Fish Anyone?

Fish Anyone?

Great Blue Heron

This Great Blue Heron caught a good sized fish for lunch! You can find this huge gray bird usually foraging by standing silently still along inland rivers or lakeshores. Though one time I surprised one that was hiding in an underpass on a highway… it suddenly flew just inches above my front windshield… unfortunately I scared the sh** out of him! Let’s just say, I couldn’t see the car in front of me, the amount of poop on my windshield was so great that I am very lucky to be alive today!!! 

Sometimes My Camera Just Works!

Sometimes My Camera Just Works!

Black-crowned Night-Heron

I try to take a lot of photos of birds. I mostly take the photos so that I can go home and do my “homework” studying the photos to identify the birds I have seen. Needless to say, my photos are usually rushed, trying to snap off a few shots before a bird flies away… But occasionally I slow down and take the time to let the camera really focus in on the subject…

This one was standing very still on a marshy island in a small pond. They will eat mostly fish which they catch by standing still or walking slowly along the edge of shallow water. Though this one looked like he was looking for food, it is believed that the Black-crowned Night-Heron forages mostly at night because they are dominated by other herons and egrets by day…

Cute Baby Ducklings With Their Mommy

Cute Baby Ducklings With Their Mommy

Female Mallard with her young ducklings. Mallards are one of the most abundant ducks in the world! The young ducklings leave the nest within a day after hatching and are lead to the water by their Mom… Mom will tend to them, but they are able to feed themselves right away. The ducklings will eat mostly aquatic insects while their Mom may eat various plant material as well as insects, frogs, worms and small fish. 

Pelagic Birding Cruise Off The Coast Of Southern California

Pelagic Birding Cruise Off The Coast Of Southern California

South Polar Skua

So, recently I went on a pelagic birding trip off the coast of Southern California. Luckily the waters were extremely calm for our 11 hour trip. I have motion sickness, so to say I was a bit nervous about the trip would be an understatement! But with a little help from my wrist pressure bands and staying outside with the air blowing on my face for most of the ride, I had a wonderful time…

The above photo is of one of my new lifers that I saw on the trip. The South Polar Skua actually nests in Antarctica then migrates far north, passing off the coasts of both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans on their way. It feeds on fish, which it sometimes plunges into the water from flight to catch, but often it just steals food from other seabirds. We saw several of them harassing groups of shearwaters and trying to take their catch…

Cravers’s Murrelet

This cute little bird was giving us the slip most of the day! Each time we tried to slowly cruise up to a pair of Cravers’s Murrelets they would fly off, but finally after hours of seeing and chasing and being disappointed, we got up close to get a great look! I think that we probably tired them out! 

They nest on islands off the west coast of Mexico. In the late summer/early fall they venture further away, up off the coast of California.

 

 

215 And Counting…

215 And Counting…

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California Condor

So far this year, I’ve been on the East and West Coast. I have seen over 215 birds, 4 new lifers! Above and below are photos of lifers I’ve seen on the West Coast…

The California Condor looks pretty much like a oversized Turkey Vulture. I saw some at a state park feeding on a neighboring cattle farm’s dead cow carcass! There were also Ravens, Turkey Vultures, Red Tail Hawks, American and Golden Eagles and 1 fat coyote feasting on the poor cow.

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Ruff

While checking out a new birding site, I met a professor who asked me if I had seen the Ruff. I hadn’t, so I thought, since I didn’t know that there was one in the area and really didn’t know much about it. Well he informed me that it was last seen in the shallow pond hanging out with the Long billed Dowitchers. I went home and studied up on the bird, so that the next time I went back there I was able to spot him easily! Though the bright orange legs do help do give him away amongst the Dowitchers!

A New Year, A New Count

A New Year, A New Count

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American Bald Eagle

A few years ago I moved from my home state. When I left, my brother suggested as a way to stay closer, we could have a bird sighting competition. He was a birder and I really wasn’t at all… but I went along with it. So the rules were set up, just count how many different species of birds you see in the continental US and we will compare totals at the end of the year. Well, lets just say that I’ve won every year since and became a birder along the way… (clearly I’m a very competitive person). Besides becoming a birder, it gave me a wonderful new hobby, gets me outside a lot more, I’ve also met some wonderful people, made some interesting new friends and explored some beautiful places. Thanks David!!!

So begins another year, we no longer really compete, since I go to so many more areas of the country than my brother, it isn’t really fair anymore. Now I try to find new lifers to add to my list, but we do still count how many bird species we see each year, because you never know if this one will end up being your big year!

So far this year (mid January) I have a total of 98, not bad but I still have a long way to go!

The Eagle above and photos below are a few birds that I’ve seen so far this year, I’ll keep you posted as to how my year continues on…

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Great Blue Heron

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Roseate Spoonbill

 

Did You Make It Through The Work Week?

Did You Make It Through The Work Week?

It starts off kind of slow, hard to get moving, like you have a steady climb ahead of you…

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Oh, you’ll get to the end of the week, but there is a lot of work to get through first…

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Just keep on going, doing your job, getting more work, getting it done and so on and so on. But it’s worth it, it pays for all the fun things that you’ll do on the weekend…

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Wow, the end of the work week is near, you can see it, you can taste it, let’s get ready, get prepared for the run out of the office, stretch your legs, here it comes…

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Hallelujah!!! Yeah!!! The weekend is here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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The weekend feels kind of like this! 🙂  ENJOY! Hope you have a Wonderful Weekend!