Last week I was talking to a friendly ranger at Lake Wohlford in Escondido. He suggested that I stop back by yesterday, the day that the fresh fish gets stocked in the lake. He said that raptors would oftentimes follow the stocking truck overland from Dixon Lake to Lake Wohlford, in hopes of getting a fat, tasty meal.
Sounded fun and I made preparations. I decided to rent a bass boat and my friend Tom agreed to come along and pilot it while I snapped pictures. It was a gray day but also not too hot. Soon after we got out on the water the fish tanker showed up. We watched as the man first netted fish from the top porthole.
Afterwards he affixed the pipe to the side which would quickly drain the tank of teeming trout.
Hang out with my more chill raptor friends.
|Rangers George and Greg|
Because of this I shot the nikkor 400mm 2.8 E fl all day off the D850, about a third of the time on my tripod. Would have to go with phenomenal optics and heavy over convenience.
|red tailed hawk on oak branch|
This presented a problem because invariably the bird would land behind me and I just couldn't swing far enough to get the shot, let alone motor the boat around.
So I ended up handholding the heavy rig for close to four hours, like chest pressing a small anvil. Very tiring!
My back and trap muscles are killing me today.
|My eponymous bird|
Will let the pictures speak.
My first shot ever of a beautiful green heron!
|Black crowned night heron|
Going to a place like Wohlford, or Cuyamaca or any of the remaining pristine backcountry oak riparian habitats is soul enriching to me.
But they are of course always under attack.
Lilac Hills has reared its ugly head again and there is a new development being talked about right next to Lake Wohlford.
One only has to look around Temecula or Carmel Valley to know that once it is gone, it is gone forever.
New camera combination worked perfectly all day.
Hope to come back and try it again.
I missed this next shot. Oof. Perhaps some serious birder will tell me what it is if they can discern?
|Ken Weaver and another anonymous person|
tell me that it is in fact a sora rail. Thanks!
A life bird.