birds

Beachcomber

Another peaceful morning walking at the beach. . .

 


Alone, but not

Whenever we visit a beach, I always enjoy watching and photographing shorebirds, which are so comfortable amidst the crowds of people. I managed to get this shot as the crowds momentarily seemed to dissipate by the Huntington Beach Pier.

 


Backyard Bad Boy

I have been home a lot for the last couple weeks and have enjoyed getting out in the yard to watch the hummingbirds. We’ve had more than usual, but the prettier ones (I won’t even attempt to name the species)tend to leave the yard when I go outside. The feeder at the kitchen window attracts several hummers who sometimes (but not often) will feed at the same time. Our larger feeder out on the patio has been dominated by one hummingbird who sits on TOP of the feeder for over an hour at a time, preferring to guard it rather than feed. I have known children with that same personality trait!


Herd Mentality

Newport Beach scene in black and white.


The Scene

Newport Beach scene


The Feeder Scene

I had a free morning yesterday, so I was able to get outside and practice backyard bird photography with my long lens. There was nothing more exotic than finches, jays, and doves- but it was all good practice.


With a Little Help from my Friends

Just three


OMG Another Bird!

Yes, another bird- and another artsy fartsy bird at that! This is a ptarmigan, perhaps a female or a juvenile (can’t remember), and it is the state bird of Alaska. This info is courtesy of my Park Service son-in-law, so I am breaking with my policy of not identifying birds, because I’m always wrong- or at least I believe everyone who identifies a bird incorrectly for me. Crossing my fingers here. . .

It was our youngest grandson, Henry who spotted it as we were walking a trail at the Nature Center. It was motionless in the grasses and probably scared out of its mind. I said, “Oh, look a grouse!” We all gathered on the trail watching it, as I snapped 4 or 5 shots. Then Justin gave the command to Penny, the golden retriever, who promptly flushed it out and away flew the grouse/ptarmigan/chicken(?) into the woods.

I gave it the clipping mask and stroke treatment, because it’s fun and I just can’t stop doing it. . .


Fall Finch

Some of the leaves are actually starting to turn, even though it still seems like summer here.  I’ve got my Halloween decorations out and am drinking a pumpkin spice latte as I write this- so, according to the calendar and Starbucks, it IS fall!  In the spirit of autumn,  I took this photo of a goldfinch against the backdrop of fall leaves.


Fluffy

It is so much easier to capture a bird sitting on a branch than one in flight! I love how fluffed up this little finch looks!

 


Hoverer

More practice with the long lens . . .

I confess to adding a texture, because, despite the long lens,  I’m not really a wildlife photographer. 😉


Steppin’ Out

Just walking at the top of the hill. . .

 


Make Yourself at Home

Our roadrunner guest made himself right at home in our yard. He is a predator after all; I try not to think of what he might have eaten besides lizards. I haven’t seen any of the young quail for awhile, alas. These shots are before and after he helped himself to some water in the fountain.

By the way, this is the same roadrunner I featured in yesterday’s blog post. His crest is sometimes up, and sometimes down. Supposedly the crest goes up when the roadrunner is communicating with other roadrunners, but this one has been a loner.


Unafraid

Last week, we spotted a roadrunner coming into our back yard several times each day. One day, Carol and I were out there for over an hour with our cameras, and the roadrunner was everywhere! We even watched him kill a large lizard by- sorry!- whacking him repeatedly against the rocks (don’t worry- no photos). At one point, he came down to the lower level and drank from the fountain- leisurely and unafraid.

Here he is in all his glory:


Sweeeet

I’ve taken many, many hummingbird photos over the years. And now I am trying to take better ones. The hard thing is to take them in flight, in focus, and in a good spot in the frame (good composition and background). So far, I have many, many shots of their tails as they take off- or just sitting at the feeders. At least in this shot, the wings are outstretched and moving.