Friday’s Feathered Friends-Yellow Warbler

Copyright ©2021 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Isn’t he cheerful? This was the second time I’ve ever seen this bird. There are more than 50 species of Warblers but few are as brilliant yellow as he is. The females aren’t as bright and lack the rich chestnut streaking, but do have the black eyes, and warm yellow tones.

Yellow Warbler

Fun Facts:

  • In addition to the migratory form of the Yellow Warbler that breeds in North America, several other resident forms can be found in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. Males in these populations can have chestnut caps or even chestnut covering the entire head.
  • The nests of the Yellow Warbler are frequently parasitized by the Brown-headed Cowbird. The warbler often builds a new nest directly on top of the parasitized one, sometimes resulting in nests with up to six tiers.
  • Life can be dangerous for a small bird. Yellow Warblers have occasionally been found caught in the strands of an orb weaver spider’s web.
  • The oldest-known Yellow Warbler was a female, and was at least 11 years old when she was recaught and rereleased during banding operations in New York.~allaboutbirds.org

Sunday we drove over the mountains to go visit Baby Girl, The Handsome Surveyor, and the boys. Along the way we stopped at Maiden’s Grave pullout to view the horrible smoke plume from the Caldor Fire burning in the El Dorado National forest.

View from Maiden’s Grave, SR 88, CA.

All through the forest we kept seeing these signs- Every campground, and park is closed. 😭

Forest Closed Sign

The reports on the fire are somewhat better today. They’re allowing some residents to return their homes in South Lake Tahoe, and the cooler temperatures, and less wind in the week-end forecast is promising and should help the firefighters with the fight.

The smoke is still in the unhealthy range here, but the sun is trying to burn through it today so I’m feeling a wee bit more positive today on the fire front.

We haven’t any week-end plans since we’ve been gone a lot these last two weeks visiting our kids and grandkids. What about you any plans? Whatever your plans I hope you have a good week-end!

Fuji X-T3| Fuji 100-400mm| and iPhone 7Plus| PS CC 22.5

more to come…

Friday Feathered Friends-Cassin’s Finch

Copyright ©2021 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Back in July I saw this beauty, he was my 7th Lifer for the year!

Cassin’s Finch-Male

They live in the mountains of western North America. I am really surprised that it took me so long to spot one, but it did.

Fun Facts: gleaned from allaboutbirds.org

The Cassin’s Finch was first collected on an 1850s expedition to the southwestern mountains by the Pacific Railroad Survey. The eminent ornithologist John Cassin, who created illustrations for the survey, called the pink-tinged finch the “greatest bird in the lot.” Cassin asked his friend and colleague Spencer Baird to name the new species after him.

Male Cassin’s Finches have red crown feathers thanks to carotenoid pigments, which they acquire when they swallow colorful foods like the orange berries of firethorn plants.

Male Cassin’s Finches remain brownish and look like females during their first breeding season. During this time they sing, and this may give the false impression that both sexes sing. These young males may group into “bachelor flocks” during that first breeding season.

The Cassin’s Finch is an accomplished mimic, often adding the calls of other species into its own songs.

The Cassin’s Finch breeds semicolonially, with nests on average 80 feet apart. Nests are sometimes as close as 3 feet apart—this usually causes a fight between males until one of the pair gives up. If the first nest is substantially earlier than the other, however, such close nesting may be tolerated.

The Cassin’s Finch craves salt, and is often found visiting mineral deposits on the ground.

The oldest recorded Cassin’s Finch was a male, and at least seven years old when he was recaptured and released during banding operations in Oregon in 1979. He had been banded in the same state in 1974. ~ allaboutbirds.com

We’re still dealing with a lot of smoke from the two biggest fires in California.

As I type this on Thursday our AQI is bad, but not as awful as it was on Monday when we flew into Reno on our way home from visiting Big Baby Boy, and the Dark Haired Beauty. Monday the AQI was a whopping 398!

I saw the pilots on the way out of the plane and said, “I sure am glad you were able to see to land, because I couldn’t see a thing!” One of the pilots replied, ” We had one eye opened and hoped for the best.” 🤣😜

I’m glad it was the good eye!

He-Man said he was thinking about the scene in the movie Airplane. Flying on instruments LOL!!

I hope you all have a great week-end!!

Fuji X-T3| Fujinon 100-400mm| PS CC 22.5.0

more to come…

Wordless Weds. Lake Tahoe between storms

Copyright ©2021 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Lumix FZ200| PS CC 22.2.0 Lake Tahoe at Sand Harbor State Park 2021

more to come…

Whatever Weds. 4 Points

Copyright ©2020 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

A girlfriend and I got up early after a snowstorm in January for a sunrise photography outing and then we headed to a birding location when we came across this guy along the way.

Did you know that one the west coast it’s common to only count the points on one side of the antlers, and on Mule Deer like these you don’t count the brow tines- the ones coming above the brow?

On the east coast they count all the points. Who knew? I’ve gone with the west coast rule of thought and counted only one side. 😀

4 Point Buck

There were quite a few Doe’s too. Here’s one.

