Shadow Cliffs #8
I had already been surprised by the Pelicans at DelValle. It was still nice to find them here too, especially since I could get closer to them. November must be romance month for Coots. I'd never seen so many together at one time. The Vultures took over the Cormorant Roost. The Golden Eyes were out too but way over the other side of the lake. Some mallards, a White duck, and one lonely Gull.
Shadow Cliffs #7
This was a short shoot. I hadn't much time but the dogs needed walking and at the time, the camera came with me no matter what I was doing. The colors were again captivating and I even had on the high key ISO setting (very high on the light spectrum). We were down walking by the small ponds this day on the other side of the levee from the big lake.
Shadow Cliffs #6
This was made in November. I spent most of my image-making time from July to January at DelValle and Tesla, with some excursions to places far afield. The parks were pretty much abandoned by now except for an occasional Duck, some stalwart fishermen, and of course, the Dogs and I. Kitty and Shea enjoy the water. That's their usual formation too. Shea will get right in there and kitty will get her tongue right in there. Kitty only swims when she gets too close to the edge with Shea on her outside shoulder. One hip check and Kitty's swimming. The colors are kind of dull at this point and there hadn't been any rain yet. It can be a lonely place but the solitude is nice too.
Shadow Cliff #5
On this trip, I found that most of the rookery was empty except for one lonely-looking Egret. Our three Heron amigos were finally gone too. Empty nests are so depressing. 😢 I finally got down to the lakeshore though and caught some of the rich waterfowl life there, Coots, Ducks, Geese, and a few songbirds. A shot of what looked like the primordial ooze and some reeds.
Shadow Cliffs #4
More of the same. I did find the three Heron amigos who entertained us from May 1st. The Heron babies are gargantuan here, in just one month. Mommy must be working her tail feathers off taking care of these three. Sheesh! Get a job, kids. Are there more graceful birds than the Egret or Heron? I think not. Plus: Swimming Geese, Cormorants on a log, a lonely songbird, and a Coot in the weeds. The clouds were quite dramatic this day.
Shadow Cliffs #3 - 2019
This trip occurred a month after #2. Most of the wading birds seemed to be gone except for a few of the Egrets. The young Cormorants were as playful as could be. And this trip held a surprise for me. A few times when at DelValle I'd seen the eagles heading off to the west away from DelValle and I wondered where they were heading. I thought it would be the San Antonio Reservoir and it may have been sometimes, but this time it was to Shadow Cliffs. There was also a posse out looking for outlaws.
Shadow Cliffs #2
This shoot was all nursery time theatre. Cormorant, Egret, and Heron's babies are all hungry, all waiting for mom to come home with lunch. I was stunned. The first shoot here in April I guess I missed all these baby Egrets and Herons. This one, just two weeks later, the babies were calling and flapping and jumping up and down, waiting for mom to return. It was awesome. The video at the end is of three Heron babies calling out to mom, who was on her way to them and then mom feeding them. I'd never witnessed this except when watching Animal Kingdom on TV.
Shadow Cliffs #1
I came here with my camera on a hunch. The dogs and I hiked here a lot but never with the camera. Was I ever surprised by the litany of birdlife here? From Momma Cormorants feeding babies nearly as big as they were, to nesting Egrets and Herons, and both red Tailed and Coopers Hawks. Aside from a couple of Canada Geese, I didn't get a chance to shoot the other waterfowl down on the lake before we had to leave.