If I had a Song…

Copyright © 2014 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

I’d sing it in the morning!

Song Sparrow Singing its Morning SongLast Saturday morning I spent a lovely morning out birding with friends Dali, and Rainey. The weather was great, cool,  with a blue sky with a few big, puffy white clouds for just the right amount of diffusion, and not too many intruding city-life sounds.

We went out with the hopes of finding Stilts, and Avocets with chicks or on nests, but we found few Stilts, and only saw two or three Avocets. Overall there were very few shorebirds at all in either of the places we birded yesterday.

We did see quite a few other birds so the morning wasn’t a total bust. Here are some of the images I took Saturday morning.

Black-necked Stilts

Black-necked StiltsMallard and chick. This was the only chick we saw with her sadly. Actually it was the only chick we saw all morning.

Mallard Female and ChickA Mockingbird imitating several birds. I like this pose and setting.

MockingbirdThe Cliff Swallows were very busy making sorties to and from their nests.

Cliff SwallowHummingbirds are very entertaining and didn’t disappoint this morning either. I saw a territorial spat, but with my 300mm lens wasn’t able to get both birds in the frame. Here’s the offended Hummingbird who thought he had territorial rights to the whole tree.

Hummingbird …after a little of this posturing this Hummer decided he wasn’t having another Hummingbird on the tree, so he went on the attack. I didn’t get them both in the frame, but here’s the intruding Hummer on the defense. They squabbled a bit then they both flew away, and neither returned for sometime, so we moved on.

Hummingbird Wings UpThe Bumble bees were busy with the only blooms I could see.

Bumble Bee

…and there were other kinds of birds practicing their landing skills at a nearby airport.

Another kind of Bird-Cessna 180Another little Anna’s Hummingbird posed for me.

Annas HummingbirdThe most colorful bird of the morning was the Ring-necked Pheasant.

Ring-necked PhesantSaturday morning was also a great opportunity to really give my 300mm f4 lens a workout. I hadn’t really since getting it back from Nikon. I’m so happy to report it works really well. It is quieter than before the fix, and AF (auto-focus) seems quite snappy, and responsive even with my 1.4x Teleconverter on it.

It was a good morning despite there being only few shorebirds.

Nikon D300s| AF-S Nikkor 300mm f4| Hand-held

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Hybrid-Crested Pekin Mallard?

Via Flickr:
Copyright © 2013 Deborah M Zajac. All Rights Reserved

On my recent jaunt up to Lake Merritt to find the Tufted Duck I was walking past a little enclosed pond when I spotted this duck. I had to call Phil over to see it since it was unique.
Neither of us knew what the name of this duck was and we planned to do some research to see if we could figure it out. Phil got on it straight-away. He found very little information out there, but he did find a photo with a duck that looks like this one and it was called a Hybrid-Crested Pekin Mallard.
Bred for the little Pom-Pom on their heads I’m sure!
Anyone know anything about this breed?

This pond was pretty dirty  so, I did a little work in PS to clean it up, but as you see it’s still a mess. The disadvantage of a small pond I guess.

Nikon D700| Nikkor 80200@ 112m + Tamron 1.4x TC| f8| 1/250s| ISO 400| Manual Priority| Hand-held