On this cold and misty morning, as Danielle was watching the coots in the San Solomon Cienega at Balmorhea SP, she saw this misfit near the inlet from the springs. It flew off, giving her a chance to observe its legs and feet, which were yellow-green and were not webbed. Late this afternoon, both of us saw it swimming in the marshy area near the inlet, further toward the motel. We got this picture.
The bird was coot-shaped and roughly the same size as a coot, with blue-grey head and underparts. It had a brownish-purple back and wing coverts, with distinct white patches along flank and white under tail. Heavy slightly down-curved bill with forehead shield, dark with yellowish tip. All but head is clearly an adult Common Galinule. The head does not show red bill and shield of breeding adult nor does throat show light patch of non-breeding adult.
Since this bird is rare in this part of Texas, Danielle reported the sighting to the TEXBIRDS Facebook group and was asked to submit the image to TexasBirdImages.com for their records. Here is the link to that record entry.