San Jacinto Wildlife Area

Kestral with Dragonfly

Kestrel with Dragonfly

 

Another of my favorite shooting locations is the San Jacinto Wildlife Area  about 20 miles southwest of Riverside, Ca  near the town of Perris, CA.

 

San Jacinto Wildlife Area Fall

San Jacinto Wildlife Area Fall

 

San Jacinto Wildlife Area Fall

San Jacinto Wildlife Area Fall

 

In the winter thousands of ducks and migratory birds congregate in the numerous ponds and it is also one of the best areas for raptors in the winter. Last winter I photographed Kestrels, N Harrier Hawks, Golden Eagles, Red- Tailed Hawks, Great Horned Owls, White- Tailed Kites, Osprey, and an immature Bald Eagle.

 

Red Tailed Hawk

Red -Tailed Hawk

Yesterday there were at least 5 kestrels in one area catching dragonflies when I got these photos.

Kestral

Kestrel in Flight

Kestrals

Kestrels

 

White-Faced Ibis

White- Faced Ibis

 

This was taken in the Spring of a White- Faced Ibis in breeding plumage. I saw several dozen yesterday and they usually winter here. Try and get the sun on their wings to show the iridescence.

 

 

New Hummingbird Photos

You can never get enough hummingbird photos so when I have a chance I try for better shots. The technique I used this time is called the ” Patience technique”. Notice which flowers the hummingbirds are feeding and you sit quietly( in one position) in front of the flowers and wait for the birds to feed. In this case usually every 15 to 20 min the same hummingbird will come back. I took me about 45 min to get these shots, all with a 400 mm lens.

Allens Hummingbird

Allens Hummingbird

 

Allens Hummingbird

Allens Hummingbird

 

Allens Hummingbird

Allens Hummingbird

 

Annas Hummingbird

Annas Hummingbird

Photographing Ducks at Santee Lakes

Wood Duck

Wood Duck

 

 

Today I went to Santee Lakes near Santee, CA (San Diego Co) where there are a series of lakes  with habitat for waterfowl, hawks, osprey,and egrets. This is one of the best areas to see Wood Ducks in the Wild in San Diego Co. and I got to practice my flight shots with all the ducks.

I try to watch for ducks taking off or landing in the water, preferably flying toward me or parallel. On my Canon 7d I use the AI Servo setting with 8 frames per sec. and a fast shutter speed-1/1600-1/2000 sec at ISO 800.

pair of Wood Ducks

pair of Wood Ducks

 

Mallard Landing

Mallard Landing

 

Wood Duck

Wood Duck

 

Mallard in flight

Mallard in flight

When I saw this osprey on the branch I had to wait 45 min for it to fly- but I was ready when it finally did.

Osprey Santee Lakes

Osprey Santee Lakes

San Elijo Lagoon, Cardiff by the Sea, CA

A good place to photograph birds in the San Diego area is the San Elijo Lagoon ecological reserve. With 915 acres of salt marsh, coastal scrub, and freshwater marsh and 300 species of birds there are great opportunities  for photography year round.

 

 

Clapper Rail

Clapper Rail

 

Clapper Rail

Clapper Rail

Last week I was photographing some juvenile Snowy egrets when 2 Clapper Rails emerged from the cattails only 15 feet away. Since I was stationary they didn’t seem to mind my presence.

 

Osprey

Osprey

 

Osprey

Osprey

An osprey was perched in a nearby tree so I slowly approached and managed to get these images from a fairly close distance.