RSS

Tag Archives: peregrine falcon

Baby Kingbirds and Falcons

On a tip from Tom Starcic I headed over to Point Fermin Park located in San Pedro, CA where two baby Peregrine Falcons had recently fledged. When I got there I immediately spotted the adults flying around the bluffs and it didn’t take long to hear and spot the fledgling Falcons calling to their parents. Both of them were taking little leaps off the cliffs and landing a few yards away. Not quite ready for full flight but not long before they will be soaring alongside their parents. Nearby there were also two baby Cassin’s Kingbirds that had recently fledged as well and I got photos of the adults taking turns feeding them.

Cassin's Kingbird
Cassin’s Kingbird

Cassin's Kingbird
Cassin’s Kingbird

Peregrine Falcon
Peregrine Falcon (adult)

Peregrine Falcon
Peregrine Falcon (adult)

Peregrine Falcon
Peregrine Falcon (chick)

Peregrine Falcon
Peregrine Falcon (chick)

Peregrine Falcon
Peregrine Falcon (chick)

 

Posted by on June 7, 2009 in Photography Adventures

2 Comments

Tags: , , , , ,

Coronado Islands, Mexico

It was another long day yesterday. I woke up at 3:30AM to drive down to San Diego to catch the “Grande” fishing/birding pelagic boat out to the Coronado Islands in Mexican waters. The weather was magnificent as we all enjoyed a beautiful sunrise just before the boat departed at 7AM. The sea wasn’t as gracious. Just as we left the safety of the harbor the waters began getting a little choppy. Within the first hour, I observed a few people graciously donating their breakfasts to the birds at the rear of the boat. Fortunately I’m never one to get sick – I suppose it’s the fact I always take a dramamine and make sure I have plenty of food and water in my stomach throughout the day. They also say you should also get a good nights sleep and don’t drink alcohol the night before. But that’s never stopped me!

Coronado Islads
Coronado Islands

As we were leaving the harbor we were greeted with Black-vented, Sooty and Pink-footed Shearwaters later joined by several Northern Fulmars. We were surpised at not seeing any Alcids (Rhino, Cassin’s Auklet, Xantus’ Murrelet, etc.) But by mid-day we encountered at least a half dozen Xantus’ Murrelets and several Rhinoceros Auklets. Along the lines of mammals, we had a few Gray Whales, a Fin Whale heading south, lots of Common, Risso’s and Bottlenose Dolphins and many California Sea Lions.

Coronado Islads
Coronado Islands

At the Coronado Islands themselves we found 20+ Brown Boobies, many of them nesting already. There was also a Peregrine Falcon pair entertaining us with their aerial acrobatics and high speed nose dives. All the other common stuff included Black Oystercatchers (many Am./Black hybrids), Brandt’s, Pelagic and Double-crested Cormorants, lots of Brown Pelicans and many Western and California Gulls.

Pink-footed Shearwater
Pink-footed Shearwater

Peregrine Falcon
Peregrine Falcon

Peregrine Falcon
Peregrine Falcon

Northern Fulmar
Northern Fulmar

Rhinoceros Auklet
Rhinoceros Auklet

Black-legged Kittiwake
Black-legged Kittiwake

Xantus's Murrelet
Xantus’s Murrelet

Brown Booby
Brown Booby

Sooty Shearwater
Sooty Shearwater

Coronado Islads
Searching the rocks for Boobies @ Coronado Islands

Guy Mccaskie
Guy McCaskie


GPS Track
GPS Track plotted by Google Earth

 

Posted by on April 5, 2009 in Photography Adventures

Leave a comment

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bolsa Chica – Greater vs. Lesser Scaup

The stormy weather subsided just long enough Sunday afternoon for me to get a little photography time in. I headed to Bolsa Chica in Huntington Beach to seek out the White-winged Scoter that had been observed there for the past month. I walked the entire loop around the wetlands (about 2 mi.) and was never able to find the Scoter – although the last report was from at least two weeks ago. A treat was a juvenile Peregrine Falcon attempting to capture and kill a Willet. Although he was unsuccessful it was still fun to watch. Lots of the normal waterfowl including many Lesser Scaup but just as I was leaving I found a small group of Greater Scaup all by their lonesome. This inspired me to post the following photos as many have trouble in identifying the differences of Greater vs. Lesser Scaup.

You’ll notice the rounder head of the Greater Scaup with the peak of the head being farther forward. The color of the head is greener in the Greater and more purple in the Lesser, although this is not a difference that can be relied upon as lighting conditions can play a major factor. The sides and back of the Greater are lighter and there’s a larger black nail on the tip of the bill (not easy to see). The Lesser Scaup has a narrower, taller head and, as the name indicates, is smaller in size averaging 16.5 inches in length as opposed to 18 inches for the Greater Scaup.

Greater Scaup
Greater Scaup

Lesser Scaup
Lesser Scaup

Northern Pintail
Northern Pintail

Eared Grebe
Eared Grebe

Pied-billed Grebe
Pied-billed Grebe

White-crowned Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow

Peregrine Falcon
Peregrine Falcon

 

Posted by on February 9, 2009 in Photography Adventures

1 Comment

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Ferruginous Hawk, Playa del Rey

Robert “Roy” van de Hoek, from the Ballona Institute, called me yesterday afternoon to tell me that he had the Ferruginous Hawk [that’s wintering for the second time at Ballona] within close proximity. I rushed over to the Playa del Rey bluffs and just as I pulled up I saw the Ferruginous Hawk fly off to an even more distant power pole. After 20 minutes it flew off again toward the ocean where I lost sight of it. I decided to drive down a little bit closer to the beach to see I could relocate him. As I was pulling my camera and tripod out of the car it flew up and over my head, circling back and forth. Since I didn’t have time to get my tripod legs extended I just dropped to the ground, laying on my back shooting up at it. Without any time for preparation, I got some surprisingly good shots too. Again it flew off over the ocean and out of view.

Ferruginous Hawk
Ferruginous Hawk

As I was waiting for him to return a striking adult Peregrine Falcon flew within 100 yards. There was also a Red-tailed Hawk and a couple American Kestrels in the area that would occasionally harass the Ferruginous Hawk each time it would land on a power pole.

Ferruginous Hawk
Ferruginous Hawk

Ferruginous Hawk
Ferruginous Hawk (w/Kestrel diving)

Peregrine Falcon
Peregrine Falcon

American Kestrel
American Kestrel

Red-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk

 

Posted by on December 9, 2008 in Photography Adventures

1 Comment

Tags: , , , , , ,

Coronados Islands – Nov 22, 2008

Nothing that out-of-the-ordinary on the Coronados Islands pelagic last saturday but I did get new photos of Black-legged Kittiwake and much better shots of Black-vented Shearwater. Also had a Peregrine Falcon do a fly-by a few miles from the islands – more than likely the same one that we see each time we visit the Coronados. As we got closer to the islands, a presumable House/White-crowned Sparrow flew up and over the boat. As we were all trying to ID the wayward sparrow, I shouted out “Where’s that Peregrine??!”. No more than 10 seconds after I shouted that, the Peregrine came out of nowhere and nailed the Sparrow!! Talk about bad luck – so much for any hopes of positively ID’ing the Peregrine’s snack.

Black-legged Kittiwake
Black-legged Kittiwake

Black-vented Shearwater
Black-vented Shearwater

Black-vented Shearwater
Black-vented Shearwater

Common Dolphin
Common Dolphin doing a back-flip

 

Posted by on November 25, 2008 in Photography Adventures

1 Comment

Tags: , , , ,

SEO Powered by Platinum SEO from Techblissonline