Thursday, December 26, 2013

Today's walk report: 122613

Hawks and hummingbirds.

Yesterday I mentioned looking into the San Fernando Valley Audubon Society's monthly birding missions and that I'm not really the birding type and am mostly fond of birds of prey but that's not exactly true. I'm probably more fond of hummingbirds. The focus takes a different direction so it's hard to say. In general I think I have more fun watching hummingbirds but am perhaps more in awe of birds of prey. As far as picture taking goes, I'm inclined to say that any good photo opportunity with birds is highly welcome and sought after--except for really common birds like sparrows, pigeons, doves and crows. The Canadian geese also bore me now for the most part. I remember the 1st time I saw them here in this Valley though and I hopped in my car seeking them out.

This was in the early 80s. There are two oddities in this picture, one the geese mid-image for back then this was a 1st, at least it was for me but also the snow on the Santa Susana mountains. You just don't see that here very often. I don't believe I've seen it since but I haven't spend very much time here over the last 26 years or so.

Today I was losing light and walking fast, not because I wanted to get the walk over but because I felt really good and wanted to get as much distance in as I could before it started getting dark. I did, however, spend some time with this Anna's hummingbird trying to get between it and the setting sun... I never did. I have a lot of what I feel are good hummingbird photos, mostly from last year so I'm a bit hesitant to post new ones when they aren't up to par. But here you go...

Here's that same male Anna's catching flies. I don't typically see the flies when this is happening but I know that's what's going on. It's a good photo opportunity if you have good light, I obviously did not.

One more, same bird.

Here's another win a no-prize contest for you, how many starlings are in the tree. Submit your answer and you may be a the lucky winner of a fantastic no-prize!

I think this is the same red-tailed hawk I usually document here but it was getting dark and I didn't get a lot of detail (I'm 21.7 meters away.)

Yesterday was really windy. Today was also modestly windy at times. I wanted to show you something that might make this post from the 19th seem more significant. This is today, despite winds looking east toward the San Gabriel mountains. This is both dust and smog creating an orange filtered sky. So when it's clear like it was on the 121913, I really appreciate it.

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