Monday, September 17, 2007

Bulletin #12 - Texas birds

David McDonald Photography
Friendswood Texas

Bulletin #12 – Misc Texas birds

Hello friends,

Summer is a slow time for birding. However with the babies and juveniles, there are some new plumages to photograph.

July 4th weekend found me in the Texas Hill Country west of Austin. I was able to pick up several new species and some improved photos of species of which I already had photos.

The first is House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus). A pair were very cooperative on the bird feeder. First is the male.

Here is the female.

The local hummingbird in this area in the Black-chinned Hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri). The male has a purple throat patch with black above. It is very difficult to see the purple gorget on this bird, but with flash, the camera picked it up rather nicely.

The female has no throat patch, just some dark spots.

Another local bird I was able to photograph just before leaving the area was the Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus)

The last bird of note is the distinctive Lark Sparrow. The facial pattern and clear breast with central spot are diagnostic of this species. This bird was on the ground under a feeder. This makes life simple for the photographer! The first photo is on the Houston Audubon web site. click ‘next’ once

The Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) nests in my yard and daily visits the sunflower seed feeders. The juveniles have black beaks rather than the red beaks of their parents. The juvenile male has considerable red on the breast.

The juvenile female is plainer.

A trip to Anahuac NWR in August produced some good photos. The first was a singing male Dickcissel (Spiza americana).

The next was a Common Nighthawk (Chordeiles minor) perched on a fence post.

The last bird was a Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris). This secretive bird usually stays hidden in the reeds. However, that particular day there were many singing. I waited patiently, and finally he popped up to the top of the reeds to sing and I was able to get a couple of good photos. click ‘next’ once

As the summer is slow, and I was at Anahuac NWR I decided to try my luck with dragonflies. There were far more numerous than birds that day. I think they are rather colorful and interesting to learn about. I had to buy a guide book to see what species were in the pictures.

The first is Eastern Pondhawk (male).

The next is Four-spotted Pennant (female).

The last one is Needham’s Skimmer (male).

All comments and suggestions are welcomed and appreciated.

Happy Birding,

David McDonald

Photos copyright David McDonald 2007

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