Saturday, May 31, 2014
Friday, May 30, 2014
Thursday, May 29, 2014
As the evening begins to set in, many of the birds start heading back to the roosts. These are all birds that we get flying through the back yard. All of these were shot on the same day, which was May 20th. Yes, we actually had a sunny day! Looking at my photo count, only have shot a dismal 291 frames so far this May, and most of them were of the Sharp-shinned Hawk.
First up are a pair of Snowy Egrets.
Glossy Ibis, one of my nemeses.
And of course our Osprey, which are now proud parents.
Be sure to visit Skywatch Friday this week.
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
I have so much material from California that I need to post. I’ve been sitting on these since mid April. In Morongo Valley, California is Covington Park which is located right by Big Morongo Canyon Preserve. A pair of Red-tailed Hawks were on the nest. Here one of them is looking down at me.
One of the chicks popped his head out.
During my walk down a canyon I saw one of the adults coming by with a lizard. An America Kestrel was harassing the Red-tailed Hawk that was just trying to get back to the nest.
Thumbs up for the Kestrel for standing its ground.
When I has heading back to the car, about two hours later, I saw one of the adults coming in with another snake. (I had see one three hours earlier coming in with a snake.) I could see the adult butchering the snake. I didn’t have time to set up the tripod, so I shot freehand.
Oh, yeah! Rattler, it’s what’s for dinner!
Be sure to visit Wild Bird Wednesday this week!
Monday, May 26, 2014
Now I can appreciate that we now have a politically correctly named Long-tailed Duck on the American continent. And thank you for changing Black-shouldered Kite to White-tailed Kite. After all those Swallow-tailed Kites and Mississippi Kites have black shoulders too. Now I feel more confident that I know what I’m looking at when I see one. And thank you for splitting out those Solitary Vireos. Yes, I got my Blue-headed Vireo here in the east, my Plumbeous Vireo from Colorado (my favorite of the three) and my Cassin’s Vireo in California. That really fleshed out my life list.
But I do have a bone to pick with you guys. Does this look like a “Red-bellied” Woodpecker? Is it me just getting crotchety now that I’m on the positive side of being a semi-centenarian? Seriously, the age of bird-watch with 20 gauge shotguns is over, which is when this bird was named and probably why it had a red belly.
Here are some suggestions. How about Cream-bellied Woodpecker? That would be a conservative change if you insist on being fixated on the belly. Or maybe Chess-board-backed Woodpecker. That gives you an extra hyphen, which I know you guys like and the added bonus of being a tongue twister. (I thought about Checker-backed Woodpecker, but checkers is traditionally played on a red and black board. That would be just silly. Chess is played on a black and white board. Yes, that would be appropriate.)
How about, now tell me if this makes sense or not…Scarlet-headed Woodpecker? Or take a queue from the guys that named the flycatchers…How about Vermillion-headed Woodpecker?
Just sayin’. It would be a better world if we had a Scarlet-headed Woodpecker, now wouldn’t it?
Sunday, May 25, 2014
I haven’t posted much about our Osprey this year, but everything seems to be coming along just fine. These are taken at a considerable distance with an effective focal length of 420mm. This year they have been very vigilant about keeping others away from the platform. They have chased off the cormorants and egrets from around the platform. They do not mind us in the yard and will do flybys when they are sure that I do not have my gear at hand.
PS: 25 May 2014, 10:00 am. I was watching the platform through the spotting scope this morning and noticed that there is feeding activity going on! A definite sign that we now have at least one chick.
Saturday, May 24, 2014
Cold, wet weekends have kept me out of the woods so I have not imaged many wildflowers this spring. We do have some violets growing in the back yard which gave me an opportunity to get some shots.
When I started to edit the images, I noticed that I had captured something unexpected.
Do you see it yet? It’s a bit muddled.
Take a look at the flower to the left.
The is a spider that caught a bee in the violet. The interesting aspect is that the spider’s abdomen is colored like the veins in the flower.
Be sure to visit Today’s Flowers this week.
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Common Yellowthroats are, well, very common. However getting images has been a decades long struggle for me. They usually arrive in the spring after the leaves are out on the bushes. Yellowthroat are very active and tend to stay in the bushes. With the late arrival of our spring this year, I’ve actually got my prize.
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
I was on the back deck when I heard a hawk crying in the woods. I looked over and spotted a Sharp-shinned Hawk. I watched it make a half-hearted attempt at grabbing a Blue Jay, which cried out bitterly.
The Sharpie flew in to a nearby tree. I was a bit surprised that it didn’t seem to mind be on the deck. I worked with this bird for about an hour until the light began to fade.
I’ve been back and forth on this bird several time. Is it a Coops or is it a sharpie? Round head, flat head, is that tail rounded? Hmm…the tail is worn. Here the tail looks rounded.
Now the tail looks squared off and Coops are not supposed to have a white supercilium (eyebrow).
Be sure to visit Wild Bird Wednesday this week!