Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Salmon or trout?

While reading online about the Kokanee salmon run in Taylor Creek off of Lake Tahoe before our trip, I learned that bears in the area have a distinct taste for trout. In fact, one report said that its not uncommon for bears to catch trout in the creeks, but it was only recently (within the past few years) that select bears started capitilizing on the salmon run. We witnessed this preference first hand with the mother bear that we watched fishing in the creek.

Preferred meal

Just before catching this fish, she had a nice sized salmon in her jaws, and she had already eaten many by this point. However, she clearly got excited when she saw the trout and she dropped the salmon without eating it and lunged for this beautiful fish.

Carrying a trout

She had eaten most of the salmon on the rocks right in the stream, however, with this special prize it appeared that she didn't want to risk losing it back into the water and she quickly carried it up onto the bank before starting to eat. Her cub noticed what she was up to, and he definitely wanted in!

No sharing plates

Surprisingly, she was unwilling to share with the cub (at least at the current location) and ripped the fish out of its grasp while it tried desparately to hang on to the tasty meal, and she then carried it further away.

Sorry, cub

This time she went back up the hillside and out of view of the creek. The cub definitely stayed right behind while she went -- likely hoping for some scraps, and perhaps she decided to share once she was truly away from the chance of losing it back to the creek.

Over the hill

Here's a movie clip taken by my wife of the bear's decision to not eat the trout in the stream. You can see her hesitate at the rock where she was eating salmon, and when the trout really starts moving and she decides to take it to the shore.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Calling Plover -- Post 150!

Photograph of a plover calling out on the tidal flats in California

A plover (black-bellied, I believe) calling out along the exposed mudflats during a negative low tide at Pillar Point Harbor on Half Moon Bay. Our trip there on Saturday was a real treat, with a diversity of shorebirds on the flats and some nice tidepooling opportunities along the beach area. We even saw a baby octopus in one of the pools -- which I never would have noticed except for the courtesy of a family pointing it out.

Also, I started this blog in October of 2009, and this post marks the 150th so far. Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to view what I've uploaded, and please do consider subscribing in your reader if you haven't already. Thanks!

Friday, November 5, 2010

White-crowned sparrow

White-crowned sparrow

This lovely sparrow was hanging out along the trail that connects Ellis Creek Water Recycling Facility and Shollenberger Park in Petaluma.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Stand up and celebrate -- Congrats Giants!!

It's time to stand up and celebrate -- congrats to the 2010 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants!! This was an awesome season filled with many highs and many lows that ended with a dominant postseason run, capped off tonight with the first championship since the franchise moved to San Francisco! Congrats Giants!!!

Stand up and celebrate -- the Giants win the World Series!!!

On a photography note, these "celebrating" snowy plover shots were taken along Limantour Spit in Point Reyes National Seashore in September. I spent a lot of time laying in the sand with half a dozen plovers, just waiting for them to do something interesting. I'd often see them stretch there wings from the corner of my eye, but it seemed hopeless to actually have the active one in front of my glass at the time. But my patience paid off, and I lucked out with two frames of this stretch. I like the tiptoed stance in the top shot, and the details in the wings in the bottom, and both seem to give off a feeling of happiness and celebration, so I was hanging on to them in my queue waiting for this moment to post them to celebrate the Giants winning the Series! Go Giants!

Congrats Giants!!!!

One more snooze

Hitting the snooze

As with every Monday morning, it sure would have felt nice to hit that snooze button one more time. In honor of that feeling, here's a shot of a few sanderlings napping along Limantour Beach in Point Reyes National Seashore. This is a start of a good week though, with 3 chances for the Giants to win the World Series beginning with Lincecum on the mound tonight!

And of course we have an election this week as well. For those of you in California, don't forget to vote Yes on 21 to fund our State Parks and keep these awesome wild areas safe and open to the public! More information can be found at this link.