Nocturnal battle

Monday, February 12, 2024

Super Sunday

I have a busy show schedule coming up and am not much interested in football so I thought I would get lost in nature yesterday. What a beautiful morning. Leslie made me a bacon and pancake breakfast and a cup of her amazing coffee.

I drove out the driveway which Todd had fixed the day before so that we could get in and out again after the massive rain.

The red tailed mother was on her nest, perched high over the Santa Margarita River Valley.

I drove up north to my special spot and took a look around. 

The road was pretty muddy in spots but I managed to amble through.

I normally don't come on Sundays because there are other humans there, it was mostly older birders yesterday, in big packs. 

I prefer midweek when I have the place to myself.

I wonder if there is a venery term for a large group of older birders? 

In any case, they were well behaved and pleasant and their phalanx mostly self contained. 

Had themselves a nice little picnic afterwards. 

Beats shuffleboard I guess.

I never understood birding by committee or photography by committee, the reason I practice both avocations is really so that I can be alone. 

I like the silence. But everybody has their own needs and to each his or her own.

It was gorgeous and crisp out there. 

I had snow capped peaks in every direction, Jacinto, Baldy, Gorgonio and more.

It wasn't an epic day birding but it was a very good day and I had a great time. 

The first bird I spotted was a vermilion flycatcher, but not in his usual spot. 

I didn't get a great vantage through the branches and didn't even take a shot.

 I have plenty of good ones already, no big.

I saw lots of red tailed hawks, no eagles yesterday. 

Ran into a fellow who saw red tailed hawks mob a falcon but I never saw the peregrine myself. 

I did see a red tailed cross skypaths with a crow.

Lots of shovelers and coots, a few avocets and black necked stilts. Greater egrets, no herons.

Watched this Nuttal's woodpecker flit about in an old oak tree.

I was very content. I started my customary hike but didn't have the right shoes for the mud and stopped my trek short.

This red tailed looks rather forlorn, no? Probably bet on the 49'ers...

I saw quite a few mountain bluebirds. 

Never got the perfect shot but was happy to see them. 

Saw a lot of pipits too. 

The mountain bluebird has the prettiest blue in the sky, short of a macaw anyway.

The highlight of my day, visually and photographically speaking, was spotting this great horned owl taking a nap.

I was sorry to disturb his slumber. 

What a beauty!

I drove to my shop and met my restorer and his wife who had just finished conserving a painting for me. He did a great job as usual. Afterwards I met Leslie at Renee's to watch the end of the game. Renee made prime New York strips, Snoop Dog's mac and cheese and an arugula salad. Leslie roasted her golden cauliflower. Renee made a strawberry cake for dessert.

Epic meal and game. Quite competitive, both teams should be proud. What an ending!

A very good day!

1 comment:

Ken Seals said...

I really enjoyed this story and the photos!