Birds of the San Antonio Riverwalk

My Big Surprise

It began about seven years ago. A colleague and I were driving from Houston to San Antonio in order to pick up some equipment and head a bit south to monitor a "fracking" job. This was one of the early fracking jobs that our software was going to monitor, and as the head of the software development my job was to ensure it worked properly, to observe it being used in actual conditions, and to determine what changes should be made.

I had been to Texas a number of times, but since I wrote software for the oil and gas industry, I largely just went to Houston. I guess in my mind Texas was just one big collection of oil wells and refineries.

Then our truck drove over a bit of a rise and the river valley lay out in front of us. I was astounded and struck by the beauty I saw. At that moment I fell in love with the city and have been back to San Antonio once or twice a year every year, up until Covid hit. I'm looking forward in anticipation to be returning, hopefully soon.This feature is a collection of the birds that I have photographed along the river walk over the last seven or so years. I hope you enjoy it.

Stacks Image 10
Caption: Rock Doves on the Dam
Bird: Rock Dove
Identifier: SANANTONIO2014_004
Date: October 25, 2014

Rock doves (or rock pigeon, or common pigeon) can be found wild or domesticated. I haven't seen many along the river walk, although I find them elsewhere through the city. But this pair seemed to like sitting on the dam. (See more on Wikipedia.)

Stacks Image 35
Caption: Mallard Up Close
Bird: Mallard
Identifier: 2019_0006_SANANTONIO
Date: December 8, 2019

Growing up in Western Canada, Mallards were a common site. But this one was just so gorgeous that I couldn't pass him up. (See more on Wikipedia.)

Caption: Cormorant on a Rock
Bird: Double-Crested Cormorant
Identifier (left): 2019_0002_SANANTONIO
Identifier (right): 2019_0003_SANANTONIO
Date: December 6, 2019

On the river walk, these birds seem to be everywhere. Although I've never seen them near my home in Alberta, Canada, apparently they can be found throughout North America, from Alaska all the way down to Florida. This one was enjoying itself enough that I was able to get quite close and take some very clear photographs. (See more on Wikipedia.)

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Stacks Image 39
Caption: Snowy Egret Up Close
Bird: Snowy Egret
Identifier: 2019_0007_SANANTONIO
Date: December 8, 2019

The Snowy Egret is a smaller type of Heron. We don't get these in Western Canada, so it was a real treat for me to see them. They certainly were not as common on the Riverwalk as were the Cormorants, but this wasn't the only one I saw either. (See more on Wikipedia.)

Stacks Image 43
Caption: Great Egret Reaching
Bird: Great Egret
Identifier: 2019_0008_SANANTONIO
Date: December 8, 2019

The Great Egret seems to have a bit of an identity problem. It is also known as the Common Egret, the Large Egret, Great White Egret, or the Great White Heron. As its name implies, it is a larger bird than the Snowy Egret. I almost passed this one by as it was somewhat hidden by the weeds, but I saw it in time to notice that it was different from the others and managed to get a few good photographs. (See more on Wikipedia.)

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