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Tag Archives: Los Angeles

Vaux’s Swifts (Video)

This is one of those things that most people will never see in their lifetime. Over 6,000 Vaux’s Swifts pouring into a chimney to roost. Every fall as the Vaux’s Swifts are migrating from their breeding grounds in Southern Alaska they will seek refuge in dark, protected areas (such as caves or chimneys) to roost in each night along their journey to their wintering grounds in the Yucatan. There just so happens to be a particular chimney on an abandoned building in Downtown Los Angeles that is still left standing that the Vaux’s Swifts understandably favor.

I decided to take video footage of the amazing event from a nearby parking garage. When we arrived there was already a small gathering of people on the rooftop waiting to see the amazing spectacle. As it grew closer and closer to dusk more and more Vaux’s Swifts began circling above. Ravens aware of the situation, perched at the edge of the chimney picking off the few that dared get too close to them. You could hear the gasps from the crowd when it happened.

By sunset there were well over 5,000 Swifts circling in a giant vortex above us. As it grew darker, the Swifts began circling and slowly filing into the chimney one by one. Had I been alone on the rooftop, you would have heard the almost deafening roar of the Swifts in the background. Unfortunately all you can hear is the loud chatter of the other people which is why I chose to dub over the audio with a peaceful celtic melody.

Hope you enjoy watching the video:

 

Posted by on October 2, 2011 in Photography Adventures

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Pacific Golden-Plover @ Ballona Cr.

It’s been a while since a decent species has shown up at Ballona Creek. Yesterday, Martin Meyers found a Pacific Golden-Plover along Ballona Creek. While not a significant bird to the state or county, for that matter, it was a bird that once wintered in the Ballona Wetlands in decent numbers. But due to urbanization and habitat loss there has only been 1 or 2 records in the past 20 years.

Pacific Golden-Plover
Pacific Golden-Plover

I’ve photographed Pacific Golden-Plovers in Hawaii before but this gave me a good opportunity to photograph one in relatively good lighting and really close to home! There were also many Dunlin in the area but I didn’t have much time to photograph anything but the Pacific Golden-Plover before the parking meter was going to expire. I’ll have to get back out there this weekend.

 

Posted by on November 18, 2010 in Photography Adventures

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Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook

THE BALDWIN HILLS SCENIC OVERLOOK GRAND OPENING CELEBRATION

Where: BALDWIN HILLS SCENIC OVERLOOK, 6300 HETZLER ROAD, CULVER CITY

When: Saturday, April 18TH

Press Event: 10am-Noon

Community Celebration: Noon until 4pm

Musical entertainment, guided tours, bird watching station, native plant restoration, kids eco crafts, refreshments, healthy food and entertainment for the whole family!  * Due to limited space, off-site parking and free shuttle service will be provided.

CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS, in collaboration with the Baldwin Hills Conservancy, and Los Angeles Audubon Society, cordially invite you Back to Nature in the City for a Grand Opening celebration at the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook on April 18, 2009. A press event is scheduled from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm with the public welcomed from noon to sunset for fun and festivities.

The Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook and trail system is a crowning jewel in the last, large swath of open space in urban Los Angeles. Rising 500 feet above the Los Angeles basin floor and visible for miles, the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook offers a unique 360 degree view of metropolitan Los Angeles. Visitors will enjoy a showcase for native plants and animals and dramatic vistas from the Pacific Ocean at Marina del Rey to the San Gabriel Mountains and downtown Los Angeles skyline.

We welcome you and thank you for your support in making the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook a spectacular new park for urban Los Angeles!

More info can be be found here.

 

Posted by on April 13, 2009 in Photography Adventures

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Jays and Squirrels

We’re often awoken to Western Scrub-Jays visiting our feeder at the crack of dawn and I’ve been trying to photograph them for the past week. I was finally rewarded this afternoon and I suspect they may be trying to nest in an adjacent yard again this year. I also caught the Eastern Fox Squirrel that has been making off with all the bird food!


Western Scrub-Jay
Western Scrub-Jay

Western Scrub-Jay
Western Scrub-Jay

Eastern Fox Squirrel
Eastern Fox Squirrel

Eastern Fox Squirrel
Eastern Fox Squirrel

I’m off to SE Arizona again this weekend. This news article that came out this morning caught my attention…and does well at summarizing the drug wars in this region of our country. I will try to be safe!

 

Posted by on March 27, 2009 in Photography Adventures

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Echo Park Lake

I haven’t been keeping up on my blog updates. Partly due to the holidays and partly due to a weird sinus/head cold I’ve been fighting for the past few days. Anyway…I ended up rushing over to Echo Lake Park in Downtown after a friend called to tell me they were looking at a 1st year THAYER’S GULL just a few feet from them and with the sun at their back!! I have been trying to track down a Thayer’s Gull to photograph for quite a while… Not having any luck at Ballona (where they are irregularly found), I quickly forgot about my sinus headache and jumped in the car to go photograph. There were also LOTS of Glaucous-winged Gulls all around.

Thayer's Gull (1st year)
Thayer’s Gull (1st year)

Glaucous-winged Gull (1st year)
Glaucous-winged Gull (1st year)

 

Posted by on December 29, 2008 in Photography Adventures

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