I managed to get fairly close to 2 Golden Eagles taking off and landing on a rock at San Jacinto Wildlife area. They usually takeoff as soon as they see you but I was able to get closer by being hidden by a steep hill. These are probably within a year or two of maturity with still some white blotches.
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.
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.
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.
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 !
Photographed an American Oystercatcher at Shaw’s Cove, Laguna Beach, CA today at low tide on the rocky southern most point.
Female Osprey caught a fish and brought it back to the pole with the male. She ate most of the fish while the male sat patiently. After not getting any fish for 45 min the male left.
American Redstart found today at Lake Whelan in Oceanside, Ca on the east side of the lake near the parking lot in the trees feeding on insects. This bird does not stay very long in one place.
Blackburnian Warbler Blackburnian Warbler
Today I photographed a rare Blackburnian Warbler at San Jacinto Wildlife area near the blue Porta_potty on the northwest end of the auto tour in some willows (just 100 feet west of porta potty. Phil Unitt made the ID.
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.
From 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.