2016 Top Ten Most”Viewed” Images on Flickr

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

As we approach the end of 2016  I’m looking back on the year’s images; seeing which were the most liked by others, which images I love, which techniques failed,  or succeeded, and falling in love all over again with the places I’ve visited, and the people I met during the last year.

I made thousands of images in 2016 whittling them down to just 10 isn’t easy when I love so many, and divorcing myself from the emotional aspects of making the images and being purely objective is hard!

While going through my images I also took a look at my 2016 Top Ten most viewed images over at my Flickr site. Since those are easier to get to I thought I’d share those images with you again this year.  Most of these you’ve seen before if you’ve been following my blog this year. Voici!

1) Sunset Martin's Beach Half Moon Bay

2)Horsetail Fall 2016

3)Dawn in Manhattan

 

4)

5)Radio City Music Hall

6)Allen's Hummingbird Male

7)Swanson Creek Cascade

8)eyelashes-to-die-for_dmz1066

9)Anna's Hummingbird Female perched on a branch

10)Vermillion Flycatcher

Voila! The Top 10 2016 Most Viewed Images on my Flickr site.

I’ve whittled  down my favorites of the year down to 35. Getting that number down to 10-15 is my next task and I’ll share those images soon!

I hope those that celebrate Christmas had a lovely Holiday, and those celebrating Hanukkah are having a great one so far, and I hope we all have a fantastic week!

More to come…

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Belted Kingfisher-Female

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

After several years of trying to get a decent image of a Belted Kingfisher I finally got one yesterday while out birding with Gordon and other friends in the Pacific Flyway.   I was birding in the refuge rich area north of Sacramento, CA.  They asked me to show them around the place and I was eager and happy to do it.

I’m sure Gordon will share many of his images too.

Belted Kingfisher

It was an amazing day of birding. We saw so many great birds. Most notable were the Belted Kingfisher, a Bald Eagle, American Bittern, Ring-necked Pheasants, Hawks, Falcon, Ibis, thousands of Snow Geese, some White Fronted Geese, northern pintails, shovelers, Egrets, Blue Herons, Night Herons, Sparrows, Wrens, Goldfinches, Hummingbirds, Warblers, maybe a Thrush of some sort. Need to work on getting an ID on it.

There were quite a few more types of birds seen. We even saw some other wildlife; skunk, deer, and hares, but for me getting this image means no more agonizing over all the butt shots, missed shots, blurry in flight shots, and how very skittish they are! 🙂 I finally got the shot!! 🙂

This one was quite content to sit on this branch looking at the pond below her while keeping an eye on us too. It was a gift!

Can you see me doing my “happy dance”? Yeah, I’m still dancing. 🙂 We had a GREAT day of birding.

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

More to come.

The Look

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I’m not sure if this is a Sharp-shinned Hawk, or  a Cooper’s Hawk, or something else all together, but I’m leaning towards a Sharp-shinned because of its long legs, overall size, and notched tail feathers.

The Look

It wasn’t happy about getting its picture taken.  He was on a post in an irrigation canal probably hoping for a fish dinner. 🙂

If you know what species it is I’d love to hear from you!

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

More to come…

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVE

It was a busy week-end with little to no time spent on the computer. Of course Photography figured high on my list of things to do this past week-end.

The Super Moon was number 1 on my list and I made plans months ago to shoot it with friends in Central Valley Calif.  We were a large group and while waiting for the group to assemble before heading to our chosen shooting location I was photographing little birds in a nearby bush.

A friend and I spied a little flighty bird hopping from one branch to the next all the while staying deep in the foliage.  I thought it might be a Warbler of some sort, but couldn’t be sure until I got a better look.  I watched and waited hoping it would come out just for one good look and image. A little patience paid off.  It showed itself in the open less than a minute! I managed to get only 3 frames of it hoping with fingers crossed that just one of those frames would be good.

Imagine my delight at finding I liked all three well enough to keep and share!

Then late last night I was trying to catch up with blogs and emails and read Donna’s post about her latest birding adventure and there in her images was a bird that looked just like the little bird I photographed that very afternoon!

I pulled out my Stokes Field Guide to the Birds of North America to compare my bird, and Donna’s bird with the Field Guide to see if I had a match and positive identification.  I believe so!  If true then this bird is a new ” Lifer” for me! An exciting spotting indeed! Thank you Donna!

