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Tag Archives: Playa del Rey

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

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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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