Wild Weds. 52/52 Happy New Year!

Copyright 2018 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

“Wishing you a New Year that brings joy, beautiful moments, and surprises to cherish forever!”~anon

New Year Greeting

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm| Lexar Digital Film| PS CC 2019

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 30/52 A Family Unit

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

We found more Wild Mustangs! It was an amazing long week-end.  The horses were cautious with our approach, but Jamie and I learned the ways while on our trip in July, so we approached as we were taught and sure enough the horses let us get near.  Nearer than we’d ever been!  One mare was overcome with curiosity and approached my friend T! She was a hair away from petting its nose before it startled a little.

I need to ask her if I can share that image. I was just 3 feet from her! Then the mare and her Stallion came heading for me, and I backed up…the Stallion gave me pause. What if he didn’t like me. I wasn’t ready for that fight! The mare understood and veered away.

Once a family unit crossed right between my friend Jamie and I. It was so close we had to back up!  It was incredible! They were within feet of me and her, and so close I couldn’t focus! Such a problem for a wildlife photographer to have right?  I wished I brought two cameras lemme tell ya! I regretted the decision not carry my second camera.

The horses stay more or less in family units of a mare, foal, older daughter, and the ever watchful and protecting Stallion.  The family units are spread out through the meadow with the bachelors are the outer edges.  The bachelors. There’s a whole nother subject, and I have images! I’ll share if you don’t get tired of horses.

Here’s one family that hung out close to us.  They’re beautiful, and the light was really good just then.

Family Unit

On the home-front:

It’s been wonderful having Big Baby Boy home. #1 Grandson is in heaven having him here, and the two are having good fun building with Legos, and going to the park together.  He and Baby Girl got some quality brother/ sister time in, and they even got to hang out with dear school friends while here.  I’m already dreading his departure on Thursday, but The Dark Haired Beauty, and work will be wanting, and needing him back.

The Wine Train was a lot of fun. We both enjoyed it and would do it again.  I didn’t get any good images of the exterior of the train engine. They don’t let you near it unless you’re in the first car and boarding. We weren’t we were in the last car.

I’m hoping we have a clear sky on the 27th through the 31 to photograph Mars. It will be the brightest and closest it’s been to Earth in 15 years I believe.  Even if you don’t want to photograph it go out and look!  It will be at its highest point at midnight and be visible most the night.  Look for it about 35 degrees from the southern horizon.

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

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

more to come..

 

 

 

 

Wordless Wednesday 19/52 “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

Copyright © 2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Mockingbird

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

More to come…

Rare Leucistic Hummingbird

Copyright © 2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I had heard there was a rare white Hummingbird in Santa Cruz at UC Santa Cruz’s Arboretum last year, but didn’t see it when I was there photographing Allen’s Hummingbirds that come to winter there.

This year a friend and I went over to find the tree it had been spotted  hanging out in and we found both the tree and the rare white Hummingbird straight-away.

Rare White Hummingbird

Here’s a  description of Leucism, “Leucism, a developmental condition resulting in the loss of pigmentation. Unlike albino birds, which can’t produce the pigment melanin, leucistic birds produce melanin but can’t deposit it into their feathers. Albino birds also have red or pink eyes, but this hummingbird’s eyes are black, along with its bill and feet.

What makes this Hummingbird so rare is that it is almost completely white. Most leucistic birds are only partially affected, and have white patches of feathers amid colored plumage.”~Audubon.org

I spoke with a woman working at the Arboretum after my visit to find out if this is the same Leucistic Anna’s Hummingbird that was there last May and she said, “they believe it is”.

Leucistic Hummingbird

It’s so striking, and pretty isn’t it?   Poor thing has some kind of infection on its bill. I asked about that too, but they haven’t captured the Hummer to do any tests on it. So, they don’t know what the infection is. She did say  he’s (it’s a male) getting better and the Hummingbird is zipping around acting healthy so, they’re letting nature run its course.

Leucistic Allen's Hummingbird

It flew away from its tree a few times, and I found it in the little fountain bathing but I wasn’t quick enough to get a photo of that. Unfortunately I spooked it.  I did manage a few images of it preening and cleaning its feathers afterwards though. Here’s one.

Preening Rare White Hummingbird

It was quite a treat to find this beauty so quickly, and observe it for a short while. It’s the first Leucistic bird of any kind I’ve ever seen.

I hope it returns next year and I’m lucky enough to see it again.

I hope you all have a wonderful week-end!

Nikon D700| Nikkor 200-500mm| Hoodman STEEL Digital Film| PS CC 2017

More to come…

Wordless Wednesday 18/72 Thar she blows!

Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Hump Back Fluke and Spout Blow out_DMZ7965

Humpback Fluke

Moss Landing from the Legacy

Nikon D700| Nikkor 80-200mm + Tamron 1.4TC| Hoodman STEEL Digital Film| PS CC 2017

More to come…

Wordless Wednesday 8/52 Sea Worthy

Copyright © 2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Pigeon Guillemot/cepphus columba

Pigeon Guilemot

Nikon D300s| Nikkor 300mm f/4| SanDisk Digital Film| PS CC 2017

More to come…