there a little sooner but I overslept. I actually thought about sleeping in but 2 seconds later, I was getting up. I am so glad I did. You never know what you might find at White Rock.

There was a group of photographers out there having a class led by someone who shoots for National Geographic. They all had extensive camera equipment. I have to admit that I felt a bit inadequate with my little Panasonic Lumix. But then I got home and was pleased with quite a few of the photos I took. I have my new Nikon D500 camera but the lense I have doesn’t zoom so far. So…I bought another Lumix. This one zooms from 20 – 1200. I’m going to have to start using a monopod or a tripod. One day I will get a better lense for the Nikon.

Back to the morning. I took quite a few photos once the sun had completely overtaken the bay but I want to keep this post to the mood photos with the early morning fog. I might make it again tomorrow morning.

Great Blue Heron having a peaceful morning.
Great Blue Heron having a peaceful morning.
The fog made for some great mood photos.
The fog made for some great mood photos.
Most of the pelicans were still trying to sleep.
Most of the pelicans were still trying to sleep.
The top pelican was serving as a watchman.
The top pelican was serving as a watchman.
The sun started to hit the birds and provide just enough light to make for some good photo opportunities.
The sun started to hit the birds and provide just enough light to make for some good photo opportunities.
This is one of my favorite from this morning.  I waited for the profile shot and hoped the sun would stay right at the same spot.
This is one of my favorite from this morning. I waited for the profile shot and hoped the sun would stay right at the same spot.
Too close.  The pelican on the right is the same one that looked so calm and peaceful in the previous photos.  This is what happens when another one gets too close.
Too close. The pelican on the right is the same one that looked so calm and peaceful in the previous photos. This is what happens when another one gets too close.
The standoff.  They finished arguing and then stared at each other for a few seconds before getting back  to the preening.
The standoff. They finished arguing and then stared at each other for a few seconds before getting back to the preening.
The sun was making its way out onto the bay.  This is the first time I can remember actually hoping the sun would not come out so fast.
The sun was making its way out onto the bay. This is the first time I can remember actually hoping the sun would not come out so fast.

Pelicans

The pelicans have arrived a little early at White Rock Lake. There are over 100 of them as of Sunday afternoon. On Sunday, at mid-morning, I was standing on the dock at Sunset Bay when almost all of the pelicans decided to fly to the far end of the bay and start fishing. It was an amazing sight. I had seen them fish before but never in a group that large. The photos show the scene but they can’t really convey the feeling of awe as I stood there watching the process which lasted for over an hour. I’m glad I was there to see all of this. The following photos are from Sunday, October 16th.

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A Peaceful Afternoon at the Lake

I sure did enjoy my afternoon at White Rock Lake. Having a day off when it isn’t a major holiday makes for a very quiet afternoon. I was excited when I saw the Kestrel at Boy Scout Hill but words cannot explain the feeling I had watching the pelicans glide into Sunset Bay. I have a lot of work to catch up on and I could have gone to the office but then I would have missed the pelicans. I guess I’ll go to work tomorrow or maybe Sunday…

I started my afternoon at Sunset Bay with our resident Chilean Wigeon.   There is now only one.  I think this is the female.  She has joined the growing group of Coots.  They don't seem to mind.
I started my afternoon at Sunset Bay with our resident Chilean Wigeon. There is now only one. I think this is the female. She has joined the growing group of Coots. They don’t seem to mind.
I was standing on the dock talking with JR Compton when these Monarchs showed up.  I had been checking the other side of the lake for them and here they were.  Nice surprise!
I was standing on the dock talking with JR Compton when these Monarchs showed up. I had been checking the other side of the lake for them and here they were. Nice surprise!
A Monarch butterfly at Sunset Bay.
A Monarch butterfly at Sunset Bay.
This is the funniest little bird.  This grieb shows up and then just as quickly disappears.
This is the funniest little bird. This grieb shows up and then just as quickly disappears.
I found this Great Blue Heron at the opposite side of the lake by the Fisher Road end.  He wasn't doing anything special.  He was just being great.
I found this Great Blue Heron at the opposite side of the lake by the Fisher Road end. He wasn’t doing anything special. He was just being great.
I spotted this single pelican in the middle of the lake.  They look so content as they glide along the water.   I feel a sense of peace when I see a photo like this one.
I spotted this single pelican in the middle of the lake. They look so content as they glide along the water. I feel a sense of peace when I see a photo like this one.
I watched this Great Blue Heron walk across the top of this boat.  I'm surprised more birds weren't up there.
I watched this Great Blue Heron walk across the top of this boat. I’m surprised more birds weren’t up there.
Male American Kestrel I knew this was special when I saw it fly into the tree.  It actually flew to almost the same spot where the Red Tailed Hawk was a few days ago.  I wanted a better photo but the moment I stepped forward, it flew away.  They are common falcons but this is the first one I've seen.
Male American Kestrel
I knew this was special when I saw it fly into the tree. It actually flew to almost the same spot where the Red Tailed Hawk was a few days ago. I wanted a better photo but the moment I stepped forward, it flew away. They are common falcons but this is the first one I’ve seen.
A bathing pelican - I'm still waiting for them to get closer.
A bathing pelican – I’m still waiting for them to get closer.
A group of pelicans arriving at Sunset Bay.  They gracefully fall out of the sky.  It is an awesome sight to see them circle and then land.  They are so quiet when they arrive that you might miss this unless you look up.
A group of pelicans arriving at Sunset Bay. They gracefully fall out of the sky. It is an awesome sight to see them circle and then land. They are so quiet when they arrive that you might miss this unless you look up.
Pelicans arriving at Sunset Bay
Pelicans arriving at Sunset Bay
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher  I was surprised to see one.  I hadn't seen one in a while.
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
I was surprised to see one. I hadn’t seen one in a while.

