Yesterday was one of those amazing days. I needed a timeout for myself and I headed up early to the San Jacinto Wildlife Area to catch some birds on the wing and hike and breathe and be alone on the more than nine thousand acres of restored wetlands.
I saw more raptors yesterday than I have ever seen in one day in my entire life. I took well over 1400 pictures and will be sifting and processing for a while. Still struggling with the new Sigma 150-600mm contemporary telephoto lens, missed a lot of shots due to a balky autofocus. But got plenty.
A rookie birder, I learn something new every time I go out into the field.
|flycatcher in flight|
I loved watching the graceful harriers gently glide over the marshes and earth.
A bad day out with my avian friends beats the hell out of sitting at my desk and nothing is better than a good day out.
|red tailed hawk|
I hope I'm not boring you with all of these birds. Have so many shots. I walked all over the place, keeping in mind the signs alerting me to the presence of mountain lions, cautioning me to fight the puma if need be. Okay, yeah, that is going to work.
My rookie assumption is that this is a female
kingfisher but I am probably wrong. Or is it an ashthroated flycatcher? Flythroated asscatcher? Another Say's Phoebe? Now, I'm really confused...
If I ever win the lottery and you want to know where to find me...
I believe that this guy is a ferruginous hawk. Judith Sparhawk says it's actually a northern flicker.I saw one near the blind close to this tree last time I was up there.
This is one of a pair of kestrels merlins that I unfortunately scared off the limb. Didn't quite nail it, will have to go back.
As the day got longer I saw a pair of photographers with these enormous lenses zeroing in on this merlin sitting on a post and decided to tag along, hopefully out of their space. I hope they got their shot.
The bird bolted and I had a chance to get a little closer but not much.
It was nearly time to go. I decided to take one more spin through the preserve. I saw a huge bird in a tree and scared it away before I could get a good read.
Not sure about the tail feathers. Could this be the golden, perhaps immature or an awfully large hawk?
All things must come to an end and it was time to go. Snapped a few more pics of kestrels, they are so damn cute and I was on my way.
As I left the gravel road, this beautiful guy posed on the sign and bid me adieu!
Until next time...