Saturday, March 12, 2011

Tule elk, Point Reyes National Seashore

Female tule elk in Point Reyes National Seashore - Pat Ulrich Wildlife Photography

A tule elk cow standing on the hillsides of Tomales Point in Point Reyes National Seashore. She was part of a very large herd that surrounded my car after I pulled off the road in February. I liked the setting with that lone cypress tree in the background, and was hoping to include in a picture. I picked a spot and waited for an elk to approach for the shot I had in mind -- she didn't quite line up where I wanted, but since I was in the car, I made do with the angle I had.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Singing red-winged blackbird, Berkeley Marina

Singing blackbird at Berkeley Marina - Pat Ulrich Wildlife Photography

The blackbirds are starting to make a real ruckus, which must mean that spring is just around the corner! These are two shots from an evening walk at Cesar Chavez Park at the Berkeley Marina. At least two burrowing owls are still there, although we couldn't find the third that we had seen earlier in the season. Perhaps it was just below ground, or maybe it has left for the summer.

Red-winged blackbird calling from the branches - Pat Ulrich Wildlife Photography

Thursday, March 10, 2011

American kestrel, Point Reyes National Seashore

Here are three more shots from my wonderful encounter with this lovely kestrel in Point Reyes National Seashore last month. I posted some others a few weeks ago with the overcast sky as the backdrop, but since this particular female was so cooperative, I was able to get some shots with a more colorful setting too.

Friendly kestrel in Point Reyes - Pat Ulrich Wildlife Photography

Here's a similar pose, but with her tail feathers showing.

Kestrel in Point Reyes with tail showing - Pat Ulrich Wildlife Photography

I'm not sure what caught her eye for this one, but it makes for an interesting pose, especially with the catchlight in her eye.

Sideways glance from female kestrel - Pat Ulrich Wildlife Photography

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Prowling plover, Pillar Point Harbor

Prowling black-bellied plover - Pat Ulrich Wildlife Photography

A black-bellied plover hunting for worms in the sand at Pillar Point Harbor on Half Moon Bay. There was surprisingly little in the way of birds along the shoreline on this particular evening, but I did manage to make a tentative friendship with this plover. After watching it pluck a number of worms from the sand before sunset, I was able to work my way in close and gain its trust. I followed it up and down the beach a number of times as it ran back and forth, and on a few occasions it came so close that I couldn't keep the whole bird in the frame. No complaints here though -- it's always a pleasure to have the chance to spend some quality time with a shorebird!

Black-bellied plover - Pat Ulrich Wildlife Photography

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Turnstone in kelp, Pillar Point Harbor

Black turnstone in kelp - Pat Ulrich Wildlife Photography

Reaching into the archives after a busy week of traveling, here are two shots of a black turnstone in the intertidal area of Pillar Point Harbor at low tide from last August. I've had so many interesting settings in which to photograph shorebirds there, from seagrass to bulbous pods, and the red color of this kelp really makes for a unique foreground, I think.

Black turnstone at Pillar Point Harbor - Pat Ulrich Wildlife Photography

Submitted to World Bird Wednesday -- follow the link to see this week's submissions!