Kestral, Golden Eagle, W Meadowlark, Killdeer

Kestral

Kestral

 

Kestral

Kestral

 

Kestral

Kestral

 

Golden Eagle

Golden Eagle (juvenile)

 

Golden Eagle

Golden Eagle

 

Golden Eagle

Golden Eagle

W Meadowlark

W Meadowlark

Killdeer

Killdeer

 

 

I went to San Jacinto Wildlife Area yesterday and got these photos. The Vermillion Flycatcher from 2 weeks ago was not around but I managed to get this Kestral taking off from a branch to catch insects on the ground. They are a small falcon and can catch birds but also lots of dragonflies, grasshoppers, and other insects. After searching most of the day I saw a Golden Eagle (immature) on a distant phone pole. After watching for a few minutes he took off and flew overhead fairly close. This was on the Duck Club Road south of the main area.
The Meadowlark and Killdeer were at a shallow pond feeding along the edge. Although not rare this was about as close as I have been able to get.

Vermilion Flycatcher at San Jacinto Wildlife Area

I photographed the first male Vermilion Flycatcher of the season at San Jacinto Wildlife Area in Riverside Co, CA. It was near the path between ponds C1 and B1 flying between Willow Trees.
When I saw it repeatedly landing on a sign I placed a branch above the sign so that it would land on the branch and look more natural. Then I waited until it got close to the branch and fired multiple shots. It is better to focus on the branch tip and then switch to manual focus. If you leave it on autofocus the camera might focus on the background instead of the bird.

Vermillion Flycatcher

Vermilion Flycatcher

Vermillion Flycatcher

Vermilion Flycatcher

Vermillion Flycatcher

Vermilion Flycatcher

Vermillion Flycatcher

Vermilion Flycatcher

 

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

I never get tired of seeing the variations of Red-tailed Hawks and trying to capture them as they take off. These shots were taken from the rolled down window of my van and allowed me to get closer without alarming the bird. The idea is to focus on the bird and keep it there until it takes off and start firing multiple shots. If you don’t already have the camera trained on the hawk you will not get the split second takeoff. Sometimes it can take 30 min before the bird does anything so it takes patience.

Coyote and Greater Roadrunner

Greater Roadrunner

Greater Roadrunner

Greater Roadrunner

Greater Roadrunner

Coyote

Coyote

Coyote

Coyote

I was photographing a bird when I saw this Coyote about 200 feet away. He was walking straight towards me and I started shooting as he kept coming. Generally they run off when they see humans but this was a young pup and he wanted to see the strange animal with a camera on a tripod. He was within 12 to 15 feet away and I kept shooting as he just stared at me. There was no aggression, just curiosity.
The Roadrunner was also very cooperative and posed on the rock, unlike previous times when they take off as fast as in the cartoon- Beep Beep !

Glacier National Park- Wildlife and Landscapes

We just got back last week from a trip to Glacier National Park in Montana with spectacular clouds and landscape views and some wildlife, but not very many birds. The Great Grey Owl and Northern Hawk Owl were hoped for but with no luck. The late winter and Spring are better for those but it was a great trip overall with temps ranging from 32 at night to about 68 for the highest. It snowed one day at the higher elevations above 7500 feet. Will post some more photos later.

LoganPass snow scene

LoganPass snow scene

Logan Pass, Glacier Nat Pk

Logan Pass, Glacier Nat Pk

Marmot gathering food

Marmot gathering food

2 Marmots

2 Marmots

Pika carrying branch

Pika carrying branch

Pika on rock

Pika on rock

sunrise_6863From  St Mary River, Glacier Nat Pk sunrise

A Bald Eagle flew over my head as the sun was rising and a Kingfisher was fishing in the stream but the landscape this time was the highest priority and I couldn’t change lenses.

Elegant Terns Feeding Young

tern_fish_5404feeding_tern_6201tern_feeding_6202Elegant Tern Feeding Young A Fishelegant_tern_feeding_5625

I knew that the Tern was feeding it’s young, but in order to get the actual transfer I had to start shooting before the adult landed. This paid off as I followed the bird in mid-air and fired multiple bursts as it came in for a landing with the fish. Always anticipate what your subject might do and don’t wait and miss that split second action or behavior. Keeping the subject in the finder and being ready to shoot makes the difference. These are actually 2 different pairs of birds but I was able to get what I wanted in 2 different sessions.