Without further ado I present a Ruby-crowned Kinglet with the 3 images I made:

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-Crowned Kinglet

If you think this is different bird please let me know!

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

More to come…

Clark’s Grebes

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Today I thought I share some images from my Spring Grebe excursion.   We met at 5:45am to get out on the water to see the sun rise over the mountains and get that great light.

We were so fortunate to have a lovely morning with a rosy glow, and the Grebes were up and feeding already as well.

The male Grebes impressed me by how hard they work to feed the family.  I’ll try to convey that with some images.

The male making a fish transfer to his mate and a hungry chick poking its head out in anticipation;

Clark's Grebe Pair making fish transfer

…but that little fish was a slippery one and she dropped it, fortunately, she was able to retrieve it quickly!

Clark Grebe Pair

Here a Clark’s Grebe male is just about to make the transfer;

Clark's Grebe Male making Fish Transfer to Female

Here’s a Clark’s Grebe male feeding a fish directly to a chick. That fish looks too big for that tiny bill!

Clark's Grebe Male Transferring Fish to Grebe Chick

With several mouths to feed the male does a whole lot of fishing!

He helps with swimming lessons, and even gives the female a break by allowing the chicks to swim from Mom’s back to his. Western Grebes:  Yes, it’s a butt shot. 🙂

Western Grebes

Seeing this was so exciting and so darn adorable!!

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

Have a wonderful week-end Everyone!

More to come…

 

California Thrasher II

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Back in March while birding and photographing flowers in Santa Cruz, CA I was thrilled to hear and see a California Thrasher for a minute…long enough to get a few images, before I spooked it trying to get a little bit closer to it.  You can see that post here.

I’ve been wishing to see one again, and be closer to it. Well, on Sunday I got my wish while birding down in the southern end of Santa Clara Valley.

California Thrasher

He was singing his little heart out!

California Thrasher

He sang for 10 minutes.  Then he stopped, gave himself a real good shake…

California Thrasher

…took a breath, and began singing again!

California Thrasher

Two little Bushtits flew into the bush beside him and began talking to him,

Bushtits

so he turned around to sing to them.

California Thrasher

There were a few more notes sung by the Bushtits to the Thrasher then they flew off. It happened so fast I was only able to get 3 shots of the Bushtits.  The image isn’t great. My lens kept wanting to focus on the branches in front of the bird rather than the little bird.

Then the Thrasher flew north. What a treat that was to hear him singing for so long.  It was the highlight of my morning.

The California Thrasher is found in California and Baja California.

I found some  California Thrasher Song sound files over on allaboutbirds.com that you can listen to here.

Nikon D700| Nikkor 200-500mm| Lexar Professional Digital Film| PS CC 2015

More to come…

 

Tribute Day May 14, 2016

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Today is National Train Day in the States, and it’s also Global Big Day 2016 in the Birding World.  I thought I’d honor both here with a short post.

Back in 2012 myself and two friends Dali, and Phil were looking for a particular waterfall called Phantom Fall in Butte county. We hiked through a woodland forest, along railroad tracks, crossed creeks, and climbed grassy hills looking for it. While on a grassy hill taking a break I heard the rumble of a train, and the low train’s whistle and turned to find the train.

I waited for it to get around the curve hoping it was a long enough train to go around the whole curve. It was a wee bit short. 🙂 Still neat to see, and hear though.

We hiked, and drove a lot of miles that day looking for that elusive waterfall, but didn’t find it. Dali and I found it a year or so later, but I’m saving that story. Not enough time has passed yet. I need to be older and the tale a bit more aged before it comes out in public.

Amtrak train

Here’s a fun macro image I made of a toy Bachman’s Engine some of you may remember from a post I made last year.  This is from a train set we used to set up around the Christmas tree when my kids were little.

Toy train

To honor Global Big Day and my love of birds here’s an image of a Western Wood Peewee.

I took this image while looking for the Gray Flycatcher posted here  The Western Wood Peewee is a “lifer” for me! That was an exciting day of Birding with 2 “life” birds added to my list.

Western Wood Peewee

I hope you all have a wonderful week-end!

Nikon D700, & Nikon Df| Nikkor 70-300mm VR, 200-500mm VR, and LensBaby

More to come…