birds

Strike a Pose

Beaches are open, but not for us cautious types. This is from last March’s visit to Newport.

 

 


Keep Your Distance!

Daydreaming about the beach . . .

This was from our last trip to California- February 27- before the lockdown but just as we were becoming aware trouble was headed our way.

 

Edited with one of my beach textures, created in my at home time.

 


Easter Quail

Last night as we were getting ready for our Easter dinner, I spotted a quail kind of hunkering down in a clay pot near the patio. I grabbed my camera and took a series of photos through the window as he fluffed his feathers to warm himself in the wind. When I looked through the resulting photos, I realized that he had gradually made himself fluffier during the quick photo session. My photographer friend, Carol, had recently informed me that a fat bird is called a BORB and a fluffy one a FLOOF. So my Easter quail had transformed himself from a borb to a borb that is also a floof in a matter of seconds- your Fun Facts for today!

This was a fairly mundane image, so I decided to try some creative edits to create an image to submit today to my photo group. I have been working on creating textures for the last few months, so I made a custom background for the quail, starting with a copy of the original image and adding a painted texture and a Topaz Impression chalk drawing filter. I finished it off with a clipping mask border, another skill I’m working on.

 


First Date

It was the noisy squawking that led me to look up and see this pair of gulls as we walked on the Queen Mary. My first thought was that it was their first date, hence the name of this post.


On the Roof

Gulls can sometimes be pretty annoying when you are at the beach, but this one caught my eye as he perched on a rooftop surveying the scene in Newport Beach.


 


Greeting the Day

Good Morning, Sunshine!

What a joy it was to be back walking on the beach with my new knee! It still doesn’t feel “normal”- but I can walk without pain and without poles. And watching the waves and the birds is the best therapy!

At Newport Beach


In Winter

It looked like the Canada geese felt right at home as they paddled through the chilly water on this cold winter day.  It was just Tuesday that Watson Lake was surrounded by white- but now the beautiful Arizona sunshine has melted most of it, leaving white in just the shadiest areas. I have learned to get out and take photos right away here in Prescott, as more often than not, the snow only lasts for a few days. This image was taken with my iPhone.


Stalking

I thought I could see swans from the road last week, so we went over to Willow Lake late Saturday afternoon to see what we could see. No swans were in the area where we had seen them before, but a heron was slowly wading through the shallows stalking his prey. We watched for a half hour or so- but never saw him catch anything. As the light was fading, we walked back to the car, leaving him still searching for dinner.


Can’t get enough of . . .

the swans! It was such a treat to see them in the wild- hope to go back before they fly off somewhere.


Swans!

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.

 


Wading

Spotted at Watson Lake


Peaceful, Easy Feeling

There is nothing more peaceful than watching herons at a lake. . .


I Heart Pelicans

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.

 

 


Blue and Green

We watched this beautiful peacock strut around, and, when his girlfriend called, he spread his feathers and was a beautiful sight to behold!


Very Arizona

Spotted in Tucson- a cardinal on a palo verde tree