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.
Elegant Tern Feeding Young A Fish
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.
We were up in the San Bernardino Mtns near Big Bear at Bluff Lake at 7600 ft and photographed the above species. The Sapsuckers are feeding on the sap of trees by cutting little squares in the bark and allowing the sap to flow, also attracting small insects, which they eat. The Western Tanagers breed here and we saw adults feeding insects to the young.
Burrowing Owl Juveniles Burrowing Owl Juveniles Burrowing Owl Juveniles Burrowing Owl Juveniles
Burrowing Owls are becoming increasingly rare in San Diego Co due to loss of habitat and predators. This is the first time I was able to get the juveniles as they start to leave their underground burrows, often empty ground squirrel burrows. They primarily eat insects, mice, lizards, and small rodents.
After spending almost 5 days at Torrey Pines, Ca I got these images of the young Peregrine falcons only about a week out of their nest on the cliff. There are 4 juveniles and the 2 parents flying at top speeds over the cliffs and ocean. Peregrines are the fastest animals on earth at 240 mph in a dive.
Here are some recent photographs of Great Horned Owl chicks and Barn Owls. The unusual part is that they were in the same barn and coexisted. Usually Great Horned are dominant and will kill or chase away the Barn owls.
The Great Blue Herons are in tall pine trees near the coast and the young can fly but still hang around the nest to be fed by the adults. It is not smart to stand directly under the nest as the extensive “white-wash” on the ground is a warning.
Cedar Waxwing Cedar Waxwing on Mulberry
Every April a swarm of Cedar Waxwings swoop down on our Mulberry Tree. They are like little masked bandits who steal all the ripe berries within minutes and then fly to a nearby tree to rest after their gluttony. I have a blind set up in my backyard and can photograph them as close as 10 ft away without any reaction from them, but when I leave the blind a flock of as many as 30 birds instantly takeoff.
Ca Quail pair Canada Geese with chicks Canada Geese with chicks Canada Geese with chick Tule Elk Pt Reyes, CA Western Gull “Picasso style”
I photographed for 2 days on the Pt Reyes Peninsula in N Ca. We looked for the Pileated Woodpeckers and only heard one high up in the Pine trees but could not get any photos. Beautiful wildflowers and lots of fog which you can see a little bit in the Tule Elk photos. Will add some more scenics and wildflowers in a later Blog.