Whatever Weds. This and That

Copywrite ©2020 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

I have been out photographing things but didn’t post last week so I thought I’d share some of what’s going on and what I’ve been photographing.

There’s a BIG event here at the end of January called Eagles and Ag. Ag short for Agriculture.  The Ag is grass, Cows, and sheep that eat that grass. During Calving season which is now, Eagles and Hawks make an appearance to feast on the afterbirth.

Anyway, there are talks and tours on private ranches and lands.  This was the third year I tried to get in on some tours and I finally made it to not one, but three tours! YIPEE!

One of the tours was called the Owl Prowl.  I saw Great Horned owls… too far and behind lots of branches to make good images of, and two Barn owls…I was too slow and far away so didn’t get a good shot of them while they flew by. Sigh, but I did get one Great Horned owl shot, sadly, I clipped one wing.  I was still thrilled to see it. Birds SCORE! Deborah not so much.

Great Horned Owl

I saw two American Bald Eagles, but they were so far away for my lens. I got a good look through the guides spotting scope though- no photo sorry.

We toured the wetlands behind my house and I learned a lot. These wetlands are private property and the only time the public can get in there is on this tour or you’re a member of Incline Village Hunter’s club.  The wetlands are where Incline Village drains their effluent water which creates a wonderful habitat for shorebirds, and wildlife and they have treatment ponds out there to further clean the water where it eventually flows back into the Carson River, and some are reclaimed to water a golf course or two.

It wasn’t very birdy, but the reflections in the ponds were spectacular. That’s the Carson Range.

IVGID Wetlands Tour Reflections

A few days after Eagles and Ag a couple of girlfriends and I went snowshoeing and on the way home, we saw a family unit of American Bald Eagles in a tree not far off the highway! We stopped! Almost out of range for my little Lumix FZ200, but still a nice look I think.  That’s Dad on the bottom, Mom and Jr up at the top.

American Bald Eagle Family

Then I went to Baby Girl’s for our Littlest’s first birthday party and I did a Cake Smash Photoshoot.  Baby Girl and I collaborated on decorations and props. I think it came out alright.  I did a pre-cake smash session followed by a nap, and feeding then the cake smash.

Landon's 1st Birthday Photoshoot

He wasn’t quite sure what to do with the cake, but curiosity got the best of him and he dug right in as you can see!  I just LOVE his curls!!

Landon's Cake Smash Portrait Sitting

We had another dusting of snow, so my girlfriends and I are heading to mountains a bit north of here to snowshoe in a new place today. I’m hoping to see some Chick-a-dees. They’ve been known to eat right out of your hand. I hope that happens!

That’s about it. I hope your week is off to a great start and continues to be a good one!

Panasonic Lumix FZ200| iPhone 7 Plus| Nikon D810 w/ 50mm f/1.8G lens| Hoodman and Sandisk Digital Film| PS CC 21.0.2

more to come…

 

 

 

 

Friday Most Fowl- Great Horned Owl Pair

Copyright © 2019 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

This pair is living in a barn on a ranch not too far from me. The owners were kind enough to let me and a birding friend wander around for a bit.

Great-horned Owl Pair

These two were a real treat to see.

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm| Hoodman Digital Film| PS CC 20.0.6

more to come…

Wild Weds. 49/52 Song Sparrow

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Song Sparrow…I think. Its song was pretty on this morning in June.

Sing a Song!

 

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm| PS CC 2019

more to come…

Wild Wednesday 39/52 Yellow-headed Blackbird

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

While photographing Wild Mustangs one morning in August this little guy popped out of the grass almost beside me to grab an unsuspecting Butterfly for breakfast.

Yellow-headed Blackbird

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm| Hoodman Digital Film| PS CC 2018

more to come…

 

Wild Wednesday 33/52 Snowy Plovers

Copyright © 2018 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

While at the beach a couple weeks ago to photograph the Moon we came across a protected area where we discovered Snowy Plovers nesting.

They’re a small shorebird found on beaches, and barren ground all across North American Gulf and Pacific coasts and here and there in California, Texas, and Saskatchewan inland areas. They are also found in South America, and Eurasia.

Snowy Plover

Neat facts from allaboutbirds.org:

The Snowy Plover will many time raise two broods a year, and sometimes three in places where the breeding season is long.  The female deserts her mate and brood about the time the chicks hatch and initiates a new breeding with a different male.

Snowy Plover in Nest

Young Snowy Plovers leave their nest within three hours of hatching! They flatten themselves on the ground when a parent signal the approach of people or possible predators.  They walk, run, and swim well and forage unaided by parents, but need periodic brooding for many days after hatching.

The oldest recorded Snowy Plover was at least 15 years, 2 months old when it was spotted in the wild in California and identified by its band. ~allaboutbirds.org

This one was really close to the edge of the protected nesting area which was great. It gave us really great looks, and photo ops.

Snowy Plover

Sadly, the Snowy Plover population is listed as Near Threatened as their numbers are in decline.  It’s believed their habitat is in decline due to habitat alteration, and increased recreational use of beaches.

I was happy to see this section roped/taped off, and no one breached the barrier while I was there so, it looks like people are respecting them, and the rules to stay out of the area while they’re nesting. I hope that bodes well for a successful breeding season for these cute little shorebirds.

I hope your week is going well, and you all have a lovely week-end!

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm @500mm| Lexar Digital Film| PS CC 2018

more to come…

 

 

Wild Wednesday 22/52 American Bald Eagles

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Last year we had a pair of American Bald Eagles make a nest in a Redwood tree which is located in the front yard of an Elementary School right here in Silicon Valley. It was very exciting news.  We hoped they’d return this year. Not only did they return to their nest they’ve had two chicks!

