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Copyright © 2011 Deborah M. Zajac.  All Rights Reserved.
Yesterday myself,  and  friend Rainey Shuler, who I’ve blogged about before here went out to San Luis Wildlife Refuge to do a little birding photography. We had hoped there would be some interesting and uncommon birds there.
On the way we ran into a “Road Closed” baracade so we stopped in another Refuge to get some back road directions, and while talking to the hunters and Ranger there we learned there was a Tule Elk herd at the Refuge we wanted to go to. So getting the directions we needed we headed out.  We were in luck! These Elk in the photo above weren’t too far from the road.

Rainey and I set up our tripods and took some photos of the Elk. When we started shooting the sun was blocked by morning fog and mist, but soon the sun began to burn through the haze to light up the meadow and Elk  just right . About the same time these two started sparring. It was great fun to discover this herd here, and more exciting to see this since I didn’t see any of this behavior while viewing the Tule Elk in Northern CA these past 2 years.

In addition to these magnificent Elk we saw a Coyote, Hawks, Kites- the bird, Heron, Egrets, and a little bird I’ve not identified yet.  We left this refuge and headed over to the Merced National Wildlife Refuge, and met up with another friend for lunch. I’ll be posting a few of the exciting birds I saw there in the coming days. It was a good day for birding and photography, but made even better by the company of wonderful friends.

Nikon D300s| Nikkor 300mm + 1.4x Tamron extender effective range 420mm| f5.6| 1/1600second| ISO 500| Manual Mode| Tripod



  1. Beautiful shot Deborah…and that mystery bird was an American Pipit!

    • Thank you so much Rainey for the compliment and the bird ID. I’ll get it posted soon!
      Thanks again for the company!

  2. A wonderful image, Deborah. You’re correct, the light is just right. Glad to hear you and Rainey had a good time.

    • Thank you very much Marianne! Rainey and I were talking about shooting with you it’s been so long! We should do Radio Road soon.

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