Tim Boyer Photography

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Northern Shoveler

Bird Quest 2014 #4

Bird PhotographyTim BoyerComment

Santee Lakes on day three of the Southern California Bird Photography Workshop  I led on Janaury 9th (yes, I'm still catching up on posting) Warm weather and lot of ducks!  

Male Ring-necked Duck swimming towards us.
Male Ring-necked Duck swimming towards us.

The weird thing about Ring-necked Ducks is they should have been called "Ring-billed" Ducks.  The white ring on the bill is far more distinct for birders then the not so obvious ring of rusty feathers on the  neck.  In this image a little of the ring-neck can be seen.

Male American Wigeon
Male American Wigeon
Northern Pintail, male.
Northern Pintail, male.
Preening male Wood Duck.
Preening male Wood Duck.

Santee Lakes are the easiest place to photograph Wood Ducks, a little cracked corn and they love to have their picture taken.  It's possible to get really low and shoot eye level.

Male Northern Shoveler
Male Northern Shoveler
Resident Osprey
Resident Osprey

It's always fun to see an Osprey in the winter, I think this one is at Santee year around, but in the Pacific Northwest where I live, we don't have them very often in the  winter.

Female Great-tailed Grackle
Female Great-tailed Grackle

Last year I posted an image of the male Great-tailed Grackle, so here's the female.  I think I like the color tones of the  females brown feathers.

The local fishermen call this Great Blue Heron "Junior", his father didn't make it through last winter.
The local fishermen call this Great Blue Heron "Junior", his father didn't make it through last winter.
Not sure what these American Coots were fighting about, maybe early spring posturing.
Not sure what these American Coots were fighting about, maybe early spring posturing.

So, coots are in the rail family not the duck family.  We see them with ducks all the time, and the other rails (Sora, Virginia Rail) are so shy it's difficult to think of the ubiquitous, coot as anything other than a duck.

Winter plumage male Ruddy Duck.
Winter plumage male Ruddy Duck.

Good birding!

Birding/Photo Project 2013

Bird PhotographyTim BoyerComment

Peregrines eat carrion and cough up pellets! Until this weekend I thought of Peregrines as these fast, powerful and deadly hunters of the sky.  Well they are all that and more. Monday I watched as a peregrine banded WZ cough up two pellets, and Tuesday and Wednesday I watch peregrine K6 feed on the remains of a washed up Great Blue Heron.  

Peregrine Falcon banded K6 feeding on a Great Blue Heron carcass.  K6 filled up his crop twice on Tuesday.
Peregrine Falcon banded K6 feeding on a Great Blue Heron carcass. K6 filled up his crop twice on Tuesday.

In this image you can actually see the bulging crop of K6, while it stands on the Great Blue Heron remains.

Peregrine Falcon K6 shaking off the rain and the Great Blue Heron it was feeding on.
Peregrine Falcon K6 shaking off the rain and the Great Blue Heron it was feeding on.

The falcons I photographed were banded, and are part of the research of  Coastal Raptors a non-profit group doing research, education and  conservation on Washington State's coastal raptor population.  The organization is run by Dan Varland, and  their website is:  http://www.coastalraptors.org.  

Peregrine Falcon banded WZ in the process of a wing stretch.
Peregrine Falcon banded WZ in the process of a wing stretch.

Another view of WZ, which is also the peregrine featured in the Coastal Raptors logo.

Peregrine Falcon WZ alert to any movement in our car as we watched and photographed it.
Peregrine Falcon WZ alert to any movement in our car as we watched and photographed it.
Adult Bald Eagle flying up the beach.
Adult Bald Eagle flying up the beach.
Northern Shoveler at The Old Fishing Hole Park, Kent WA.
Northern Shoveler at The Old Fishing Hole Park, Kent WA.

Peregrine Falcon, Bald Eagle and  Norther Shoveler brings my total photographed bird species to 79 so far this year.  While my goal of 500 is starting to seem a little overly ambitious, in reality I'm reaching my goal of learning more about birds and getting out more to photograph them.