Sunday, March 3, 2019

Some Local Birds

It really isn't necessary for me to go out to the rice fields as I did for an earlier post.  We have wetlands right here in Sun City and Jules and I took a walk there to see who we could find.

Northern Flicker

Many birds were perched in the trees at the edge of the wetlands.

Don't know who this little guy is but it sure is cute.

I'm pretty sure this is a yellow-rumped warbler.

Nothing unusual about these two, robins and hawks can be found everywhere.

Blue Heron

It is the birds of the wetlands that I most enjoy.  Growing up in Los Angeles I had little contact with birds like these.
female bufflelhead

pied-billed grebe

It was a cloudy day and this group was on the far side of a pond so it was hard to get a good shot.  In addition to the ubiquitous mallards I spotted northern shovelers, American wigeons, and green-winged teals.

Green-winged Teal
Of all the birds I saw that day, the one below would be worth the walk even if I had seen nothing else

This green heron was hunting just a few feet from the path.  He slowly rotated allowing me several views.

Find more views of our amazing world at Our World Tuesday.
Find more birds at Wild Bird Wednesday.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Rainbow and Lenses

We have had a lot of rain lately.  Californians learn to welcome all rain but I have been hearing a bit of grumbling lately.  I was glad to see this rainbow a few days ago, it didn't signal an end to the rain, though. If you notice some distortion on the image it is due to rain falling on the lens.

It is unusual to see a rainbow come all the way down to the ground.  No pot of gold, though.

A raindrop on the pluot tree acted as a lens.

Another lens is this new toy of mine, a Lensball.  Thank you Alan for introducing me to this neat toy.

Find more views of the sky at Skywatch Friday.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Winter Visitors

One nice thing about living in Lincoln California is the proximity to both urban conveniences and rural habitats.  Jules and I recently took an 18 mile loop in search of the birds that winter in the rice fields west of town.  We were almost too late, last week I heard a flock of sandhill cranes as they flew over my house on their way from Lodi to their northern breeding grounds.
Our first encounter was not waterfowl  but a hawk, hard to tell from the angle but I think it is a red shouldered hawk.

He didn't want to pose so we moved on.
We found a rice field with tundra swans and white fronted geese.  Many rice farmers keep their fields flooded in the winter providing habitat for the wintering birds.
I love looking at the swans but I had also hoped to see a flock of snow geese but all I saw was this lone goose swimming with the swans.
So we said goodby to the birds of the rice fields.  Spring migration is starting and I don't know if we will get out there again this year.

This is a view of my world, you can find more views of our wonderful world at Our World Tuesday.

See more birds at Wild Bird Wednesday.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Super Moon

I found a new (new to me)  photography app called Photopills.  Strange name but it is a great help for planning shots of the sun, moon or milky way.  I tried it out with the recent Super Moon.

It definitely helped me to plan my shot of the moon, the hawk was all luck.  I look forward to using it in the future.  Unfortunately there is only one full moon a month and there is too much light here to shoot the milky way or star trails.

Find more shots of the sky at Skywatch, Friday.

Monday, January 14, 2019

There is Always Hope

While we were in Los Angeles for the holidays, our son took me walking in an area that had been burned by the Woolsey fire.

We encountered this little tree, newly planted, lovingly tended. 

 Many years ago in another burned area someone planted five oak trees.  When hiking in the area we sometimes saw him bringing water in gallon jugs, in a wheelbarrow, up a steep fire road until the little trees were firmly established.

This is one view of our world, mind others at "Our World, Tuesday".

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Various Points of Viewing

I've observed the sky from several viewpoints over the last month.

A beautiful sunset from my home in Lincoln, California

Early morning sun peaking through the clouds, highlighting the Santa Monica Mountains from my son's home at the edge of the San Fernando Valley.

Sunset at Cambria, California

Find more views of the sky at "Skywatch Friday".

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Elephant Seals

December and January are two of the best times to visit the Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery.  We have visited the rookery several times but this was our first visit at this special time.  Unlike the rookery at Ano Nuevo, here no reservations are required.  A large parking lot and viewing walkway are on a bluff just above the beach.
There are two beaches at the rookery.  On this beach are the males who failed to win breading rights.
They posture and fight with one another but it will do them no good.  The females are on the other beach where the dominant males have staked their claim, fighting off the competition.
On this beach are the females and the new pups.
 The lord of this section of beach, a dominant male.
The pups will nurse for about four weeks then the mother will mate with one of the dominant males and leave.  The pups will remain on the beach for 8 to 10 weeks, fasting.  Eventually they will make their way into the water. 

To learn more about the elephant seals check out this site.  Here you can find more information, the best times to visit and a webcam so you can see what is happening now.  Once nearly hunted to extinction these creatures are now found in several colonies.  They are a part of our world.
You can find other views of our wonderful world at "Our World, Tuesday"