Posts in Category: birds

Boat-billed Flycatcher

Boat-billed Flycatcher nestlings, Copan Ruins, Honduras

Going back to Honduras for today’s pic. Alex Alvarado of Birds Honduras found this nest of Boat-billed Flycatchers on the grounds of Copan Ruins. He spotted one of the parents and then saw it go to the nest. The nestlings are pretty well grown. I imagine that they fledged soon after we saw them. In this shot they were actively awaiting mom or dad’s arrival with fresh food, and we did see the adult feeding them while we watched. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode. 1/500th @ f4 @ ISO 800. Processed in Polarr.

Inca Terns

Inca Terns, Pucu Sana, Peru

I am back from my 20 days in South America…first in Peru and on the Amazon River, and then in Ecuador and the Galapagos. I am not sure I am going to try to catch up here. You will have to take it on trust that I took at least one picture each day and could have posted it if I had had internet. 🙂 I actually took about 12000 exposures and came back with about 1200 keepers. 

These are Inca Terns…certainly one of the most striking of the world’s tern family…from a fishing boat off Pucu Sana, Peru. Our visit to Pucu Sana was sandwiched in between the Amazon and the Galapagos, and for those of us who went on to the islands, was just an appetizer. Though they do not have Inca Terns on the Galapagos. 🙂 

Sony Rx10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. My custom action mode with continuous focus to cope with the motion of the boat. Processed in Polarr on my iPad Pro. 

Marbled Godwit

Marbled Godwit, San Diego California

A rainy morning in San Diego, in the marshes in the San Diego River Channel near its mouth, and a flock of Marbled Godwits. Handsome birds even in the half-light. 

Sony Rx10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. Program mode. 1/500th @ f4 @ ISO 100. Processed in Polarr on my iPad Pro. 

Ring-bill in early light

Ring-billed Gull, Jacksonville Florida

There were lots of Ring-billed Gulls sitting on the railing along the riverfront in Jacksonville Florida early in the morning, soon after sunrise. They were absolutely fearless, and easy photographic subjects. The warmth of the light really brings out the color of the eye and its surround. 

Sony Rx10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. Program mode. 1/800th @ f4 @ ISO 100. Processed in Polarr on my iPad Pro. 

Double-crested Cormorant (with crests :)

Double-crested Cormorant, La Jolla California

For most of the year the name of the Double-crested Cormorant is a total mystery…it has no crests. Only during breeding season do you see why they named it. And even then, Double-eyebrowed Cormorant would be much more accurate. Still those plumes are impressive, especially on a black bird, and especially over that bright green “cat’s eye marble” eye…making another handsome Cormorant. 🙂 On the sea cliffs at La Jolla Cove in Southern California. 

Sony Rx10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. Program mode. 1/250th @ ISO 160 @ f4. Processed in Polarr on my iPad Pro. 

Brant’s Cormorant

Brant’s Cormorant, La Jolla California

This time of year the cormorants in La Jolla Cove are in full breeding plumage. This is a Brant’s Cormorant. Note the white mutton chops, the white filaments down the back, and the bright blue throat. And, of course, the blue crystal eye. One handsome bird! 

Sony Rx10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. Program mode. 1/400th @ ISO 100 @ f4. Processed in Polarr on my iPad Pro.

Pelican in flight: Point Loma

Brown Pelican, Cabrillo National Monument, San Diego California

Another Brown Pelican in flight shot…this time from the Tide Pools at Cabrillo National Monument at the end of Point Loma in San Diego. The loess cliffs at the Tide Pools are idea for Pelican flight shots, as the birds often ride the uplift right above the top of the cliffs, just above eye-level. This image really catches the “mass” of the bird and the huge wings that sustain it in a glide. 

Sony Rx10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. 1/1000th @ ISO 100 @ f4. Processed in Polarr on my iPad Pro. 

Pelican in flight…

Brown Pelican, La Jolla California

I ventured out onto the sea wall that protects Children’s Beach in La Jolla, California when I visited last week, mostly to get closer to the Harbor Seals that had clustered on that side of the beach…but as I was shooting seals this breeding plumage Brown Pelican flew by just below eye-level. I turned in time for a short burst of shots. Pelicans are easy flight shot targets, but that only makes them more fun! 🙂

Sony Rx10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. Program mode. 1/1000th @ ISO 100 @ f4. Processed in Polarr on my iPad Pro. 

Anna’s Impossibly Bright

Anna’s Hummingbird, San Diego California

I pretty much had to force myself to go out yesterday morning in the light drizzle and heavy overcast, but the marsh and dunes behind my hotel at the mouth of the San Diego River Channel were just to tempting. And it was a great walk. Good close shots of Marbled Godwitts, a lone Willit, and a Whimbrel. And some dramatic seascapes off the end of the jetty. But the best treat was this male Anna’s Hummingbird that sat so that even the dull light lit its gorget and cap so brightly that it was just within the capture range of the camera. 🙂

Sony Rx10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. Processed in Polarr on my iPad Pro. 

Burrowing Owl in Ice Plant: Happy Sunday!

Burrowing Owl, San Diego California

“If your eye is generous, your whole being is full of light!” Jesus

Yesterday the San Diego Birding Festival started at noon, and I had a workshop at 12:30, so I slept in, and only went out to the San Diego River Channel and the Western National Wildlife Refuge across from Sea World. It is a good marshy river habitat, though the high banks of the river channel keep you well away from most of the birds. Great for scope views. There have been reports of a Burrowing Owl along this stretch in past years and I am always alert, especially in the area overrun by Ground Squirrels. I did not have to really even look for this Owl, as two other photographers were there already. Such a delight! I have not seen a Burrowing Owl this close since my days in New Mexico 30 years ago, and I can count the number of Burrowing Owl I have ever seen on my fingers without running out of digits.  I wrote a little poem about it for yesterday’s Day Poem.

Burrowing Owl on the bank above
the San Diego River, right by the
Sports Arena Bridge. What at treat!
Sat in a big patch of Ice Plant, a
mound really, at the mouth, obviously
of a Ground Squirrel burrow, the
sun in its bright yellow eyes, turning
its head side to side, and occasionally
looking straight at me. I felt privileged
to be included in its gaze. Privileged!

And of course another word for “privileged” is “blessed”. I felt blessed to see the Burrowing Owl. It is one of the things, the main thing, I love about bird watching. You never know what you will see, if you just go out with your eyes open…and you almost always see something that quickens the pulse and makes you feel more alive. Blessed. It is a part of the generous eye that I really enjoy. “Eye’s wide open” is the way another translator translates it…eyes wide open in wonder and delight. 

And may you go through this Sunday with generous eyes…and I believe God will bless you in what you see.