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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Nerdy Birdy: San Joaquin Bird Sanctuary

It is awesome to be birding in the kind of weather we have been having, in spring when the birds are in their breeding plumage and nesting all zipping around busily being birds. I spent quite a bit of my time today chasing after the Tree Swallow, a new bird for me, with a gorgeous iridescent blue back. And let me tell you that bird can FLY INCREDIBLY fast. I attempted for over an hour to get a shot of them soaring in the air above, I however failed miserably because this is the best shot I got.

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397. TREE SWALLOW

And then moments after I gave up trying to get a clear shot and started walking away one of the birds decided to take a break. He decided to take a break on a branch right next to me in perfect lighting and with an awesome backdrop. If I could have kissed him I would have.

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397. TREE SWALLOW

I then spent quite a nice walk around the park snapping shots of birds that I have already gotten photos of. I did end up following the Spotted Towhee for quite a while because the photo I do have of him is not very good. Alas he would not cooperate. This bird is incredibly shy and weary. They browse under trees and bushes for their meals and it is incredibly hard to get them in the light. Here are my two best shots.

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518.SPOTTED TOWHEE

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518.SPOTTED TOWHEE

Toward the back of the park in an algae filled pond I got shots of a very curious Pied Billed Grebe.

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64. PIED BILLED GREBE

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64. PIED BILLED GREBE

And then I started a Black Crowned Night Heron into flight.

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102. BLACK CROWNED NIGHT HERON

I found the Common Yellowthroat in a high tree which is unusual for him AND he managed to stay still for just a moment. I was really lucky to get this shot.

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506.COMMON YELLOWTHROAT

I was happy to find that the American Avocet was in their brown red headed breeding plumage. Such a big difference to its normal grey look.

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160.AMERICAN AVOCET

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160.AMERICAN AVOCET

And then I found ANOTHER new bird, a Yellow Warbler who was jumping around a tree eating bugs off the leaves.

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477. YELLOW WARBLER

After today I now have 184 birds that I have crossed off my list and I am hoping with my trip next week I will be able to get 10-15 more.

On a side note I may not be going to Yosemite National Park. For now I am making two plans; one for Yosemite and one for Anza Borrego and the Salton Sea. Although I knew Yosemite would be cold this time of year (which I am totally fine with) I am ok with snow and a little cooler weather was ok by me, however it may snow and my equipment will not tolerate any precipitation. So plan B is underway and I will make a decision Sunday night based off the extended forecast. I will just look at the weather and go in the direction that calls for no precipitation.

1 comment:

paul peggy zeus said...

incredible pictures. I know how hard it is to get a tree sparrow. I love the spotted towee with his mouth open too. Have a good time camping where ever you decide to go.

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