Monarch Migration

Monarch butterflies are migrating through Dallas this week. A friend told me about a spot at White Rock Lake where the Monarchs gather. Sure enough, there were quite a few of them when I visited the lake today. I’m really happy that I found them because I normally try to see them at the Fair Park butterfly garden but with the State Fair going on right now, I might miss them. I took an unbelievable number of photos. Here are some of them:

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Sunday Evening at White Rock Lake (9/4/16)

I made it to the lake for about an hour. It appeared that we might have a nice sunset so I only had time for Sunset Bay. Beautiful evening all around.

I always seem to come back to the Chiloe Wigeons at Sunset Bay.  I have enjoyed trying to capture them at different moments.  For this shot I was hoping it would look left, into the sunlight.  It didn't happen but I still like this shot.
I always seem to come back to the Chiloe Wigeons at Sunset Bay. I have enjoyed trying to capture them at different moments. For this shot I was hoping it would look left, into the sunlight. It didn’t happen but I still like this shot.
The Wigeons are fast little ducks so I do appreciate each photo that comes out clear and sharp.  They have provided an alternative during a quiet time for birding.  I wonder if they will stick around after the pelicans arrive this month.
The Wigeons are fast little ducks so I do appreciate each photo that comes out clear and sharp. They have provided an alternative during a quiet time for birding. I wonder if they will stick around after the pelicans arrive this month.
I waited for this one.  There was one small spot with the tree reflection making the water green.  I think it makes for a very nice background.
I waited for this one. There was one small spot with the tree reflection making the water green. I think it makes for a very nice background.
I really like this one.  The profile makes this shot.  It is something different than the regular side view.
I really like this one. The profile makes this shot. It is something different than the regular side view.
The Canada Geese arrived for dinner.  These are two of the four that come to Sunset Bay around dinner time.  Charles provides food for them every night.
The Canada Geese arrived for dinner. These are two of the four that come to Sunset Bay around dinner time. Charles provides food for them every night.
One more shot of the Chiloe Wigeon leaving the dock at Sunset Bay.  He had plenty of bread from the other visitors and was heading out.
One more shot of the Chiloe Wigeon leaving the dock at Sunset Bay. He had plenty of bread from the other visitors and was heading out.
Sunset at Sunset Bay.  Well, the sun was setting but it was still about fifteen minutes from the actual sunset.  I appreciate all that Sunset Bay has to offer.  We are fortunate that it is right in the middle of the city.
Sunset at Sunset Bay. Well, the sun was setting but it was still about fifteen minutes from the actual sunset. I appreciate all that Sunset Bay has to offer. We are fortunate that it is right in the middle of the city.

Today at White Rock Lake (9/3/16)

I was able to visit the lake twice today. I had some great photo opportunities on both visits. My first visit was from 9am to about 11am and then I returned at 6:30pm and stayed until just after sunset.

