We made it. Five full weeks of school and finally everyone is with the program, getting up at a decent hour, eating breakfast, getting dressed, combing bedheads…you know. The usual day.
Two weeks ago, a Monday holiday got traded for a Friday one with Dad taking the day off too — and we went to the museum. It was a great first day off, sure, and that post is forthcoming. But you know what? Nothing beats the coast on a beautiful autumn day. Fresh back just a few hours ago, I couldn’t wait to share photos so I can stare at my blog post all day tomorrow.
We never did spot the Swallow-tailed Kite, the main reason we drove all the way out to Smith Point near Anahuac NWR today. Turns out we missed them by just a few days, being migratory as they are, they’ve already moved southward.
We did, however, add a Broad-winged Hawk and Sharp-shinned Hawk and were pleasantly surprised to see a huge flock of Anhinga — more than 200 — in the sky along with our first wild Peregrine Falcon sighting, after only just seeing our very first one ever last week.
That stinkin’ kite is now the only raptor missing from our annual list. RATS.
The new species were too high in the sky for any decent photographs, but it was a perfect day to get a perfect crick in the neck with binoculars instead. SIGH There is something really soothing about getting lost in ID’ing birds in the sky with a bunch of other people who enjoy the same thing.
Scott spotted a pair of White-tailed Kites off the road coming into Bolivar Flats, thinking they might be Swallow-tailed, and backed up so I could get a good shot through the window. One of them flew off. Birds tend to do that.
On the ferry, the kids spotted several pods of porpoise, which made the short ferry ride from Bolivar Peninsula to Galveston Island even shorter.
Porpoise Watching as a Family
Wait…whose kids are these??
There weren’t a lot of birds out on The Flats, but the ones that were there were stunning and showy.
Great Blue Heron
Got it, got it…
Black Skimmer Skimming
Reddish Egret, Royal Terns
It’s nice to know I still know how to use my camera. This time, I had no LCD feedback as I am getting ready for the second cataract surgery by not wearing my near-vision contact lens. We digital photographers get a bit too used to seeing what we just shot, then adjusting exposure for subsequent ones on the go. All images are shot with ‘trusted settings’ and checked later in the car — with reading glasses.
For more hi-res bird images of the year, click on
the SmugMug 2015 Bird Gallery.
Sadly, the hummingbird from the previous post
did not make it, succumbing to his
injuries in ICU in capable hands.