Posts in Category: Santa Fe

Juvenile Rufous Hummingbird

Rufous Hummingbird: Bear Canyon Campground, Santa Fe National Forest, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA — I shared one shot if this juvenile Rufous Hummingbird at these flowers in the Bear Canyon Campground above Santa Fe, New Mexico a week or so ago, but I can not leave my New Mexico experience without sharing a couple more poses. The Hummer was very busy and remained around the flowers long enough so that I got a number of keeper shots. In these two you can see the the distinguishing features on the front side of the bird. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos, assembled in FrameMagic. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/500th.

Yerba Mansa

Yerba Mansa: Leanora Curtin Wetlands Preserve, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA — The Leanora Curtin Wetlands are a tiny cienega (a natural marsh) just south of Santa Fe, New Mexico, managed by the Santa Fe Botanical Gardens. It features a small pond, boardwalks over the marshy area, some giant Cottonwoods. and acres of wetland plants, including large beds of Yerba Mansa. While comments made by others during our visit lead me to believe that Yerba Mansa might be an invasive exotic, a bit of research this morning indicates that it is indeed native to New Mexico and wetland all the way to the west coast. It is related to the Lizard Tail plants, and the aromatic roots have been used in traditional medicine to treat skin and digestive disorders. The flowers are pure white when new, and get the red spots as they age. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos and assembled in FrameMagic. ISO 100. 1-3 @ f7.1, 4 @ f5.6 @ 1/1000th.

Santa Fe Lizards

In the six days we spent in and around Santa Fe, New Mexico, we encountered several different lizard species. The trouble is that all but one were whiptails, and I do not know enough about whiptails in general, and New Mexico whiptails in particular, to reliably distinguish them where the species overlap as they do in Santa Fe. Also there are several possible Fence Lizards in New Mexico. I have captioned the images with my best attempt at an ID based on the resources I could find on the web and in apps. Anyone who really knows their Southwestern Lizards can feel free to correct me. 🙂 To complicate matters, the New Mexico Whiptail is a fertile, female only, hybrid between the Little Striped Whiptail and the Desert Grassland Whiptail, both of which also occur in Santa Fe. So. All photos with the Sony Rx10iv at or near 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Flame Skimmer

Flame Skimmer: Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA — The morning of my daughter’s wedding celebration in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Carol and I went out to explore the local cienega (marsh or wetland in Spanish) just south of town. It is one of the very few natural ponds and wetlands in the high desert of northern New Mexico, and is owned and managed by the Santa Fe Botanical Gardens. Three short trails and some boardwalks provide access to birds, flowers, and dragonflies in season. We saw very few birds, probably because we were not there at dawn, but there were a good number of dragonflies and damselflies, and lots of interesting (though mostly invasive) flowers. This is the Flame Skimmer…a largish dragonfly, and certainly a highlight of any trip to the Southwest. There were two active around the little observation platform built out over the pond. It took me the better part of a half hour to catch one sitting close enough for a good photograph. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent from about 6 feet. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/640.

Santa Fe Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird: Santa Fe Canyon Preserve, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA — Playing catch up from what turned out to be a very productive (photographically) trip to celebrate our daughter’s wedding (a year after the fact due to Covid) in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This is probably the same Red-winged Blackbird I have seen several on several past visits, above the remains of 2 Mile Reservoir in the Santa Fe Canyon Preserve. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/640th.

Unexpected Visitor: Cooper’s Hawk

Cooper’s Hawk: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA — We had gathered at my daughter and son-in-law’s home in Santa Fe for a backyard cookout / rehearsal dinner for their one year, delayed due to Covid, celebration of their wedding vows…20 or so people chatting in groups in the backyard, when a biggish bird swooped down at about 5 feet through the yard, just at my wife’s eyelevel and only about a foot from her face, and then swooped up into the tree over the grill. It sat there for at least 15 minutes giving us the eye as at least some of us paused to wonder at it. I was the official casual photographer at the event so I had my camera in my hand and got some photos. At first I thought the hawk had some plastic wrapped around its talons and tail, but closer examination of the photos when I got home showed that it had picked up something furry and apparently grabbed the plastic along with whatever it caught. After a while it moved on into a tree in the next yard, where it stayed for at least the next hour. Hopefully it got its prey, and itself, untangled from the plastic before it moved on. We have seen three individual Cooper’s Hawks in the 5 days we have been Santa Fe…one at the Santa Fe River Preserve where it is to be expected…this one making this unexpected visit to a backyard full of people…and another hunting House Sparrow along the Camino Real hike and bike trail along the Santa Fe River channel. It must be a good year for Cooper’s Hawks in Santa Fe. Sony Rx10iv at about 370mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 640 @ f4 @ 1/500th.

Juvenile Rufous Hummingbird

Rufous Hummingbird: Bear Canyon Camp Ground, Santa Fe National Forest, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA — As we came back down through the Bear Canyon Camp Ground after our hike up Bear Canyon trail, we saw a number of juvenile Rufous Hummingbirds working the wildflowers. I attempted to catch one several times before this bird decided to cooperate, and hovered long enough for a few shots. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/500th.

Grey-headed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco, Grey-headed race: Bear Canyon Trail, Santa Fe National Forest, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA — This Grey-headed Junco was busy in the leaf litter finding what appeared to be dried out grasshopper-like insects…they might have still been alive…but they were certainly dry looking. A fledgling was following the Junco around, and getting a good many of the bugs that were found. This bird was very confiding…it was busy at work while I photographed it for many minutes without flushing. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 160 @ f4 @ 1/500th.

Rufous Hummingbird

Rufous Hummingbird: Randall Davey Audubon Center, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA — Rufous Hummingbirds do not live in New Mexico…which is to say they do not breed here — but they are often the dominant species during fall migration, arriving back in the state in August in high numbers. They are also aggressive in defending feeders and stands of flowering plants, so they are hard to miss. After years now in the east where we only have Ruby-throat hummers, I was happy to meet this gentleman at the Randall Davey Audubon Center, guarding a feeder that I never actually saw him use…though several female Rufous hummers were active at it. Sony Rx10iv at 1200mm equivalent (600mm optical plus 2x Clear Image Zoom). Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 200 @ f4 @ 1/500th. + 1 EV exposure compensation.

Cooper’s Hawk in deep

Cooper’s Hawk, Santa Fe Canyon Preserve, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA — Sometimes you just have to take the view you can get. 🙂 This Cooper’s Hawk was supper cooperative in that it stayed put for as long as I needed for photographs, and super uncooperative in that it stayed deep in the foliage and never presented an unobscured view. There was always a branch or a leaf (and often both) between it and my camera. I spent a good 20 minutes scuttling back and forth on the trail looking for lines of sight through the foliage, and managed some, I think, satisfying shots, but it was real work. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 250 @ f4 @ 1/500th. + 1 EV exposure bias.