I'm so glad I remembered to take my binoculars to the lake today.  I might have missed this Green Heron at Sunset Bay.  I watched it for a few minutes and took a few photos that came out somewhat decent.  From what I hear, there are three Green Herons at Sunset Bay right now.  I will keep my eyes open for them the next time I'm out there.
I’m so glad I remembered to take my binoculars to the lake today. I might have missed this Green Heron at Sunset Bay. I watched it for a few minutes and took a few photos that came out somewhat decent. From what I hear, there are three Green Herons at Sunset Bay right now. I will keep my eyes open for them the next time I’m out there.
I made a quick trip to the spillway after Sunset Bay.  There were a few Great Egrets flying around.  I caught this one just as it was landing on the rocks.  The spillway was a bit quiet, probably because I made it out there a little later than I had hoped.
I made a quick trip to the spillway after Sunset Bay. There were a few Great Egrets flying around. I caught this one just as it was landing on the rocks. The spillway was a bit quiet, probably because I made it out there a little later than I had hoped.
Back at Sunset Bay, I saw this Great Blue Heron wading in the water.  There are a few at Sunset Bay right now.  It's a great opportunity to photograph one in flight.
Back at Sunset Bay, I saw this Great Blue Heron wading in the water. There are a few at Sunset Bay right now. It’s a great opportunity to photograph one in flight.
Surprise!  This Green Heron was off the right side of the dock at Sunset Bay.  I was able to get a few shots before it flew into the nearby tree.  I decided to stay and wait for it to show some movement.  You will see in one of the next photos that it did make it's way out of the tree to eat.
Surprise! This Green Heron was off the right side of the dock at Sunset Bay. I was able to get a few shots before it flew into the nearby tree. I decided to stay and wait for it to show some movement. You will see in one of the next photos that it did make it’s way out of the tree to eat.
As I moved closer, he began to cautiously move from his perch while keeping a close eye on me.  I tried to take a few more steps but that just made him leave faster.  He didn't go to far.   He was still close enough for some more photos.
As I moved closer, he began to cautiously move from his perch while keeping a close eye on me. I tried to take a few more steps but that just made him leave faster. He didn’t go to far. He was still close enough for some more photos.
I zoomed out to get the reflection of the trees in the water.  I tend to zoom in for close shots so I have to remember to keep the big picture in mind.  I like this photo because of the reflected colors on the water.
I zoomed out to get the reflection of the trees in the water. I tend to zoom in for close shots so I have to remember to keep the big picture in mind. I like this photo because of the reflected colors on the water.
Here is a close up portrait of the Green Heron.  I have learned from other photographers to pay special attention to the eyes.  If the eyes are sharp then it is probably a good photo.  I take a few photos because what I think might be sharp really isn't when I see the image on the computer.
Here is a close up portrait of the Green Heron. I have learned from other photographers to pay special attention to the eyes. If the eyes are sharp then it is probably a good photo. I take a few photos because what I think might be sharp really isn’t when I see the image on the computer.
These are the geese of Sunset Bay.  I have to admit that I am a little afraid of them.  It all started when I was standing by Eric one morning.  Well, I didn't know how much they like him.  I, apparently, was too close and they let me know it.  They even followed Eric down the walk to the dock on this particular morning.  Later in the week as I was standing at the edge of the water one of them snapped the back of my thigh.  Now I  think they sense my fear.  I can't help it.  Even so, they are just beautiful!
These are the geese of Sunset Bay. I have to admit that I am a little afraid of them. It all started when I was standing by Eric one morning. Well, I didn’t know how much they like him. I, apparently, was too close and they let me know it. They even followed Eric down the walk to the dock on this particular morning. Later in the week as I was standing at the edge of the water one of them snapped the back of my thigh. Now I think they sense my fear. I can’t help it. Even so, they are just beautiful!
This Snowy Egret was fishing right in the middle of all the geese.  They were loud and intimidating but the egret didn't seem to care.
This Snowy Egret was fishing right in the middle of all the geese. They were loud and intimidating but the egret didn’t seem to care.
Caught you!  The Heron caught a fish and I caught the Heron in the act.  I'm glad I waited around to see if he would come out.  This little sequence of events happened very quickly.
Caught you! The Heron caught a fish and I caught the Heron in the act. I’m glad I waited around to see if he would come out. This little sequence of events happened very quickly.
There are now several Muscovy Ducks at Sunset Bay.  They are very weird looking yet quite handsome as well.  They stand out for sure.  It seems that someone actually brought them to Sunset Bay.  They apparently asked Charles if it was okay to release them about a month or two ago.  There are some adult Muscovy ducks and some juvenile ducks as well.  There is a white one that stands out but I haven't taken a good photo of that one yet.
There are now several Muscovy Ducks at Sunset Bay. They are very weird looking yet quite handsome as well. They stand out for sure. It seems that someone actually brought them to Sunset Bay. They apparently asked Charles if it was okay to release them about a month or two ago. There are some adult Muscovy ducks and some juvenile ducks as well. There is a white one that stands out but I haven’t taken a good photo of that one yet.
The Chiloe Wigeons have made Sunset Bay home.  They have been here for several months now.  They are such pretty ducks - I never get tired of trying to get good shots of them.  I especially like the little whistling sound they make.  They have fun little personalities.  I have watched them enough to know that they are feisty little ducks.
The Chiloe Wigeons have made Sunset Bay home. They have been here for several months now. They are such pretty ducks – I never get tired of trying to get good shots of them. I especially like the little whistling sound they make. They have fun little personalities. I have watched them enough to know that they are feisty little ducks.
Hi!  This Canada Goose seemed to be interested in me as I took his photo.  There are four of them out there right now.  They come up and eat some of the corn that Charles puts out for them.  There were some before; I wonder if these are different geese.
Hi! This Canada Goose seemed to be interested in me as I took his photo. There are four of them out there right now. They come up and eat some of the corn that Charles puts out for them. There were some before; I wonder if these are different geese.
One last photo of the Wigeon for the day.  They are so photogenic.  They are fast swimmers so it takes a steady hand to catch them as they move around the water.
One last photo for the day. They are so photogenic. They are fast swimmers so it takes a steady hand to catch them as they move around the water.

