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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Nerdy Birdy: Around LALA Land - While we were Sightseeing

While I was adventuring over the past two days with Mrs. Dancer and Ms. Ivey we happened to be outside, and whenever you are outside you cannot help but run into birds. Or more appropriately I cannot help but concentrate at least a part of my attention on them. I didn’t really have time to BIRD the way I normally would. Usually I would spend a few hours trying to get the best photos I could of a few birds. This time however I wasn’t focused on birding so although I did see some and I was able to snap a few photos, they were quick shots.

At the Mission as we were pulling in we spotted an Acorn Woodpecker going to town on the old log fence. Seemed it was a favorite hunting ground since it was covered in holes and filled with acorns (see the lower right of the photo for one acorn. Acorn woodpeckers create granaries and store food for winter. They form small family groups and viciously protect their food storage. Even though I only had my regular portrait lens on my camera I was able to snap a pretty good photo of this little guy. He completely ignored the car, it wasn’t until I rolled the window down when he started to watch me warily. Such a beautiful bird.

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ACORN WOODPECKER

Another bird spotted at the mission was a Western Scrub Jay who popped into the garden behind the mission. I was waiting for the girls who had gone to the restroom which he started his high racked squawking. Apparently he didn’t like the ravens flying overhead. I didn’t have my birding lens again, just my regular portrait lens but he let me get pretty close.

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WESTERN SCRUB JAY

At the abandoned airport it was HOT, about 100 degrees of insanity outside and I noticed that despite the heat a little mockingbird was busy collecting nesting materials. I had to give him a mental high five, it was seriously mid-day, the hottest part of the day and time for a siesta for sure. But over the few minutes that I watched him he just kept on working; a real trooper for sure.

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NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD

Other birds at the airport however were following my thought and they were huddled in a line perfectly shadowed from the hot sun by a single telephone pole shadow. I am sure that shadow moved quickly and I am sure they inched along with it waiting for the temperature drop at least a little before doing any kind of work.

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THREE HORNED LARKS HAVING A SIESTA

On the way to the Ghost town near dusk we spotted a raptor high up on the electrical towers bordering the road. I am pretty sure it is a Red Tailed Hawk although I didn’t catch the flash of red tail feathers when he took off. But he has the general look of a Red Tailed Hawk. It’s so hard with birds but this guy looked like he had really long legs, he was a little small and a little off for me to be sure, maybe he is a juvenile Red Tailed Hawk.

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RED TAILED HAWK JUVENILE I THINK

The only bird that I spotted that I really was dying to spend some time with was the Black Throated Sparrow. I have only seen this bird once before but they are elusive and shy. I didn’t get a very good photo last time I tried and this time I only allowed myself about 10 minutes chasing them around. It wasn’t nearly enough time but I had company in the car, company that I am sure didn’t want to wait the two hours I was willing to spend in order to get a perfect shot of this bird. Alas I will just have to settle for my sub-par crappy shots and just attempt to find him again in the future. A beautiful but frustrating bird.

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BLACK THROATED SPARROW

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BLACK THROATED SPARROW EATTING A CRICKET

1 comment:

paul peggy zeus said...

Nice pics! I wish you could have gotten closer to the horned larks. Very uncommon birds.

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