Wild Wednesday 20/52 Deep Greens and Blues are the Colors I Choose

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

On Saturday I went birding locally in the morning hoping to see a Lazuli Bunting. They’re only here in the Spring and I heard they were spotted in a place I’d seen one four years ago.  It was a stellar morning of birding! Not only did I get a brief look at the Lazuli Bunting, but I also saw lots of Violet-green Swallows. 🙂

Both birds have amazing colors.

Lazuli Bunting Male-  He’s song bird.

Lazuli Bunting

Violet-green Swallow Male

Violet-green Swallow

…and I got the “look” from a White-tailed Kite while she was hunting. You know how much I like them. My favorite of the Birds of Prey.  I like to think she was wishing me a Happy Birthday. 🙂

White-tailed Kite

I had a birdy long week-end that included some hiking/walking . Saturday I hiked just a smidge over a mile half of it was uphill and the beginning was steep.  Monday I hiked a bit over 2 miles, and Tuesday afternoon I hiked just over 4 miles.  He-Man and I hiked a trail we hadn’t hiked in a couple of years. It was good to get out and really stretch our legs.  Mind you, I feel so out of shape since having the flu and not doing much hiking since. I’m glad I made the loop up and down! I had doubts about being able to make it up to the second trail-head to make the loop. A couple of spots are steep. On two of the hikes I had some elevation gain which I like.  I like uphill for the first leg…more payoff for the exertion, and the reward is the downhill on the way back.  However, what I find is that there is uphill on both ends! I’m usually tired by the time I reach the upper elevation, and it’s work to get up those uphills on the way back.  I’m always so thankful I completed the hike, and if I carried my Garmin tracker seeing the stats always makes those uphills on the way back more rewarding.  I was tired and needed some extra Yoga stretches to ward off being really sore Wednesday, but I kept thinking “maybe I’ll get my groove back, and hike a couple times a week again.”

One can hope! 🙂

I hope you all are having a good week!

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

more to come…

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Wild Wednesday 4/52 White-tailed Kite

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

A friend and I went birding Saturday at two Wildlife Refuges. We reversed the order we normally do these two refuges and I’m glad we did. It was pretty birdy at Merced Wildlife National Refuge, but I’m going to share with you the last bird I photographed for the day at San Luis National Wildlife Refuge.

And, what a bird to end the day on! It’s my favorite raptor.

White-tailed Kite

It’s a medium sized raptor and likes open grasslands, and savannas.  It hovers while hunting for prey, and have big amber/red eyes. Here’s some information about their hunting behavior from allaboutbirds.com

While hunting, the White-tailed Kite characteristically hovers up to 80 feet off the ground and then drops straight down onto prey items. This ability to hold a stationary position in midair without flapping is accomplished by facing into the wind, and is so characteristic of these birds that it has come to be called kiting. White-tailed Kites also perform ritualized courtship displays in which a male offers prey to a female prior to egg laying. In an often spectacular aerial exchange, the female flies up to meet the male, turns upside-down, and grasps the prey.“`allaboutbirds.com

I think they’re the prettiest of the raptors.  If I could be a bird this is the one I’d be. 🙂

You’ll find them up and down Western to Central California, Oregon, Mexico, Central and South America.

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm@500mm| 1/640s| ISO 500| cropped| Hoodman Digital Film| PS CC 2018

more to come…

 

 

 

White-tailed Kite

Copyright © 2013 Deborah M Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

A photo I took of a White-tailed Kite recently while trying out a friend’s lens.

White Tail KiteI wanted to see what 500mm looked like and how much closer I could get the birds, and test the weight of it.
It’s a pretty light lens actually. I got a lot closer view of this Kite!
This Kite is  calling its mate or parent, I’m not sure which.  Just a short time later a second Kite flew below this one. Together they flew off to another nearby perch. My friend and I moved our position to continue photographing them and discovered the second one brought a Vole for dinner. The  Vole is in the talons of the second Kite which unfortunately is hidden behind the branch, but it’s the best shot of the Vole I got before they started to consume it.
Kites with Vole_3576
Thanks Dali for letting me try your lens! I definitely want a longer lens for birding. I have to keep saving.

Nikon D300s| Tamron 200-500mm @ 500mm| f11| 1/1250s| ISO400| Manual Priority| Tripod

 

White-tailed Kite

Copyright © 2012 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

This photograph is one I took at last month’s Pacific Flyway Festival.  It’s a week-end event for birders out on Mare Island in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Several hikes, and guided tours with experienced birders are offered. I went with a group of folks, and my friend Dali out to Skaggs Island for a private walk-about. It’s part of an old Navy base which is being renovated and rehabilitated to marsh land.
This Kite was perched in a tree just within range for me to get several shots of it before it flew away. I was so excited to be this close to one that didn’t fly away the moment it spotted me. They’re so skittish they perch far away from the roads, or they take flight as soon as they see me coming.
The day was overcast, and the sky was flat so I decided to turn this one into a “high Key” shot.

Nikon D700| Nikkor 70-300 @ 300mm| f7.1| 1/1600sec| ISO 500| Manual Mode| Tripod