Willets are another common bird we see in the mudflats around Rockport. They slowly walk around poking and probing for something to eat. The morning of this photo was memorable because of the lack of wind. Being on the coast, it’s windy most days here, but so far it hasn’t been as bad as Oklahoma (windiest place on earth?).
This photograph was taken earlier this month at North Cove Harbor Wetlands Sanctuary, Rockport, Texas. (Nikon Z5, 1/320 sec at f/5.6, ISO 100, 400mm, cropped)
Rockport is small fishing town where wildlife and the arts thrive. The town has been named one of the “Top Ten Coastal Art Colony” by Coastal Living Magazine. While we have been here, the Rockport Center for the Arts opened in a magnificent new building downtown. The number of working artists, studios and shops selling local art is overwhelming. I took this in the public sculpture garden surrounded by a dozen other amazing pieces. The sculpture, Preening Heron, 2017, is by Kent Ullberg and stands slightly over five feet tall.
This photograph was taken last week by the Harbor in Rockport, Texas. (Nikon Z5, 1/100 sec at f/4.0, ISO 250, 85mm)
I set my alarm for 6 a.m. in hopes of getting myself out of bed and catching the sunrise. I tried to look outside to see the weather and couldn’t because of the condensation. Not a good sign. Got dressed and went to the car. Completely overcast. Another bad sign. I figured I would go to the harbor (10 min) anyway since I am up. Worse case scenario I just have coffee.
Well, I didn’t see a sunrise, but I did get this. It was worth the trip. I hope you have a great week!
This photograph was taken this morning at the Fulton Harbor, Texas. (Nikon Z5, 1.0 sec at f/4.5, ISO 100, 24mm)
Great egrets seem to be everywhere down here. You see them flying around, wading in the fresh water ponds, wading in the salt water flats, by the road in the ditch and sometimes in the trees. In mating season which will soon begin, the egrets grow extra fancy feathers (aigrettes) and their face turns green. Unfortunately, we are leaving the area next week and will miss this show.
This photograph was taken earlier this month at the Tule Creek Nature Preserve in Rockport, Texas. (Nikon Z5, 1/3200 sec at f/7.1, ISO 100, 400mm, cropped)
When we came to the Rockport area, we had no idea that we were entering one of the best bird-watching areas in the United States. Many different species live here year-around (great blue herons), migrate through here (hummingbirds) or make it their winter home (whooping cranes). In the area where I took this this picture, e-bird reports that 100 different species of birds have been sighted IN THE LAST 7 DAYS! There may have been more long telephoto lenses here at the park than at the Super Bowl. Pictured here are short-billed dowitchers, a couple common gallinules, an American coot and blue-winged teals. Maybe. So hard to tell.
This photograph was taken last Saturday morning at the Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center in Port Aransas, Texas. (Nikon Z5, 1/640 sec at f/5.6, ISO 100, 400mm, cropped)
We have only seen one of these birds so far and couldn’t identify it. After we got home, Wendy used the Merlin App (highly recommended!) to take a picture with her phone of my picture on the computer screen and the app identified it as the Clapper Rail. This rail is common in saltwater marshes and mangrove swamps from the east coast all the way around to Texas. They have special glands that allow them to drink salt water.
This photograph was taken last week about an hour after sunrise in the North Cove Harbor Wetlands Sanctuary, Rockport, Texas. (Nikon Z5, 1/640 sec at f/5.6, ISO 100, 400mm, Cropped)
Happy Valentine’s Day! I watched this Great Blue Heron put on quite a dance on top of a tree yesterday. The surrounding trees also had herons in them, but they weren’t really doing anything. I assume this one was working on getting a date for today. Or maybe he was just watching an airplane. 🤷♂️
I took this photo at the rookery near downtown Rockport, Texas. (Nikon Z5, 1/640 sec at f/9.0, ISO 100, 400mm, cropped)
This reminds me of working nights on the Police Department. If perhaps someone had a part-time all day and got little sleep, you might park by another patrol car or three. As long as one of you kept their eyes and ears open…
This photograph was taken Saturday morning at the Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center in Port Aransas, Texas. It was cold and windy. (Nikon Z5, 1/2500 sec at f/6.3, ISO 100, 400mm)
One of my favorite activities is drinking coffee in a coffee shop. Pure coffee. No sugar, no cream, no hazelnut, no chocolate syrup. Preferably in a real mug. Preferably with friends. Fortunately, the Rockport area has several good choices. My favorite on nice days is sitting outside at Duck Blind Coffee adjacent to Fulton Harbor. According to my reward cards (buy 9, get 1 free!), I have been there sixteen times. So far. We will be here for another two weeks… until next winter… ❤️☕️
This photograph was taken Monday morning at dawn in Fulton, Texas. I had a cup of coffee just after I shot this. (Nikon Z5, 1/80 sec at f/4.5, ISO 100, 45mm)
Wendy and I decided that we were going to get up early yesterday and take pictures of the sunrise. I think the hardest part was figuring out what time to get up. My photo app gives me the following information: 5:51 a.m. Astronomical Twilight, 6:18 a.m. Nautical Twilight, 6:46 a.m. Blue Hour, 6:56 a.m. Golden Hour, 7:11 a.m. Sunrise. I don’t get up early often enough to know when is the best light for sunrise pictures. We decided to get up at 6:10a and drive about 15 minutes to shoreline north of us. We arrived just in time. We only had about 5 minutes of extraordinary color. After those magical minutes, I didn’t even take anymore pictures because the world seemed so pale. Maybe I should get up earlier more often. This photo was taken at 6:44 a.m.
This photograph was taken before dawn near Lamar, Texas (Just north of Rockport). The settings were not at all what I would have picked for the conditions. This was the first shot of the morning and I hadn’t changed anything from the last shoot. I changed the settings after this photo. Ironically though, this was Wendy’s favorite from the morning. She said the photos taken after this were not as "whimsical." It’s all about the light. (Nikon Z5, 1/800 sec at f/2.8, ISO 6400, 68mm)