Apex point - © Robert Sommers 2024

Monday, September 12, 2022

Nine eleven is for the birds

I haven't been shooting birds in months and was anxious to get back to my nature reserve and see what was up. I knew that it would be dry there but there is really never a bad day, always something to find and explore.

I got up at 5:30 and drove up to Costco to gas up when they opened at 6:30. No lines. The full moon shined in the early sky.

My first trip was out to the Walker Ponds which were completely dry. 

I saw several falcons in the darkness. 

It was dark but with my fast 400mm ƒ2.8 I was still able to get usable shots.

And this kildeer.

I saw lots of black phoebes yesterday, not a single kestrel.

The roads were good, after our little rain, I think they want to take special care of the bird hunters out there, Birders not so much.

In fact there is a big push pull over the entire SJWA preserve, with warehouse developers angling for land and hunters and birders at possible cross purposes.

Beth sent me this video which explains the underlying dynamics.

The thought of losing this resource is very scary to me. We will see what ultimately transpires.

There were a lot of people out there, at least five cars. I prefer to go on a weekday but still managed to get my solitude and have a good time. Put the smaller lens on and took a hike, I had forgotten my strap and my tripod. Mosquitos were in full bloom after the rain.

I am out of practice, missed a lot of shots, didn't have enough shutter speed. But got some almosts, like this male harrier. One day I will get it right.

Yesterday was an extraordinary day for ibis. I estimate I saw a thousand ibis in a single flock. I have never seen such a group in my life.

The place truly rejuvenates my soul.

It felt good to be out again and to be shooting pics again after the long layoff. 

Saw a lot of different hawks, red tailed, harrier and red shouldered. Did not have a lot of luck capturing them for posterity.

When the sun finally came out it became a little easier.

The coolest bird I saw all day was this kite.

You can tell from the eye color that the bird is a juvenile, it has not turned red yet.

Once upon a time these birds could be seen in Fallbrook and Bonsall but alas, no more.

I will try again another day. Wonderful to be back out there, even though they are no longer filling the ponds like they used to. Hopefully the rain will come and the birds will once again thrive.

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