Thursday, November 27, 2014

Magnolia Beach

The last stop on this weekend birding trip was Magnolia Beach.  It served as my dinner break on the way home.  Although, there were picnic tables available, it was very windy, so I simply parked on the beach and ate in my car while watching the sea birds.

Royal Tern

After eating my sandwich, I got out and explored the grassy area where I found the Royal Tern and Brown Pelicans.

Laughing Gull

I returned to my car and drove along the hard-packed, gravelly beach where I found gulls, turnstones, and sanderlings.  The beach is very drivable in any car.  I found no soft sand anywhere.    

Boat-tailed Grackle 

On the narrow strip of land between the beach on one side of the road and the rice fields on the other, I found grackles and shrikes.  The rounder head and darker eye of the Boat-tailed Grackle is an easier distinguishing field mark from the Great-tailed than the longer tail feathers.  Unless they are standing side by side, it's not that obvious a difference to me.

Loggerhead Shrike

The Loggerhead Shrike sometimes tricks me in flight.  He's got white on his wings very similar to a mockingbird.  I'm wondering how many I misidentified in the beginning of my birding days.      

Just as I was starting to find some interesting birds in the rice fields, my camera battery died.  It was almost time to go anyway, so I watched the sun set and then headed home.

I have since obtained two extra batteries to bring along.

Linking with Wild Bird Wednesday

Date of visit:  10/19/2014
80's, partly cloudy, windy
Species identified (11):  Royal Tern, Brown Pelican, Laughing Gull, Ruddy Turnstone, Sanderling, Boat-tailed Grackle, Great Egret, Loggerhead Shrike, Mourning Dove, Black-crowned Night Heron, Franklin's Gull


  1. Those big posts make for great perches as you show us Jen. I especially like the pose of the Royal Tern and the Laughing Gull picture shows what a hefty bill they have for such a medium sized gull.

    Ah, the dreaded battery fade without warning. I carry five charged up spares in my shoulder bag - just in case.

  2. Definitely can feel the wind on the first shot.... soft hair blowing in the breeze...

  3. the shrike is awesome! i think i might have seen 2 here this late summer, but all i had was my cell phone and couldn't make out enough detail to be sure it wasn't mockingbirds, but i thought i saw the black streak across the eye. ah, well. maybe someday... :)

  4. That's an awesome sky in the last photo! Your bird photos are very nice...the wind blowing the first bird's feathers and the water in the second photo reminded me of my 16th birthday! It was an extremely windy day at Clark Lake in Kansas!

  5. The tern is very beautiful. I love the evening sky in the last photo.

  6. I love seagulls, they are so intelligent and they always remind me holidays !

  7. Sounds like a most perfect way to dine...on the beach, with the scenes and birds keeping you company and the music they make together is a wonderful time for a meal.

    Great images Jen.

  8. A perfect way to dine... And you should share with us the camera equipment you use! Yesterday, stuffed with Thanksgiving, I rode my bike down to the marina on the south end of the island, which has a tower. I climbed it and sat on the steps writing on my ipad as I watched the sun set beyond the marsh. I felt blessed. Happy Thanksgiving, a day late.

  9. Lovely sightings, great pictures and a perfect way to enjoy lunch.

  10. It looks like a cold day! Love the shrike! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  11. Pretty birds and a lovely spot to eat, although it does look chilly!

  12. Great set of birds - trust me, vultures would never by normal for me!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  13. You saw some nice birds despite the weather. I too have learned to bring extra batteries and memory cards as well. The camera can pick the worst times to freeze up.

  14. I really like the looks of that Royal Tern. The photo made me smile.

  15. Good to have extras! Good for you.
    Lovely bird photos. We have snow today. sigh.

  16. What a lovely post... you have some wonderful birds to share.