Friday night, we learned from Facebook that there were swans out at Willow Lake! We are accustomed to seeing ducks, geese, eagles, hawks, herons, egrets etc.- but this is the first we’ve heard of swans. So on Saturday morning we headed over to see what we could see. This would be my first walk in nature since my knee surgery, so I was pretty excited- so excited, in fact, that when we spotted the swans, I realized I had left my zoom lens on the kitchen counter! And what was on my camera, you ask? My macro lens! So I watched the swans as a hawk perched above them in a tree and a heron stood intently searching the water for his breakfast and tried to content myself with occasional macro shots.
After my genealogy meeting in the afternoon, we drove over again. The swans were starting to tuck their heads under their wings, but eventually all four swam around where we could see them in the late afternoon light. I haven’t gone through all the photos yet, but here is a shot of three of them.
Spotted at Watson Lake
There is nothing more peaceful than watching herons at a lake. . .
Last week I started hearing about some white pelicans that people were seeing at Watson Lake. I had seen a group (a “brief”, a “scoop”, a “squadron”) of pelicans fly over last year, but I had never seen them by or in the water. So of course, we went over to take a look.
The first day, we got there too late. At five o’clock they were already tucking their heads under their wings, but at 8:30 the next morning, there they were! I didn’t lug my long lens along, so the photos are not stellar, but it was so much fun to see them. Those of you that know me know I am NOT a birder- or even a lover of birds- but I do love water birds, shore birds and herons etc. And pelicans are my favorites!
We watched for about 45 minutes, and then all of a sudden a jerk with a camera strode across the grass right toward the pelicans and off they flew to another part of the lake. *&%#$
I also took some egret and heron photos- I’ll post those another day.
We watched this beautiful peacock strut around, and, when his girlfriend called, he spread his feathers and was a beautiful sight to behold!
Spotted in Tucson- a cardinal on a palo verde tree
Another peaceful morning walking at the beach. . .
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.
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!
Newport Beach scene in black and white.
Newport Beach 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.
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. . .
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.