Coastal Therapy, School’s In Session!

Hi There!

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.

Talk about BADD. This is the first birding excursion we’ve had since the last time we were down on the coast, back in May. It’s been waaaay too long!

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.

White-tailed Kite

White-tailed Kite

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!

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

Great Blue Heron

Marbled Godwit

Marbled Godwit

Great Egret and Reddish Egret

Got it, got it…

Great Egret and Reddish Egret

Yes! Mine.

Snowy Plover

Snowy Plover

Black Skimmer

Black Skimmer Skimming

Reddish Egret and Royal Terns

Regal Dudes
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.

11 thoughts on “Coastal Therapy, School’s In Session!

  1. Dang…love those photos!!! I’m a HUGE shorebirds fan and those Godwits and Snowy Plover pics are great. Some day I need to make it down to the coast – I have my sights set on Dauphin Island in Alabama for spring migration one year.

    Looks like you had beautiful weather too! Glad to see everyone out enjoying it.

    Like

    1. Aw, Matthew, I must have missed this one. I love the Snowy Plover and was surprised to learn that they are losing ground as a species (declining). I feel fortunate to be so close to the coastline; it makes the scorching, humid summers of Houston almost bearable. Be well…and stay warm. 😀

      Like

    1. Thanks, Julie! I was really glad that that last shot turned out alright. It’s my favorite too.

      I just posted another one about our last field trip. I think they really ARE becoming ‘my’ kids. Bug lovers all!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Boeta. I will have to not rely on the screen these next couple of weeks, but who knows! Maybe it will become the norm to my shooting. It’s a real pain to break the flow by checking the screen.

      Liked by 1 person

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