Friday, May 30, 2014

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Backyard flybys

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.

©2014 Steve Borichevsky

Great Egret

©2014 Steve Borichevsky

Glossy Ibis, one of my nemeses.

©2014 Steve Borichevsky

And of course our Osprey, which are now proud parents.

©2014 Steve Borichevsky

Be sure to visit Skywatch Friday this week.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Three birds I always whished could have gotten.

When I was visiting the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge last April, I had the opportunity to photograph three birds that never was able to get the camera up to my face fast enough to capture. If that wasn’t fun enough, these were all shot within a 20 yard radius.
Abert’s Towhee was a bird that got away in 1987. I remember trying for the shots back in the film days but it just wasn’t to be. Fast forward 24 years and I get my prize. Oddly enough, it was in the exact same location that I missed them before! The trees are much larger than I remember. Hmm…
©2014 Steve Borichevsky
©2014 Steve Borichevsky
Common Ground-doves are not too hard to find, but they are so small and I always find them on a manicured lawn or golf course. Therefore the images were never interesting enough to shoot.
©2014 Steve Borichevsky
White-winged Dove. Well, I’ve looked at a lot of morning doves on wires before I found this one!
©2014 Steve Borichevsky
©2014 Steve Borichevsky

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Red-tailed Hawk at Covington Park

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. 

©2014 Steve Borichevsky

One of the chicks popped his head out.

©2014 Steve Borichevsky

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.

©2014 Steve Borichevsky

Thumbs up for the Kestrel for standing its ground.

©2014 Steve Borichevsky

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.

©2014 Steve Borichevsky

Oh, yeah! Rattler, it’s what’s for dinner!

©2014 Steve Borichevsky

Be sure to visit Wild Bird Wednesday this week!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Hey AOU, I’m talking to you.

©2014 Steve BorichevskyNow 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. ©2013 Steve BorichevskyAfter 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.

©2014 Steve BorichevskyHere 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.)

©2014 Steve Borichevsky

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?

©2014 Steve Borichevsky

Just sayin’. It would be a better world if we had a Scarlet-headed Woodpecker, now wouldn’t it?

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Osprey Update

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.

©2014 Steve Borichevsky

©2014 Steve Borichevsky

©2014 Steve Borichevsky

©2014 Steve Borichevsky

©2014 Steve Borichevsky

©2014 Steve Borichevsky

©2014 Steve Borichevsky

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

Grey Catbird

There are several Grey Catbirds in the yard. They are such treat.

©2014 Steve Borichevsky

©2014 Steve Borichevsky

Sweet White Violets

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.

©2014 Steve Borichevsky

When I started to edit the images, I noticed that I had captured something unexpected.

©2014 Steve Borichevsky

Do you see it yet? It’s a bit muddled.

©2014 Steve Borichevsky

Take a look at the flower to the left.

©2014 Steve Borichevsky

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.

©2014 Steve Borichevsky

Be sure to visit Today’s Flowers this week.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Return of the Bandit

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.

©2014 Steve Borichevsky©2014 Steve Borichevsky©2014 Steve Borichevsky©2014 Steve Borichevsky©2014 Steve Borichevsky

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Immature Sharp-shinned Hawk

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.

©2014 Steve Borichevsky

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.

©2014 Steve Borichevsky

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.

©2014 Steve Borichevsky©2014 Steve Borichevsky

Now the tail looks squared off and Coops are not supposed to have a white supercilium (eyebrow).

©2014 Steve Borichevsky

©2014 Steve Borichevsky

©2014 Steve Borichevsky

©2014 Steve Borichevsky

©2014 Steve Borichevsky

Be sure to visit Wild Bird Wednesday this week!

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