Last weekend, I ventured to a couple of my usual haunts on the south Texas coast. Bird song had diminished and it’s hot but if you set up in the right places and watch your surroundings, animals and birds always make an appearance for photos. Beautiful Altamira Orioles are still feeding their rapidly growing young in their big, hanging nests.
The young Altamira Orioles have yet to develop the bright orange and black colors of their parents.
This species is a south Texas specialty and in my opinion, one of the most beautiful birds in the valley at any time of the year.
Over on the coast, there is always plenty of action to catch on camera. Ospreys are common in the area and exciting to watch. Flying close to the shore, the “fish eagle” is always on the lookout for a fish near the surface of the water. When it sees something it might catch, it sometimes hovers a bit before diving into the water feet first. After snatching its catch, it takes to the air with a tasty fish in its talons.
The Texas coast is also an excellent place to see a much less common species, the Reddish Egret. This large egret is locally distributed in shallow estuaries and comes in two color morphs.
As usual, I also saw some mammals while taking pictures of birds.
Not long after, the reason for the ground squirrel’s alarm came into view.