This California Red Barrel Cactus is looking over Palm Springs, California.
A little closer to home today is a Great Black-backed Gull that I shot in Gloucester the other day.
While I was shooting the Great Black-backed Gull, this female Bufflehead came screaming by.
I found a couple of Hermit Thrushes eating the berries that fell from a stand of California Fan Palm trees in Big Morongo Canyon Preserve . I took a seat for an hour and got a few images.
Be sure to visit Wild Bird Wednesday.
We are getting a little snow storm today so I’m taking a snow day. I only take feeder shots when I get something cool come in. I would consider a White-winged Crossbill to be considered a cool bird.
Needless to say that it was a busy day at the feeder. That is not unusual, on a typical day, we get American Goldfinch, Black-capped Chickadees, White-breasted Nuthatch, Song Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Tufted Titmice, and Morning Doves. In the winter, we get Dark-eyed Juncos, White-throated Sparrows and Tree Sparrows added to the mix.
A lot of folks come up to Gloucester to find birds like this Glaucous Gull. I shot this bird three years ago.
If you are coming up to Cape Ann and are stumped by the gulls, I do have some tips. Just click on the gull tips link below.
This is my second bobcat sighting. This animal was in the Big Morongo Canyon Preserve. I was a bit surprised that this cat accepted my intrusion. He let me shoot him for about five minutes. As you will see, it got up and changed positions a couple of time and stayed focused on the grass. I would think that it was hunting for mice or pocket gophers.
This is the last frame that I shot. At that time, a group of hikers were chatting and coming down the trail. He started up the trail towards them and slipped into the brush. The hikers did not see it.
I must admit that I’m always a bit apprehensive around these cats. They look mellow enough, but I wouldn’t want to get in a scrape with one.
Be sure to check out Saturday’s Critters this week.
Just to the south of Palm Springs, California is Indian Canyons. The main canyon though the park is Palm Canyon. One drives through the toll house and up to the trading post. This is the view to the north of the parking long. I was particularly interested in this canyon face.
There is a quick hike down to the canyon floor and then you are in the oasis. This is the largest group of California Fan Palms in the state.
Looking back north, the view is fantastic.
Along this trail, I met yesterday’s Phainopepla.
When I arrive in Palm Springs, I always get out to my favorite spot to do some shooting. I never fail to find some Costa’s Hummingbirds. This guy is no bigger than your thumb, but he will take on all challengers!
My in-laws have a nice house with a typical postage stamp yard. But I’m always impressed with the birds that come through their yard. On this trip there was a Rock Wren that was hanging out. On this particular occasion, I had my gear in hand. And if you think that this is a good yard bird, they had Costa’s Hummingbirds, Yellow-rumped Warblers and a Vermillion Flycatcher stopped by for a cameo appearance! (Sorry, that bird got away, but it was a thrill to see it anyway.)
It was a busy fall and then winter snuck in so fast that I was caught unprepared for being away. We just spent two weeks in the Palm Springs, California desert area. We arrived back in Boston last night at 10:00 pm local time. By the time I got settled in, it was midnight, but the body wasn’t ready to go to sleep because California is three hours behind us. This morning it was like getting up at 3:00 am. That wasn’t fun.
These are the San Jacinto mountains in the background. This photo was taken December 31st, the day after a rain storm brought cold Canadian air down.