This Eurasian collared-dove is drinking in typical dove fashion, sucking water rather than dipping and let it trickle down its throat. I had thought this marsh was salt, but it's apparently brackish. Wonder if EUCD's develop salt processing glands in coastal areas? Wonder if they eat collards down south?
I always get a kick out of egrets. They are so decorative, and we have so few of them here at home.
It was blowing a gale, probably 35 mph sustained winds, lifting even the short feathers on his sleek neck.
This is a behavior well known in herons and raptors, aptly called "foot staring." Nobody really knows why they do it; they seem to stare at their feet when in some kind of transition or conflict between behaviors. Should I stay or should I go? Or maybe he has an ingrown toenail. Or is wondering why he doesn't have golden slippers like the snowy egret. Who can say. He's staring at his foot. We all do that from time to time.
The Life Bird Wiggle, as executed by Jason Larson and Kathi Hutton. Bill demands it and is rarely refused. Kathi cleaned up on this trip. 43 lifers!! I got some life butterflies. Note Phoebs taking five behind the So. Padre Convention Center. Terrific view of marshes and flats there. And of happy Ohioans.
In case you're wondering what my rig looks like, here 'tis. This is the Canon L-series image-stabilized 70-300 telephoto lens. mounted on a Canon 7D body. The black part is a lens shade, so the lens itself is extremely compact. As you can see the lens barrel fits nicely in my hand. Compact, reasonably light yet nimble and powerful, and death on flying birds, as you've seen. I do love it. So much. It rocks. So hard. I've linked right to Midwest Photo Exchange's page for each component, just to help Santa along. My strap is the Blackrapid RS-W1 sling camera strap, designed for women. One attachment point, with a screw, on the bottom of the camera. Padded and curve-friendly, very comfy. Don't worry, they work for men, too. Worn bandolier style over the far shoulder, so the camera hangs nicely at the hip and swings up for action. I lurve it. Just check that attachment screw (by the hook at the bottom of the camera below) each time you don the rig. Make sure it's tight and you're good to go. Otherwise your rig might fall into fine loose silty dust on El Costero Ranch and you might let loose a string of very bad words.