2021 Pix
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Here are some pictures mostly from 2021. So you know there is all kinds of great stuff to see.
It's just that I can't get good photos of it. They are point-and-shoot study material
or documentation grab-shots. They are generally overly tight crops to reduce file sizes,
and merely for illustration. These are the photos used on the bird news page weekly breaks.
They are in reverse chronological order as used (last most recent at top-start; first
in Jan. at bottom-end). They were taken with a Canon Powershot SX40.


Here is a long distance high ISO grainy docushot of one of the
Tropical Parula warblers at Lost Maples June 6. We had
better closer looks at the second one but could not get a shot.
Five in a spring is more than double the most prior for me.


This is a tasty green morsel being prepared for feeding
to a juvenile Golden-cheeked Warbler by an adult male.


These are the White-faced Ibis at the W. Sabinal Rd. floodpond May 16.
Unfortunately it was very overcast so none of the beautiful colors of
the maroonish chestnut and oily green plumage show.


Here is one of the pair of Martin that were at the house.
They didn't take it but at least landed to inspect it.
I think a first spring male.


This is a Tropical Parula. Note black mask, no broken
white eye-crescents, yellow malar, and no black or rusty
band across upper breast.

another big migration special break...

Here are a few shorebirds, often called sandpipers.
Besides Killdeer, Snipe, and Spotted Sandpiper they are scarce here.
Mostly seen when it rains during migration at flood ponds.


Wilson's Phalarope, May 2 in BanCo. Phalaropes float and swim well.
Had to improve on that dark docushot a couple weeks ago. They peaked on
May 5 at 17 birds.


One of 22 Baird's Sandpiper May 5 in BanCo. A generic small sandpiper,
between its Argentina wintering grounds and arctic Canada breeding grounds.


This is a Pectoral Sandpiper, photo May 2018 on W. Sab. Rd., one
at the same spot May 14, 2021, but pics today were just docushots.


American Redstart (male) at the birdbath May 3. Whaddabird!


Rose-breasted Grosbeak (male) at the birdbath May 6.


This is two of the four females, of the seven Wilson's Phalarope
in Bandera Co. April 30 where hard to come by.

and here is a bonus bunting...

Some may have noticed I have an inordinate fondness for all
weirdos, oddballs, and abberations. Especially fascinating are
these Painted Buntings that are not all pure red below.
Didn't they read the books and look at the pictures?
Here yellow was dull but extensive, reddish areas often appeared
orange. Neat thing is the orbital ring is more yellow than red.
The rump too was not red but greenish yellow. Sorry about
the 3200 ISO (!) granularity, was under dark clouds in shade.
At least it's not just a description trying to convey what it was.


This is the male Lazuli Bunting on patio the 22nd.
Pretty enticing patio, eh? The back half of head
and upper back are still brownish-gray winter color.
They light up to glowing in the sun, was very overcast.

Golden-cheeked Warbler

This one was a couple weeks ago, a couple were in the yard this week.
Bad light, overcast, in shade, but you get the idea, spiffy bird, eh.


Another bad pic, I figure you are used to them by now.
This male Northern Parula (warbler) was singing at Utopia Park.
April 7, interacting with an un-ID'd female parula sps.
A beautiful little warbler, bluish above with a lime green back,
yellow throat and breast crossed by chestut and black crescents,
white broken eye-crescents, a zippy buzz of a song, a great bird.
It jumped when I snapped the pic. So that is all we got.

a bonus pic...

This is the martin chalet, Chez Martin'.


These are Black-bellied Whistling-Duck ducklings.
July 16, 2019 at Uvalde Nat. Fish Hatchery.


This is a female Golden-fronted Woodpecker.


Male Golden-fronted Woodpecker has red patch on crown,
and more extensive brighter nape patch, often infused
with orange or red feathers.


Eastern Meadowlark


This is a female Red-winged Blackbird. I suppose you
could say they look sparrowish, but they are twice as
large, and no sparrow is this streaky of underparts. They
are obviously named after the male plumage. That is also
one blurry facing viewer in lower left corner.


This has to be my best looking dependent, a Spotted Skunk.
It was in shed hunting a Cotton Rat (Sigmodon) I saw sneak
away as it closed in. It lives here somewhere, we never
smell it, only ever smell the Striped Skunk, and that rarely.


Look at those long claws. That is how it grabs prey
and climbs trees. I suspect it is what we hear climbing
around boxes on a shelf unit in the carport, hunting vermin.


Green Jay head crop. We had at least two in the yard
again this week, meaning they were in the snow last week!


We have not seen the Yellow-headed Blackbird again
since in the snow last Thursday Feb. 18.


This is the yard Feb. 15.


This is the male Yellow-headed Blackbird in the snow on Feb. 18.


This is the Anna's Hummingbird, present Feb. 5-12 so far.
Update: this bird was present to March 1.


The Texas Scrub-Jay, texana, is our subspecies, of what is now called Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay, of which it is not. The far west Texas (and westward) Scrub-Jay are Woodhouse's, these Edwards Plateau birds are their own flavor. Ridgeway I think originally described this subspecies, in other words, before Oberholser, it was that obviously different.


This is in the shade under overcast. One day it should have full species status. But since west Texas has different (Woodhouse's) scrub-jays, Texas Scrub-Jay would not be a good name for it. Edwards Plateau Scrub-Jay would be suitably accurate and unwieldy methinks.


This is an immature Sharp-shinned Hawk. These bird eaters
take lots of birds all winter, sparrows, Cardinal, and even
dove. Especially the smaller males appear barely bigger than
a Robin. A handy book gives 10 inches for Robin, 11 for Sharpy.
Don't let their size fool you, they make up for it with attitude.
I watched one march on foot into thick brush after a rabbit (!)
once, which had to be over twice its weight.


Green Heron, juvenile. This is the young the pair that nests on the island at Utopia Park produced this past summer (photo on Sept. 9, 2020). They usually do not arrive here until late April, sometimes early May, with young not seen until later August or early September.

How about our two small woodpeckers this week?
Besides the much larger Golden-fronted, these are the two
little woodpeckers here. From behind, Ladder-backed
appears lined, Downy appears spotted.

Ladder-backed Woodpecker, male. Note back is evenly zebra- barred throughought upperparts and wings. The female crown is black without red. These are the most common woodpecker here and are widespread residents. They are what enlarges the holes of every birdbox they find, often roosting in them in winter. Note the black facial stripe makes a U on its side, doubling back from eye, and returning to bill without connecting to the black nape stripe, and is completely encircled with white.


Downy Woodpecker, female. Note big white stripe up back that otherwise appears mostly black. The spots are on the wings. Males have a small red patch at top rear of crown. These are very scarce here, but semi-regular. Only one known breeding record, April 2020. Might see one any month though, generally right along river habitat corridor. Note black facial (eye) stripe a thicker line narrowing rearward, but straight, connecting to nape stripe, breaking the white.


A few American Robin at the birdbath.

~ ~ ~

Berteau House

Just to give an idea, here is a pic showing part of the yard, house and cottage, so you can get an idea of where much of the stuff being written about is being seen. This pic was May 2013, barely two months after we moved into this place. Now there are butterfly flowers around the porch and in flower beds. The yard lists are: 45 species of odes (dragons-damsels), 95 sps. of butterflies, 7 sps. of frogs & toads, 7 sps. of native lizards, 20 sps. of native mammals, about 100 sps. of plants (mostly wildflowers), and now at the 8 year point, about 230 native species of birds.

Quick links to the last few years.
2015 pix
2016 pix
2017 pix
2018 pix
2019 pix
2020 pix

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