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Common Goldeneyes at Ballona

It took me a few days to finally photograph both the Male and the Female Common Goldeneye that have been on Ballona Creek. After Robert van de Hoek posted that he had the male on Del Rey Lagoon this morning, I raced down there to try and get some photos. I found him relatively quickly but he spooked and flew back over to the Creek. I immediately relocated him about 300 yards east along the creek. I rushed down there and ran closer every time it dove until I was able to be just 30 yards away precisely where it came back up for air!

Common Goldeneye
Common Goldeneye (male)

Common Goldeneye
Common Goldeneye (female)


Posted by on December 5, 2008 in Photography Adventures

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Ballona Field Day

I haven’t posted that much in the past few weeks and it’s not because I haven’t been out in the field, it’s because I haven’t found/or gotten any decent pics of what I was seeking! For example, today marked the 5th or 6th attempt to find and photograph the alternate plumage Little Blue Heron. I checked Ballona Freshwater Marsh along with Del Rey lagoon and walked a bit up Ballona Creek early this morning – and spent a couple hours this afternoon walking all around the backside of Ballona Freshwater Marsh until dusk. No luck.

A bit disappointing but that’s the way it goes and what makes it all the more thrilling when I can actually nail a shot that I’ve anticipated for so long. I do feel obligated to share a few decent shots I managed to capture this afternoon though:

Ruddy Duck
Ruddy Duck

Marbled Godwit
Marbled Godwit

Mallard (F)
Mallard (F)

Nothing all that exotic, but HEY! Beggars can’t be choosers, eh?


Posted by on July 17, 2008 in Photography Adventures

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Three Muskateers

These guys have done their best to avoid me the ENTIRE winter they have been chilling at Del Rey Lagoon in Playa del Rey. After 8 or 9 unsuccessful attempts to photograph them, they finally appeared before me one rainy afternoon a month or so ago. I got some pictures but let’s just say they weren’t what I considered “A+”.

What or who are the Three Muskateers you’re asking? Well…to be specific, they are a trio of 3 geese that have hung out together the entire winter here in Ballona. The largest of the bunch being a typical “Canada Goose”, the second, a sub-species of the prior, a “Cackling Goose” and the third being a “Greater White-fronted Goose.”

They couldn’t avoid me any longer… As I was trekking up Ballona Creek, approx 1/4 mile east of the Pacific St. bridge, I stumbled upon them. I hadn’t heard of anyone seeing them in the past month so I had just assumed they had departed for greener pastures. I guess I was wrong! They posed for me for a few minutes, honked and then flew off, clearly not happy I had finally gotten some decent photos.

Greater White-fronted Goose, Cackling Goose, Canada Goose

Feeling satisfied that I had finally “nailed” those suckers, I headed back to the beach to try and get some better shots of the Caspian Terns. I had a Red-throated Loon fly-by – he wanted to land but the UCLA rowing team was out in full-force and try he did, circling a few times, finally giving up and heading south.

Caspian Tern

On the way back to the car I had a House Sparrow gathering nesting material. I typically don’t think twice about photographing something as common as a House Sparrow but the lighting was great and it looked like a good shot.

House Sparrow

Feel free to check out the rest of the gallery.


Posted by on April 10, 2008 in Photography Adventures

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