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Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

My original Photography plans for last week-end fell apart mid-week when one of the friends I was going with fell ill.  Rather than go anyway which didn’t sit well with me or my friend Theresa we two switched gears and decided to go birding in the Central Valley to see what birds if any had arrived early.

I had read a few reports of early migrants in the area; we hoped to find one or two, and spend some time catching up with each other.

I left for T’s house early (6:30am) so we’d get to the Refuge in the morning when the birds are more active.

We found the first pond completely sans water. Fish and Wildlife have just started filling the ponds we discovered. Many of the ponds we’re used to seeing full of water were bone dry, but it is early in the season!

Just as we were starting the auto-route we spied a Doe and her Fawn in the tall grass. I didn’t get an image of them together. Mom decided her male Fawn was too close to the road and moved to higher grass.  Honestly, I think she looks young!

Doe  Deer Female

The Fawn has two little adorable antler nubs.Fawn Male

Early arrivals: There were quite a few White-fronted Geese on the little islands in the ponds that had water.

White-fronted Goose

Northern Pintails, and Shovelers are showing up, but I didn’t make any images of the Shovelers they were too far out. You see a Northern Pintail in image above giving me a one wing salute. 🙂

Among the usual suspects here were thousands of Dragonflies,

Dragon Fly

Pied-billed Grebes

Pied-billed Grebe

Night Herons; most were deep in the foliage, but one was on Sentry duty,

Night Heron

We saw a female Harrier flying low in the distance hunting, a few Red-tail Hawks, and as we approached the tree the Bald Eagles hang out in there we saw there was a Peregrine Falcon perched on a snag surveying the land.

Copyright © 2016 Deborah M. Zajac ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Once the Eagles return I doubt we’ll be seeing this Falcon in this tree. 🙂

Plan B turned out to be a great day, and it was lovely  hanging out with Theresa. You can find her images on flickr here.

Nikon D700| Nikkor 200-500mm VR| Lexar Professional Digital Film| PS CC 2015.5

More to come…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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21 Comments

  1. Your photos are always impressive, but so is your knowledge of birds!! My favourite photo though is the deer at the beginning. Look at the size of those big, pink ears!! She’s the one who’s adorable 🙂

    • Thank you so much Joanne for that lovely compliment!!

      She is adorable isn’t she. She looks not much older than a fawn herself.

      • I LOVE deer. Whenever I see one, I consider it a blessing 🙂

        • Me too! I see them so often while on morning hikes I’ve long thought they’re my “spirit animal”. 🙂

          • Lucky you!! I would happily have a deer as my spirit animal.

            I considered my day very special if we had a deer sighting while out hiking. It didn’t happen very often.

  2. I like your post and nice play on words with the title – but my fav photo of this post – hard to pick – but you know – sometimes one stands out – and the dragon fly is standing out still – the looking through the wings and angle is nice.
    🙂

  3. Sounds and looks like a wonderful day 🙂

  4. A wonderful collection! I love the dragonfly.

  5. Great ‘Plan B’ day, awesome sightings! Love your Peregrine Falcon capture! 🙂

    • Thank you so much Donna! That Peregrine was a treat to see. The Eagles should be using that perch soon!

  6. Wonderful photos. That fawn and doe are spectacular. I often see them around here, but never in time to capture them on camera 🙂

    • I often see deer while out doing a “stretching my legs”. I sometime feel like they’re my spirit animal because on several occasions they’ve let me photograph them for several minutes, and once a deer hiked with me! It was the most incredible surreal experience! That was in the early morning just after daybreak.

  7. Lovely pictures of wildlife! so beautiful!

  8. It looks like you more than salvaged the day, Deborah. These are grat photos. I love the photo of the heron and of the doe and the fawn. I really like seeing the hawk high in that tree. I’m always amazed how they stake out the highest points and latch on. Good that some of the ponds had water. We mostly get a lot of geese around here, but some of the ponds they like are down, and some of the fields where they usually feast on the scraps, have already been turned under. I hope there’s enough food and water around to support the migration.

    • Me too! Fortunately, F&G are reading or are being sent the reports of early wintering birds, and have acknowledged that they’re aware, have started the water transfer, but it’s a balancing act so they can’t just fill up every pond NOW! 🙂

      Having enough water will be the thing I worry about.


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