Because of the abundance and diversity of wetland habitats along the Texas Gulf Coast, ducks are an important part of the Texas avifauna–and they remain one of my favorite photographic subjects. Without fail, when I present slide shows of images to friends and family, the ducklings are the most popular and collect the most “ooh’s and ahh’s.” Let’s face it: ducks and ducklings are fun.
When we need a break from Brazos Bend State Park, we often bird and photograph Galveston Island birds. East Beach and San Luis Pass are especially enjoyable birding hot spots, particularly during the cooler months.
Each excursion into the field is filled with expectation. Will the mated pair of Pileated woodpeckers be at the nesting cavity today? Will we get another shot at photographing a Great Egret catching gar? Sometimes expectations pan out and sometimes we are pleasantly surprised by a new sighting, a new interaction, or a new discovery of some sort. In many ways, last year was our first year of serious photographic effort. We became willing to go great distances and work under hostile environmental conditions: we visited deserts, swamps, jungles, and mountains, and braved heat, cold, high-altitude electrical storms, bugs, alligators, and Grizzly Bears to get the shots. We had a blast!