Spring Migration: When Birds Give You Butts

“Some people see the glass half full. Others see it half empty. I see a glass that’s twice as big as it needs to be.” ~ George Carlin

Some days with spring-window birding, migrants simply won’t cooperate for photographs. Much of good bird photography has to do the right equipment and lighting, and being at the right place at the right time.

But your subject must cooperate a little bit. Birds — like kids — rarely do.

When you get only a handful of opportunities to photograph certain bird species during the spring migration window, you git what you git and you don’t throw a fit.

This weekend, bird butts was pretty much all I got.

Baltimore Oriole

Baltimore Oriole

Blackpoll Warbler

Blackpoll Warbler

American Redstart

American Redstart

Summer Tanager

Summer Tanager (Male)

Summer Tanager (F)

Summer Tanager (Female)

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Black-whiskered Vireo

Black-whiskered Vireo
Lifer! And a vagrant migrant ta boot.
Might never see again.

Still, there’s always an upside! There where quite a few decent shots as well as some birder-led finds and ID’s that resulted in several life birds.

  • Least Bittern (thanks, Brian!)
  • Baird’s Sandpiper
  • Long-tailed Duck (stumbled upon her)
  • Stilt Sandpiper, Buff-breasted Sandpiper, and Whimbrel (thanks, scope birder!)
  • Reddish Egret (White Morph)
  • King Rail
  • Warbling Vireo (thanks, kind birder!)
  • Prairie Warbler

And do you know what? We have already broken our highest annual species count of 256 — we stand at 259 species just halfway into spring. We may actually finish this year over 300 with predominately local birding.

Thank you, Texas Gulf Coast / Houston region. You are definitely good for something other than heat, humidity, and mosquitoes.

By the way, all the good photos are embedded in the checklists below. Go ahead…have a look.

Related Links:

Spring migration is coming to a close.
Will be back to regular blogging soon!

15 thoughts on “Spring Migration: When Birds Give You Butts

    1. Indeed! I even count sounds, as long as I know it’s not a mockingbird making it. Such a great year that started with Colorado. Looking forward to releasing those posts next month. Cheers, Tanja.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. That Black-whiskered Vireo had us running all over the place. Dozens of birders amassed into this small refuge (he showed up the evening before) and you could always tell where the Prairie Warbler, BW Vireo, or Cape May Warbler were by the whirring of all the camera drives. They were the stars of the show. But, sadly, Blackburnian, Cerulean, and Chestnut-sided got blown right over us with the south wind. Will have to wait until next year.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, right? You aren’t a true bird photographer if you haven’t got more crappy photos than good ones. (At least that’s what I tell myself.) ;D


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