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Category Archives: National Wildlife Refuge

Copyright © 2017 Deborah M. Zajac.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Nikon D810; Nikkor 200-500mm @500mm | hand-held| SanDisk Digital Film| PS CC 2017

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Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Meadowlark Western – Male

Meadowlark Western Male

Copyright © 2017 Deborah M. Zajac ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

Nikon D700| Nikkor 200-500mm| Lexar Professional Digital Film| PS CC 2017

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Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I spent the day  with friends in Merced County birding in the wildlife refuges near there. It was a great day of birding, and I’ll be sharing the birds I photographed in the near future, but today I wanted to share the lovely sunset we had on the pond.

Sunset on the Pond

Nikon Df| Nikkor 20mm f/1.8g @f/16| Delkin Digital Film| PS CC 2017 & On1 Photo 10.5

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Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Look at that eye!  Really not liking me and my camera clicking away.  They are characters Northern Mockingbirds.

They mimic other birds. There’s one in my neighborhood that mimics a car alarm.  Really!

They’re fiercely  territorial.  I’ve witnessed a Northern Mockingbird dive-bombing a cat trying to nap in the sun more times than I care to count. The cat just flinched and went back to its nap. REALLY? Why didn’t the cat strike out and eat that bird? Cats eat birds! The Northern Mockingbird must have more power than a cat!

Northern Mockingbird

When this one grew tired of my clicking it flew away. Leaving me nothing to photograph. Sigh.  It’s a cunning bird for sure!

Nikon D700| Nikkor 200-500mm| Lexar Professional Digital Film| PS CC 2017

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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

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Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

This Red-tail is from a couple of weeks back.  My friend and I were birding in San Luis National Wildlife Refuge and nearing the end of one of the auto-routes when we spotted it high in the tree.  I was driving and didn’t think I’d get a decent photograph of it because it was on the passenger side of the car/road, and climbing over the console and gear box wasn’t something I wanted to do.

Red-tail Hawk

We had the route nearly to ourselves so I thought I’d pull the car caddy-whompus across the road and shoot leaning into the passenger seat.  I was able to get several images of it before another car came up and I had to move.

It is striking isn’t it with its white cap and that gaze?

Nikon D300s| Nikkor 200-500mm VR| Lexar Digital Film| PS CC 2015

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

MM2 Late Afternoon Merced Marsh_3000593

My friend Dali and I went out to Merced National Wildlife Refuge last week-end and found oh, so many Snow Geese, and some Lesser Sandhill Cranes along with the usual suspects.  We were photographing some of the Snow Geese and other birds in the nearest marsh when all of the sudden the noise level escalated and the birds took to the air!

The squawking, screeching, quacking, and honking was so loud you couldn’t hear yourself speak!  It was pretty neat to see and hear. We’re not sure but, we think a Hawk, or Coyote spooked them.

This is my entry to Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness 2. To check out all the entries this week click here.

Nikon D300s| Nikkor 200-500mm VR| Delkin Devices Digital Film| PS CC 2015 & On1 Photo 10

More to come…

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