Doe Mule Deer

I hope you are having a lovely week. We’re halfway to the week-end! Let’s make a point of making it a good one! 😋

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm| PS CC 21.0.3

more to come…

 

 

Friday’s Feathered Friends-MT. Chickadee

Copyright ©2020 Deborah M. Zajac.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Two more images from my time with the Chickadees.

Mountain Chickadee

Look at this one taking two seeds at a time! I love it! I didn’t realize it had taken two until I uploaded my images.  Moutain Chickadee

I didn’t crop it in too much so you can see the environment we snowshoed into to see and feed these birds.  It was pretty cool being out here almost alone for a good bit. As the morning wore on though more and more snowshoers started coming up the mountain. We spent an hour and a half feeding the Chickadees then headed down to venture to other places to see what we could find. I’ll share those finds in future posts.

I hope you all have a good week-end!

Fuji X-T3| Fujinon XF 100-400mm  LM OIS| PS CC 21.0.3

more to come…

 

 

 

Friday’s Feathered Friends

Copyright ©2020 Deborah M. Zajac.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Last week was pretty full. I went to see Baby Girl, and the Grandson’s for a couple of days then got home and had friends from out of town over for the week-end.

We went birding. I shared with them the spot where the Chick-a-dees ate from my hand we were fortunate and saw them again and they ate from our hands. It was just as fun, exciting, and awesome as it was the first time.

Two Chick-a-dees landed on my hand to get seeds and one didn’t like the idea of sharing at. all. 😂

Mountain Chickadees

They were quite picky about the sunflowers seeds they would take often spitting several overboard before selecting one and flying off to the trees with it.

In this image, you can see the seed and its shadow in the air in my hand that the Chick-a-dee just discarded. They all did it. Perhaps they were saving some for later?

Chick a Dee feeding from my Hand

My friend Anna was wearing a beanie which was perfect to put some seeds on it and get the Chick-a-dees to land on her cap. They did!

Chickadee on Anna's Hat

This was our first birding stop for the day and it was so much fun.

I’ll share other birds and wild mustangs from the week-end in future posts.

I hope you all are having a great Friday, and your week-end is a good one!

Lumix FZ200| Lexar Digital Film| PS CC 21.0.3

more to come…

 

 

The Sky is Dark and Full of Stars!

Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Last week-end a girlfriend (T) and I went to Brookings, OR to scout, and photograph seascapes, and hopefully we’d have a clear night for night sky imaging in the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor.  We looked at the weather forecast for the week-end and it looked like we’d only have one really good night for any night sky imaging. We both hoped to photograph the Milky Way, and if we found a great spot for Star Trails we’d do that too, but it wasn’t a priority like the Milky Way was.

When we were at Arch Rock for sunset we realized straight-away that wouldn’t work out so well for a Milky Way location since it was facing west, but around the path a bit closer to the parking lot was a nice sea stack that faced directly south.  We both pulled out out cell phones and summoned our night sky app called Photo Pills to double check our thoughts, and find the time when the Galactic Center would line up over the sea stack.  After determining that 1:32AM it would line up we headed out to dinner, then back to the Hotel for a nap.

I’d been up since 5AM driving from my house in Silicon Valley up to T’s two hours north east of me. From there I drove all the way to Brookings, OR.  It’s an 8 hour drive without stops.  We stopped for gas, and lunch of course. Needless to say- I needed a nap!

My alarm sounded at 12:30AM. We were ready pretty quick and headed back to Arch Rock Viewpoint to photograph the Milky Way.

We were the only people there.  We set up took our test shots, and began shooting.  Before the trip I purchased a new filter to help me get a tack sharp focus at night. It’s called  SharpStar2 from LonelySpeck  I didn’t get it to work as it should have, but determining when I was in focus was easy. A lot easier than just using Live View alone.  That cut my set up time in half!  I’m going to be practicing here at home with the filter before my next night sky shoot.  After reading the instructions again it was definitely user error. I should have practiced with it at night before the trip, but I’m happy.

Milky Way over Sea Stack

It was really quiet just us, the sea, and the sound of our camera’s shutter opening and closing.   There was very little light pollution. The cliffs blocked most of the light from Brookings. You can see a light band at the horizon entering from the left of the frame. That’s the light from Brookings.  This was a great location with a dark sky.

Saturday night the fog rolled in. I’m so glad we went out Friday night!  T’s brother and S-i-L drove up to meet us and photograph the area Saturday.  After Sunset we headed back to town for dinner but, we got sidetracked with an Industrial night shot opportunity which I posted Wednesday

So, the fog didn’t completely ruin the night.  We had a late dinner with a glass of wine. I fell into my hotel bed after midnight, and slept in Sunday.

We had breakfast and said our farewells to T’s brother, and S-i-L and T and I set off for the long drive home.  Thankfully the drive was uneventful. 🙂

I hope to get back up there one day to explore more of the park. It’s a gorgeous coastline, and sky is dark and full of stars!

I hope you all have a lovely week-end! Can you believe June is just about over already?!!

Nikon D810| Nikkor 20mm f/1.8G| Hoodman Digital Film| Single Frame 20s| ISO 3200| PS CC 2017

more to come…