Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Monday, March 30, 2009

Sleepy Heads, Two Owls from Morongo

A visit of Big Morongo Canyon Preserve yielded three owl sightings. Big Morongo Canyon Preserve is located in Morongo Valley, CA. Two Great Horned owls and a nesting Long-eared Owl made my day. This male was resting in a near by tree. The second Great Horned Owl was a female on her nest, about 50 feet off the ground.

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse



The Long-earded owl was a life bird for me. Here she is hunkered down on her eggs, about 10 feet off of the ground. The male has been reported to hang about, but is difficult to find in the dense brush.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Study in Brown and Gray, Say's Phoebe

It’s Sunday. B and I took the red-eye back from Long Beach California after visiting Palm Springs for a week. The trip started out with me being on the downside of a head cold with the requisite sinus headache. We arrived in Long Beach Airport on the 20th of March and drove over to Palm Springs on Saturday the 21st.

We checked into our accommodations and I just had to get out for a walk in the desert. This was the first bird that I encountered on the walk. It is an old friend that I would see in California and Colorado. It does make it to the East, but is more of a rarity out here.


©2009 ShootingMyUniverse



©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

It was a wonderful trip. As I mentioned last Friday, there was a storm pushing up against the west side of the mountains causing a wind strom that snapped telephone poles. That morning, there was a small earthquake centered 40 miles south of us. It shook the condo gently, but enough to rouse me. I've been through lots of these little quakes. Californians take them as part of life.

Today, I’m a bit of a wreck. The flights back to Massachusetts leave California in the evening and we fly all night. We touched down at 5:30 AM. I might have gotten an hour’s worth of sleep. Tomorrow I will return to work.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

Skywatch Friday, Palm Springs, California.

B and I got out of Dodge for a few days. We were staying at the South end of Palm Springs, California. Here is the view at 6:30 on our first morning. What you are looking at are the mountains to West with a storm backed up to it. The wind was blowing very hard. In fact, three telephone poles snapped off, palm tree tops snapped off and there was debris all over the place. B and I went out for a walk. Living on Cape Ann, we couldn't be stopped by a little breeze.

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

This is the view three mornings later. A bit of snow is still left on the peaks in the background.
©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Mute Swan Photo Study

Birds bathing and preening give an opportunity to get unique shots.

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse
Birds bathing and preening give an opportunity to get unique shots. This Mute Swan was enjoying the opportunity to keep his feathers in tip-top shape.

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Forgotten photo Sunday?

Yes folks, I got slimed at work, a wee bit of a head cold and nasty cough kept me out of the field for the last few days. Now I'm screwed...I got to come up with fresh content for the week!

Here is a forgotten photo I took last December that I didn't get worked in. It is a DC Comorant that has just come up with a snack.
©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I hope he ain't looking for me. Turkey Vulture

I'm a little under the weather, pardon me if I'm not out there commenting.

I took these photos last Sunday. I had a Turkey Vulture soaring around me. My only though was, "I hope he ain't looking for me."
©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse


©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

Friday, March 20, 2009

Forgotten Photo Friday, Water Crows

I put together some shots of the four species of cormorants on my life list. In the winter, the DC Cormorants head out and are replaced by the Great Cormorant. On the west coast, there are Brant’s and Pelagic Cormorants as well as DC Cormorants.

Pelagic Comorant, Monterey, CA 27 Dec 08©2009 ShootingMyUniverse


Great Comorant, Gloucester, MA 16 Feb 09
©2009 ShootingMyUniverse



Double Crested Comorant, Gloucester, MA 22 Oct 08©2009 ShootingMyUniverse



Double Crested Comorant, Ipswich, MA 22 July 08©2009 ShootingMyUniverse




Brandt's Comorant, Monterey, CA 27 Dec 08©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Four Views of Whaleback Light, Watery Wednesday

Whaleback Light marks the entrance to Portsmouth Harbor. It is on the Maine side of the boarder. These views are from the New Hampshire side. The first view is looking over the wall of Fort Constitution past Portsmouth Harbor Light out into the mouth of the harbor. I took this photo and the second photo after a snow storm in February.

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse



This view was also taken from Fort Constitution.
©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

The Freighter Ambassador is being escorted out of the Harbor by the tug Marry M Coppedge.©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

The Marry M Coppedge returs after tugging the Ambassader out to open ocean.
©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

Monday, March 16, 2009

Spring's coming, I promise: American Black Duck

I’ve seen Mallards in spring time court. They will start by bobbing their heads up and down and then they get down to business. I was at Bass Rocks checking out a potential photo and watching a group of mallards. There was a pair of American Black ducks and they started to bob their heads up and down. By the time I got the camera out of the bag and focused, the male was dismounting the female.

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

The male was puffing himself up as the female came back to the surface.
©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

Then he did something that I’ve never seen before, he started to do a victory lap around the female.
©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

The female, after being practically submerged fluffs out her feathers. This is something I’ve seen the female Mallards do. It should be noted that the Mallards and Black Ducks are of the Genus Anas and are closely related and do interbreed so it does not surprise me that their courtship behaviors are similar.
©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

For field marks, you can clearly see the difference in bill color between the male and the female in these shots.

Scoters

We have quite a few scoters in Gloucester Harbor this time of year. They are almost close enough to photograph with my 70-300mm.

Male White-winged Scoter
©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

Female Surf Scoter resting on a boulder with sea weed.
©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

Male White-winged Scoter
©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

Three males and a female Surf Scoter
©2009 ShootingMyUniverse
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