Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Female American Kestrel, Point Reyes National Seashore
I had an amazing trip to Point Reyes National Seashore on Saturday. When I went to sleep the night before, the forecast was calling for 30% chance of rain, but by the time I woke up at 5:25 am, it had been increased to 50%. I was too excited about actually getting out in the morning to be deterred, but I quickly thought it might have been a mistake as it started pouring just as I was driving into the park. Thankfully though, the worst of the rain lasted for only the first hour after sunrise, and a nice overcast sky was left behind for the rest of the morning.
While I didn't really see any wildlife while it was raining, I saw a lot of species after it stopped. I guess it was the first time that it was dry for a few days, and the animals were ready to find a meal. I found this lovely female kestrel on a fence post along Pierce Point Road as I was driving back from the Tule Elk Reserve on Tomales Point. I love to see these small and gorgeous birds of prey, but I've never really had a good look at one, since they always fly off long before I get close, and certainly before I can get my lens on one. This particular bird was feeling generous though, and gave me at least 5 good minutes of her time before heading off to a fencepost that was further back in the landscape.
What a treat to get to photograph this lovely bird at such close range! This post has a selection of shots from the perch she took where I had the sky as a backdrop, and I have a few others to put up in another post with a green hillside as the background.
Submitted to the World Bird Wednesday blog meme -- follow the link to check out this week's submissions!