Showing posts with label Marin Headlands. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Marin Headlands. Show all posts

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Frosty sparrow, Tennessee Valley

With the extra cold weather this weekend in the Bay Area, I figured I'd take a walk in Tennessee Valley with the hope of seeing some wildlife in the frosted meadows. Unfortunately, nothing was stirring in the early morning light except for some sparrows along the trail.

Frosty sparrow

Perhaps it was singing about how cold its feet were!

Singing about the cold

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Heron with prize

Heron with prize

A few weeks ago I posted a few shots from the archives of a great blue heron at Rodeo Lagoon in the act of striking at prey below the water surface. However, I didn't include any shots of the bird with its prize. I've remarked before at how small the fish were that it was catching, and I stand by that with this picture as evidence. It seems like it would take a lot of these tiny fish to satiate a bird of this size. I've got to give it credit though, it was remarkably adept at catching such small prey.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Heron strike

A conversation I had this weekend reminded me about the efficiency of these predators, and how easily this great blue heron managed to catch small fish in the shallows of Rodeo Lagoon. It seemed like every time it put its head in the water, it came up with a meal.

Heron strike

Here's a frame when the heron was facing straight on. I like how you can still see the pattern of its head through the wall of water its forcing towards me.

Strike from the front

And if you'd like to see this bird without a wall of water in the way, I posted a few shots of it earlier this year: "Great blue on blue" and "Heron with attitude".

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Show me your best side -- California Quail edition

Three different compositions of the same bird in this post, a male California quail along the trail in Tennessee Valley. This is the same bird that I posted a vertical composition of previously, who quite generously gave me a few minutes on top of his bush before realizing that only a lousy photographer was paying attention to him, and he probably should pick a different bush to woo the ladies from.

This frame is perhaps "Quail Classic" with nice posture and that standing tall kind of attitude, surely a stunning find for a female.
Photograph of a prim and proper California quail in Marin County

But this shot I think is my favorite of the bunch -- a quail with attitude! You can almost see him giving me a Z-snap and making a snarky comeback.
Photograph of a California quail with attitude

And lastly perhaps his right side is his better side, which he kindly gave to me while working the camera as well.
Photograph of a California quail in Tennessee Valley, GGNRA

On a more serious note, a Flickr member commented on my previous post of this guy about how was I able to get such clean bokeh while shooting at only f/8. The secret to this shot is that this is on a portion of the trail that cuts along an elevated portion of the hillside in Tennessee Valley. The background is actually a separate hillside across the valley, which is probably a few hundred yards off.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Wild turkey, Tennessee Valley

Wild turkey

A common sight near the horse stables at Tennessee Valley, these wild turkeys are a fun to see up close. So remarkably ugly, but with beautiful plumage especially when a male displays.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Quail on the lookout

Tall and proud

The California quail, state bird of its namesake, is really quite beautiful with its varied plumage patterns. During much of the year it can be challenging to capture these birds out in the open. However, early in the breeding season (this shot is from mid-May) the males are much more willing to make a spectacle of themselves while hoping to draw the attention of a female. Unfortunately for this one who set up his lookout post along the trail, there was only a nosy photographer around.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Great blue heron with attitude

Flipping back through some images from earlier this year, I realized that I have a handful of heron and egret shots from a sunset spent at Rodeo Lagoon in the Marin Headlands. I've had many experiences where great blue herons will fly away they moment they even think you might have seen them in the distance, but I've often found that when they are in fishing mode, they are easy to approach. That was the case for this beautiful bird, as it completely ignored the photographer crouching along the shoreline as it sought out many small fish to make up an evening meal.

What're you lookin' at?

Checking out this heron straight on definitely gives an air of attitude, but its attention was totally on the fish it was stirring up with its slow walk in the shallows, and not at all on me.

GBH snack

This particular bird was quite impressive with its fishing skills, as it rarely made a strike that didn't end with a fish. It was a fun opportunity to rotate the camera to a portrait frame as well, as other than the strikes, it stood tall throughout much of the encounter -- often with one eye peering down at the water.

GBH portrait

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Song sparrow in Tennessee Valley

Song sparrow

On one of my unsuccesful bobcat finding trips in February, my consolation prize was this lovely sparrow singing along the trail on the way out.

Singing sparrow

Perhaps contemplating its next tune:

After the long note

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Finally -- a bobcat

After a handful of unsuccessful trips to Tennessee Valley over the past few weeks, I finally encountered a bobcat there. This is the first time I've ever been in the presence of a wild one, and even though it never came real close it was still awesome to have the chance to observe it.

First bobcat encounter (1of2)

The bobcat listened for prey along the trail and made a pounce into the bushes along the right side before disappearing for a few minutes. It sauntered back out into the path before briefly listening for a meal along the other side of the trail before it strolled up along the path and into the woods.

First bobcat encounter (2of2)

I also had the pleasure of bumping into local wildlife photographer Trish Carney, who was looking for bobcats along the same trail. I highly recommend checking out her website if you want to see some spectacular bobcat images (as well as many other species).

Friday, February 19, 2010