Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Seldom Heard and Mysterious Call of The Eastern Screech-Owl

And today we have a little public service announcement from yours truly. I've recently come into possession of an audio recording. Said audio file was recorded and shared with me by friend of the blog, AJ. 

So, here's the deal. I have heard a lot of Eastern Screech-Owls. A lot. And in all those occasions, I have never heard this sound come out of any of them. This is actually the second time AJ has recorded EASO making this vocalization. So, here we go...the infrequently heard call of the Eastern Screech-Owl.

Weird, right?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Le Coast

The grass is greener.  I was going to write this post about how the birds of the coast are better than the birds I see here, but I don't necessarily think that's the case. They only seem better because I don't see them all the time. But if I lived in a place where I didn't have Painted Buntings and Bell's Vireo's around, I guess I'd yearn for those birds as well. It's the same discussion that gets had over and over again. Kind of rote, just like local birding in October. And that's why I went to the coast.

Neotropic Cormorant
Giving me El Ojo 
Cooperative Marsh Wren, or Oxymoron
Fulvous Whistling-Duck is a sought after bird for many nerds traveling from out of state. Many of these birders go home unfulfilled. This is unfortunate.
Juvenile Reddish Egret
Royal Terns and Black Skimmers 
This is a Snowy Plover. 
It is not good at hiding.
And this is a Piping Plover with a leg band.
That is all.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Hawks Hawks Hawks

Things have been pretty slow in Austin lately and as such, I've been feeling the need to get out of town. Fortunately for me the coast is not far away so Friday afternoon I loaded up the car and headed east. My trip was aided by the new podcast from This American Life, Serial. Check it out, it's super engaging. Anyways, part of my time was spent at the Smith Point Hawkwatch, conveniently located on the eastern shore of Galveston Bay. There were hawks. Shitloads of hawks. With other places to hit, I only spent about an hour at the hawk watch, but apparently they counted 26,093 Broad-winged Hawks yesterday. YESTERDAY. That shit is nuts.

This is a juvenile Mississippi Kite. It is fucking sexy.

Sharp-shinned Hawk
Broad-winged Hawks comprise the vast majority of raptors here.
Most of them were juveniles. 

This was the lone dark morph Broad-winged.

It probably would have been cool to stay there for awhile, but the ratio of nerds in khaki to coffee in my system was not favorable. I booked.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Western Gulls

Today, we have a series of Western Gull shots from last months pelagic out of Half Moon Bay. The combination of me starting to shoot manual and good periods of dead time on the boat gave me the opportunity to take way too many pictures of the Western Gulls that followed us.

I dig the shape and position of the primaries and secondaries mid-wing flap.

The under tail coverts and tail feathers are remarkable on these young birds. I was surprised.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

If Not That, This

Today, we have angles. No more, no less.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher flycatching in the rain. 
White-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
Horace's Duskywing