White-faced Ibis chicks feeding, Peregrine falcons exchanging prey in mid-air, Hooded Oriole and Cedar Waxwings all photographed recently.
The Cedar Waxwings are feeding on my Mulberry Tree and the Acorn Woodpeckers are fighting over the acorns that they have stored in a tall Washingtonia palm tree. The Waxwings require a blind as they are very skittish and all fly away at the slightest noise or sight of a human. Then I have to wait for 30 min to an hour for them to come back.
White-breasted Nuthatch nesting behavior. The Nuthatch “sweeps” the nest with insects in their beak to repel predators and other birds.
Recent Photographs of wildflowers and desert scenics at Anza Borrego State Park in Calif. Feb 25. This should be one of the best wildflower displays in years with substantial rains starting in Oct and continuing in Nov, Dec, Jan, and Feb. The peak has not been reached and could be as soon as 2 weeks depending on temperatures and more rainfall. I used a wide angle 17-40 lens on most and a 100-400 lens for the hummingbirds and a few others.
Owls photographed recently and in the past in Washington state on the coast for the Snowy and E Wash for the N Saw-whet plus some snow scenics during the recent big blizzard.
My photograph of a Great Gray Owl was chosen as one of the top 250 of the North American Nature Photography Association Showcase for 2019 (on the NANPA website and published in NANPA Expressions Journal.)
The Golden Eagles were at San Jacinto, Ca and the mature Bald Eagles were from the last 2 years at Seabec, Wa.
I wanted to experiment with some Black and White images from the sand dunes. The best images to convert in Camera Raw Photoshop are dramatic graphic ones with high contrast and interesting lines. You can compare to some of the previous ones in the last post.
We spent 4 days in Death Valley and had great weather with high temps of 65-73 and lows of 45. Most days had some clouds with heavy overcast at times and a few sprinkles. I would not recommend going there from May to September as that is why it is called Death Valley. The temps reach 120 during the summer and can reach 130’s for the record. The best light for the Sand Dunes is sunrise and sunset to get good shadows and soft light. We went to the Mesquite Flat Dunes nearest to Furnace Creek but you have to hike in fairly far to avoid footprints everywhere. Other Dunes include Ibex Dunes and Eureka which require 4 wheel drive and longer hiking to reach but are less visited.
Another photogenic spot is Badwater, with salt flats for miles and interesting patterns. Zabriske Point at sunrise or sunset can be good along with Artist’s palette. I used both wide angle lenses, 17-40 and 70-200 telephoto for some shots. Also be careful in the sand dunes if it is windy as blowing sand can ruin your equipment. Keep cameras in plastic zip lock bags and in camera bags when windy. We had very little wind when there. Always clean equipment with a soft brush or canned air when returning from sandy areas and I don’t recommend changing lenses in the dunes (had 2 camera bodies and never changed lenses).
I Just got back from Switzerland including the Matterhorn, Jungfrau, and Eiger peaks.We were based in Zermatt and Murren, surrounded by peaks over 11,000 ft to 14,000 ft and lots of alpine wildflowers. Although there were a few birds at the higher elevations I left my long lens at home and used entirely a 17- 40 f4 lens with Canon 5D mark IV and concentrated on landscape and flowers.
Owls of Eastern Oregon recently photographed.