Family time

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Independence Day

It was a crappy morning by any metric, con nuptial bliss being in apparently short supply.

Rather than wait for things to get any worse I decided to scoot out to my special place this afternoon to get centered and happy and all that.

On the way out I saw my osprey pal on a pole right around the corner of my house. Hey, my day was getting better already.

This is not the ideal time to visit the SJWA. The wildlife area is dry, most of the ponds are gone, I knew from my last visit that birds were few.

I think somebody heard or saw a sora recently, might have been Tony Metcalfe.

Honest, I didn't really care if I saw anything, frankly it is one of my favorite places to personally regroup.

I drove up the dusty road, stopped at the familiar spot to stick the monster lens on the camera. Kept looking to the side of the road to see if I could catch the burrowing owl again, I could not. Maybe next time, at least there was a first time.

I drove the loop, not seeing much. A shrike, but he quickly flew away. A couple kestrels that wouldn't stay put.

Pretty deadsville. I decided to drive out towards the Walker Ponds, last time they were closed off.

Caught a bunch of very cute ruddy ducks cavorting.

I saw a lot of egrets, greater and snowy. An ibis or two. Hard to tell the glossy ibis apart from the white faced at this stage, the eye color is different, but this one is probably the latter.

I like to think that the birds accept me and don't feel threatened but sometimes I get the weird feeling that I literally scare the shit out of them.

I love birds, I love photography and I love being by myself in the wide open spaces. My day was getting better.

Especially when I spied this peregrine falcon sitting on a power pole crossbeam. I don't see them up here all that often.

Oh and what a fine peregrine she was... Do you know how to tell the sexes apart? The male is called a tiercel, from the latin word tertius, meaning one third.

Like most raptors, the male peregrine falcon is about a third smaller than the female. In addition there is a white stripe area above the yellow beak called a cere.

Only females have this cere.

The black face patches are called malar stripes.

A group of falcons is called a cast.

I could watch these lovely creatures all day long.

A few minutes later I caught the red tailed hawk below soaring.

On the way home in the evening I caught two more raptor sequences.

My earlier osprey was now in silhouette back on the tall dead tree.

And I saw this red tailed munching on a coney. All in all a good day for birds. Maybe not so good for rabbits.

Birding is good medicine for what ails you.


1 comment:

Ken Seals said...

Very enjoyable read! I like the way you went from miserable to blissful in one post :-) Photos great to see along with the birdology info.