Warning: file_get_contents(?v=1&t=pageview&dl=https%3A%2F%2Fkiwifoto.com%2Fblog%2Ftag%2Fshrike%2F&ul=en&de=UTF-8&dt=shrike+%26%238211%3B+kiwifoto.com&cid=c9a0eaf3-10f-0d8-402-c7c67800465784c&uid=598532198&tid=UA-8159714-1&ds=wp-seo-ga&a=9486658&z=5166342&cd1=CCBot&cd2=Spider&cd3=Desktop&cd4=CCBot%2F2.0+%28https%3A%2F%2Fcommoncrawl.org%2Ffaq%2F%29&cd5=200&cd6=c9a0eaf3-10f-0d8-402-c7c67800465784c&cd7=598532198&cd8=54&cd9=0.883&cd10=181&cd11=CCBot&cd12=Spider&cd13=Desktop&cd14=https&cd15=HTTP%2F1.0&cd16=amazonaws.com): failed to open stream: File name too long in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/kiwifoto/blog/wp-content/plugins/wp-seo-ga-master/wp-seo-ga.php on line 173
shrike | kiwifoto.com
RSS

Tag Archives: shrike

My Nemesis Thrasher: Le Conte’s Thrasher

I’ve tried for several years now to photograph Le Conte’s Thrashers in the Mojave Desert. I had been in contact with Terri Middlemiss for the past three years trying to arrange a time to visit her property and photograph the Thrashers. But I kept missing the late winter window before they went out of sight nest building and raising their first brood of young. I decided that I would do it this year for sure and e-mailed Terri in January. To my dismay, she told me that she no longer had any Thrashers on her property. A Cooper’s Hawk picked off most of their brood last year and the parents decided to pack their bags and move somewhere else. She did offer me some hope since her neighbor, Louise of Knecht Ranch, had multiple pairs of Le Conte’s Thrashers on her property. So we setup a date and time to visit this past weekend.

As soon as we arrived, we were greeted by the song of a male Le Conte’s Thrasher singing in the distance. You can hear the song here. Louise lured them into her yard by throwing meal worms onto the ground. It was tricky photographing them since they’re quite adept to scurrying around on the ground, rarely taking flight. I managed to get a few shots though. Not my best photos but Louise invited me back in June when they will be multiple broods of young also running around and learning to hunt on their own.

Le Conte's Thrasher
Le Conte’s Thrasher

While waiting patiently to photograph the Thrashers, several Loggerhead Shrikes took the opportunity to feast on the meal worms that were wriggling around in the soil.

Loggerhead Shrike
Loggerhead Shrike

And what’s a visit to Kern County without stopping at the Kern County Audubon Preserve. There wasn’t much in the way of birds since it was pretty windy last weekend. There was a group of Mule Deer that were feeding in the late afternoon light.

Mule Deer
Mule Deer

And a little treat from Butterbredt Springs:

Great Horned Owl
Great Horned Owl

Thanks again to Louise and Knecht Ranch! She has a collection of videos that she wanted me to share as well. She is working on uploading video footage she took of Le Conte’s Thrashers warning each other of a nearby Gopher Snake.

  • Knecht Ranch Wildlife Part 1: Roadrunner vs. Gopher Snake
  • Knecht Ranch Wildlife Part 2: Long-eared Owls
  • Knecht Ranch Wildlife Part 3: MooTweet, the Cowbird

    .
    ..

     
  • Posted by on February 28, 2012 in Photography Adventures

    Leave a comment

    Tags: , , , , , , ,

    Sedona and Navajo Nation

    We spent half of Thanksgiving weekend in Sedona, AZ and the rest traveling through Navajo Nation to Canyon De Chelly National Monument – located just a few miles east of Chinle, AZ. I finally managed to photograph one of my many nemesis birds, Pinyon Jay. We located a flock of 45-50 of them near Upper Lake Mary which is approximately 25 mi. southeast of Flagstaff, AZ. Beautiful early-morning views of the San Francisco Mtns as well:

    San Francisco Mtns.
    San Francisco Mtns.

    Pinyon Jay
    Pinyon Jay

    On the way back to Sedona, we took a bit of a detour through Prescott where I located a photogenic American Kestrel:


    American Kestrel
    American Kestrel

    Later on in the day we drove out to some of the “vortex” areas but due to the quickly fading daylight we only had time to hike up to one of the scenic areas, Devil’s Bridge:

    Devil's Bridge - Sedona, AZ
    Devil’s Bridge – Sedona, AZ

    Sedona, AZ
    Sedona, AZ

    Balancing Rock - Sedona, AZ
    Balancing Rock – Sedona, AZ

    Sunday morning we left Sedona for Canyon De Chelly Natl. Monument – about a four hour drive NE of Sedona, AZ. We drove through much of the beautiful Navajo Nation land and arrived just before dusk. We hurried along the Southern Rim of the Canyon where the afternoon sun cast magnificent shadows amidst the spires of rock and Anasazi ruins. Just as we were leaving one of the vistas, Sara noticed a Peregrine Falcon performing aerial acrobatics some 2,500′ above the Whitehouse Ruins at the bottom of the canyon.

    Peregrine Falcon
    Peregrine Falcon

    Canyon De Chelly
    Canyon De Chelly

    Canyon De Chelly
    Canyon De Chelly

    Whitehouse Ruins - Canyon De Chelly
    Whitehouse Ruins – Canyon De Chelly

    Whitehouse Ruins - Canyon De Chelly
    Whitehouse Ruins – Canyon De Chelly

    Canyon De Chelly
    Canyon De Chelly

    Canyon De Chelly
    Canyon De Chelly

    Canyon De Chelly
    Canyon De Chelly

    Canyon De Chelly
    Canyon De Chelly

    Canyon De Chelly
    Canyon De Chelly

    Canyon De Chelly
    Canyon De Chelly

    Canyon De Chelly
    Canyon De Chelly

    Having exhausted all possible hours of daylight we decided to bunk down at one of the local hotels. Had quite an interesting experience at dinner – being that it’s Navajo Nation, the purchase and consumption of alcohol is strictly forbidden – However, we noticed on the menu that they had “non-alcoholic” wine and beer available for sale. We inquired about the wine and they admitted it was essentially nothing more than really expensive grape juice! I opted for the Guiness bottled non-alcoholic beer and it actually didn’t taste that bad.

    The next morning we headed out to the North Rim in search of optimal light settings…however, it appeared that winter was *NOT* the best time of year for morning sun on the north rim. I quickly dismissed any hopes of scenic photography and decided to just photograph the several Juniper Titmouse that were flying around us:

    Juniper Titmouse
    Juniper Titmouse

    We had a 6 hour drive ahead of us to catch our evening flight out of Phoenix so we started heading back around mid-morning. I opted to drive NW from Canyon De Chelly to Hwy 160 and take that south through Flagstaff and back to Phoenix. We drove many miles of Navajo Nation and through a thin stretch of the Hopi Reservation where Sara noticed some wild Mustang horses out in the field. I was hoping for Northern Shrike as well but all we seemed to notice were Loggerhead Shrikes along the fence lines.

    Mustang
    Mustang

    Loggerhead Shrike
    Loggerhead Shrike

    Just north of Flagstaff we took a short detour through Wupatki Natl. Monument where we noticed a stunning adult Red-tailed Hawk at eye-level apparently trying to nab a rodent of some sort just below him:

    Red-tailed Hawk
    Red-tailed Hawk

     

    Posted by on December 2, 2008 in Photography Adventures

    1 Comment

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