Catching Up – Early August

I have been spending some time at the lake, I just haven’t been writing and uploading the pictures. I really do appreciate the time it takes to keep current on websites, especially because I look at a few and I do enjoy seeing new photos.

I have made the effort to go by the lake even though it is extremely hot. I get this feeling that I will miss something if I don’t go but the funny thing is that if I don’t go how will I know if I missed something. It’s like a puzzle. What to do? I usually go because you aren’t going to get anything sitting inside even if it is air conditioned. 🙂

Something I have to share is that I have started using Photoshop, thanks to Robert. It has made a difference and now I see what everyone meant when they told me that it would take some photos up a notch or two. For as long as I have been taking photos (almost 10 years) I had only cropped an occasional photo. I mostly try to use natural lighting and frame the scene as I’m taking the photo because the final product would pretty much be what came out of the camera. I’m glad I came to Photoshop later than earlier because I feel that it made me more disciplined with what I capture. Sure, I’ve missed quite a few shots because of this but I’m okay with that.

It may be hot in August but the birds still need to be out and about. Here are some photos over 4 days in early August.

Eastern Kingbird at Sunset Bay
Eastern Kingbird at Sunset Bay
August 2nd Sunset
August 2nd Sunset
Great Blue Heron stretching at the spillway - I like catching the water with the green tree reflections.
Great Blue Heron stretching at the spillway – I like catching the water with the green tree reflections.
Egret at the spillway
Egret at the spillway
Great Blue Heron - He looks like he's talking.
Great Blue Heron – He looks like he’s talking.
Sneaking By - The Egret slowly walked behind the Great Blue Heron.  This little episode has happened before and the Great Blue Heron usually begins to hop and flap toward the other bird.  Not this time.  But he did keep an eye on the egret.
Sneaking By – The Egret slowly walked behind the Great Blue Heron. This little episode has happened before and the Great Blue Heron usually begins to hop and flap toward the other bird. Not this time. But he did keep an eye on the egret.
Western Kingbirds - There were about 5 or 6 that just kept flying around.  This one made the resting one move out of the way.
Western Kingbirds – There were about 5 or 6 that just kept flying around. This one made the resting one move out of the way.
Snowy Egret - I found this snowy egret at T & P Hill.  If you haven't watched a snowy carefully, you really should.  They use their legs in such an amusing way when looking for food.
Snowy Egret – I found this snowy egret at T & P Hill. If you haven’t watched a snowy carefully, you really should. They use their legs in such an amusing way when looking for food.
Black-crowned Night Heron at the spillway - There were several animals out and about on this particular evening.
Black-crowned Night Heron at the spillway – There were several animals out and about on this particular evening.
Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron - I almost missed this one.
Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron – I almost missed this one.
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher - I was watching the herons when this scissor-tail landed in the tree right above me.
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher – I was watching the herons when this scissor-tail landed in the tree right above me.
Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron - I like that this was an evening shot.  I think the colors blend beautifully.
Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron – I like that this was an evening shot. I think the colors blend beautifully.