Myself and several friends had made a couple of trips over to see and photograph them, 2 weeks ago we met there again.  When I pulled up there were many photographers there, and they were quickly changing positions, and pointing up, one friend already there motioned me to hurry.  There was something exciting happening.  I quickly parked, got out of the car then went to get my camera out of the back of my car. The Female was coming in and she had dinner!  I had to act fast she was flying low, fast, and being dogged by crows who squawked at her the whole time.

There was a row of trees blocking my view, so I ducked down, and sans tripod got her in my viewfinder and fired off three rapid shots then I lost her in the trees. Since I was hand-holding my 200-500mm lens  I wobble all over the place and my position of ducking and shooting wasn’t stable. I didn’t have much hope for having a decent shot. My rig weighs just a smidge under 8 pounds (4kg). I’ve never had any arm strength. 😥 Two of the images were nothing but a blurry blob in the frame, but one was worth saving for myself. It’s not print quality, but I thought I show you it anyway because you can tell what birds they are, and what’s happening.

Mama Eagle scored a whole duck for dinner. A whole duck! There were 3 crows dogging her, but I only got one in the frame with her. See the duck?

Milpitas Eagle Famale with Kill and Crow Chaser

Mama stayed near the nest watching the Eaglets eat for sometime, and the Eaglets would pop their heads up from time to time looking for their parents.

American Bald Eagle Chicks

Mama decided it was time for another flight.  I photographed her just as she left the branch she was on.  I love this shot! Her wings are enormous!  I barely fit all of her in my frame.

American Bald Eagle Adult Female

Dad was nearby on a branch higher up keeping watch, but after Mama left and the chicks were fed he thought it was safe for him to come down and clean off his beak.

He cleaned it by rubbing and wiping it on that branch.  Under his back end below the branch is the nest. You can just make out a chick in there.  Dad has lost all his beautiful white tail feathers!  I hope they grow back.

American Bald Eagle Adult Male

We stayed watching and photographing them until sundown when we lost the good light. I have more images I want to share of the adults, but again I’ll wait for a rainy day, by then I may a few of the Chicks as Fledglings.

Pets Update:  I finally took a photo of Box, and someone cough! (Dan) reminded me that I haven’t shared a photo of Diva Dog in sometime.  Imagonna fix that for ya. 🙂 I had Yosemite Sam pop into my head when I heard that last sentence in my head. 😜

Box is still shy:  He loves to hide in the back corners, and he loves his hay bag. I got him at a good time munching on hay.

Box the Guinea Pig

 

…and for Dan, Diva Dog- Yesterday was in the 80’s and today is supposed to be 89°F.  Early summer?  When it’s hot she likes to lay on the cool wood floor in the entry hall, or on our bathroom floor’s Travertine tiles.  She wouldn’t pose for me. Too hot! I’m sorry you can’t see her cute neckerchief.

Diva Dog Staying Cool

It’s supposed to cool down mid week. I hope you’re not too hot or cold,  and I hope you’re all having a good week, and great day!

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm @500mm| SanDisk Digital Film| PS CC 2018

more to come…

 

 

Wild Wednesday 21/52 Osprey Family

Copyright © 2018 Deborah M. Zajac  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The day after Mother’s Day Gordon of undiscoveredimagesamongstus blog was the navigator for an excursion to see an Osprey nest that is currently inhabited with a family of 4.

We had some great sightings of the Female, Male, and little peeks at the chicks.  The morning was overcast, but during lunch the sun broke through the marine layer giving us some blue sky.

The Male was busy in the morning with chores; bringing in new nesting material.

Osprey Male with Nesting Material

Heading out again…

Opresy leaving the Nest

a peek at the chicks!

Osprey with Chicks in the Nest

Osprey and Chicks_DMZ7350

Osprey Facts:

COMMON NAME: Osprey

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Pandion haliaetus

TYPE: Birds

DIET: Carnivores

AVERAGE LIFE SPAN IN THE WILD: 30 years

SIZE: Body, 21 to 23 in; wingspan, 5 to 6 ft

WEIGHT: 3.1 to 4.4 lbs

They are fantastic fishers. Their diet is 99% fish, so you’ll find them on rivers, lakes, ponds and coastal waterways around the world.

Ospreys hunt by diving to the water’s surface from some 30 to 100 feet up. They have gripping pads on their feet to help them pluck fish from the water with their curved claws and carry them for great distances. In flight, ospreys will orient the fish headfirst to ease wind resistance.~https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/birds/o/osprey/

I didn’t get to see the aerial show Gordon and our friend Dan saw on Saturday, but I can’t complain. It was amazing see these fly to and from the nest, and get a bonus peek at the chicks.

We saw some other birds too, but I’ll save those for a rainy day. 🙂

He-Man was seated on a jury today so, I’ll be missing him for the next few days.  Funny that. When he first started telecommuting I wasn’t happy about it. Having him in my space all day; UGH!  I’ve had to adjust. It’s been a few years now and I’ve grown to appreciate him being here.

The Guinea Pig; Box, is settling in and he and Diva Dog are getting used to each other.  Box and she are communicating I think.  Diva Dog chuffs, and wags her tail like crazy when she’s inspecting Box, and his habitat, and Box chirps, and whistles and is really excited to see her after her walks.

Box is standing still in his habitat when I put my hand in to pet him now, so we’re making progress too. I’ll get some images of him to share soon.  He’s a cute little calico Guinea pig.

I hope your week is going well!

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm @500mm| f/8| ISO 800| SanDisk Digital Film

more to come…